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10 Iconic Commercials You’ll Instantly Remember

Apple's "1984" commercial

The world of advertising is massive, a vast multi-billion dollar industry that sees some incredibly creative output, particularly in TV commercials.

Sometimes, it goes horribly wrong and leads to terrible publicity.

But when companies get it right, it leads to commercials that are instantly memorable and that spring instantly to mind when the name of that company gets mentioned.

McDonald's, for example, is a master of advertising, creating numerous memorable slogans and commercials over its long existence.

Other commercials have become iconic since their launch and remain classics more than 50 years on.

Here are 10 adverts that you not only remember but can recall with vivid clarity – the jingles, the catchphrases, the visuals.

Coca-Cola: "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" (1971)

This feel-good commercial featured a diverse group of people singing on a hilltop in Italy, promoting peace and unity.

Its jingle has been adapted into a popular song, showcasing the ad's lasting appeal.

Apple: "1984" (1984)

Directed by the legendary director Ridley Scott, this ad for the Apple Macintosh played on the theme of George Orwell's dystopian novel, "1984".

It symbolized the introduction of the Macintosh as a breakthrough in personal computing, challenging the status quo.

An athletic blonde woman - played by English athlete Anya Major, appears and launches a giant sledgehammer through the screen.

A voice then says: "On January 24, Apple Computers will introduce Macintosh - and you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'."

Read the full story here.

Wendy's: "Where's the Beef?" (1984)

This commercial from Wendy's contained a humorous dig at competitors' burgers, this ad featured three elderly ladies examining a big, fluffy bun with a tiny burger.

The catchphrase "Where's the beef?" quickly entered the American lexicon.

Read the full story here.

McDonald's: "The Showdown" (1993)

Basketball legends Michael Jordan and Larry Bird faced off in a fantastical game of H-O-R-S-E, competing for a Big Mac in this memorable commercial.

The two stars oozed charisma and the team at McDonald's was brilliant able to capture their spirit and charm.

Budweiser: "Wassup" (1999)

This legendary, and incredibly silly, ad featured friends greeting each other with an elongated "Wassup" while having a Budweiser.

It became a cultural phenomenon, spawning countless parodies and imitations.

Teenagers around the world would baffle their parents by answering their own phones in the same way.

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Old Spice: "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" (2010)

This commercial featured Isaiah Mustafa delivering a monologue in a single continuous shot.

The commercial was funny, but also surreal.

It broke the mold for men's grooming products.

Dove: "Real Beauty Sketches" (2013)

This commercial was a powerful commentary on women's self-image.

It highlighted the discrepancy between how women view themselves and how others see them, emphasizing the tagline, "You're more beautiful than you think."

Always: "#LikeAGirl" (2014)

Another powerful commercial, this commercial from Always challenged stereotypes.

It turned the insult this ad turned the insult "like a girl" on its head, showcasing it as a statement of strength.

It went on to spark conversations about gender bias and confidence.

Volkswagen: "The Force" (2011)

Volkswagen tapped into the world's love for Star Wars in this heartwarming commercial from 2011.

It featured a young child dressed as Darth Vader attempting to use "the Force" around the house.

It culminates in the child 'starting' a Volkswagen Passat with the help of his father's remote control, using technology to recreate the magic of the Jedis.

British Airways: "The Face" (1989)

This was an ambitious ad for the UK airline featuring a mosaic of faces coming together to form a smiling face, symbolizing the airline's global reach and warmth.

It's remembered for its creativity and emotional impact.

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