Food News

Top Ten List: Vintage Food and Drink Ads

​Prompted by Andy Samberg's fantastic New York Times Magazine cover yesterday, I've culled a handful of nostalgia commercials, throwbacks to an America that fancied itself more innocent and idealistic. Perhaps you'll be sartorially inspired, if only by cuffed jeans and "the glove." Behold: vintage TV ads.


10. Oscar Meyer B-o-l-o-g-n-a. The 1973 classic that's a cute first round, an iteration past the 1965 ditty that's even better: "If I were an Oscar Meyer wiener, everyone would be in love with me."


9. 7-Up (Movin' Up). Though I really wish the vocals were less dorky, you can't beat the duds

8. Dr. Pepper (I'm a Pepper). If we're talking fashion, here's a close second. No surprise this commercial was made in the same year as the original version of the movie Fame


7. McDonald's (Double Dutch). A combination of this commercial and perhaps Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing inspired me to learn to double dutch, a skill I unearthed after a thousand drinks at a wedding reception not long ago. This is runner-up to the hand slap game that, sadly, I could not find. 


6. Tab (For Beautiful People). Allegedly named Tab "for people who wanted to keep tabs on their weight," this drink was by far the worst soft drink ever made.  

5. Kool-Aid (Golden Age of Hip Hop).  I had been poking around to find a Kool-Aid ad that I actually remembered but instead found this one from 1994 that I'd never seen that's pretty hilarious. You could round up a whole top ten of awkward Kool-Aid commercials, there are so many.



4. Sunkist (Good Vibrations). Here's a 1984 Beach Boys-inspired ditty as they rounded past their peak. (Sigh. Pet Sounds). 

3. Gatorade (Be Like Mike). A far cry from his Hanes commercial, this 1992 gem featuring Michael Jordan holds the nomination for the most memorable Gatorade ad. 


2.Coca-Cola (Teach the World to Sing). Launched in '71, the commercial allegedly promoted racial (and international) harmony. The 1990 remake shows the singers all grown up.

1. Pepsi (Pepsi Generation.) Perhaps one of the most-hyped commercials of all time -- who can forget Michael Jackson's hair on fire (even if you're too young to remember it)? MTV even devoted a half-hour special to its creation.

What did I forget? Remind me in the comments. 

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart