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40th Anniversary

The Most Memorable Advertisements Madison Avenue Ever Sold


9. “If It’s Out There, It’s in Here”
AGENCY: Chiat\Day\Mojo, New York, 1987

A series of simple, disparate images would appear on billboard ads for the NYNEX Yellow Pages—a bull and someone napping, a Matchbox truck held up by a fork—and a few weeks later, the pun would be revealed (bulldozer; forklift). The campaign in effect turned billboards into giant quizzes. “These were some of the first interactive advertising,” says Gerry Graf, chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi. “Made you look,” agrees Rosemarie Ryan, co-president of JWT New York. “They took something as mundane as the Yellow Pages and got people to engage.”

Click to Watch
CLIENT: Life Cereal
AGENCY: Doyle Dane Bernbach, 1973

Three young boys approach a new breakfast cereal with caution—it looks much healthier than the sugary stuff the’re used to. So the older two put young Mikey to the task, and you know what happens next. “He likes it!” “It works because of the conspiratorial nature of the brothers,” says the One Club CEO Mary Warlick. “They act like real kids.”


11. “Tap Project”
AGENCY: Droga5, 2007

A campaign to sell tap water in New York restaurants, to benefit UNICEF.

12.“Uncle Sam”
Click to Watch
CLIENT: Hebrew National
AGENCY: Scali, McCabe, Sloves, 1975

God as celebrity endorser.

13. “Hilltop”
Click to Watch
CLIENT: Coca-Cola
AGENCY: McCann-Erickson, 1971

Young, harmonizing hippies who love their Coca-Cola.

14. “I Want My MTV”
Click to Watch
AGENCY: Lois Pitts Gershon, 1982

The old Maypo line, repurposed for a rock rebellion.

15. Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvins
Click to Watch
CLIENT: Calvin Klein Jeans
AGENCY: CRK Advertising, 1981

Brooke Shields in tight pants.

16. “Dance Party”
Click to Watch
CLIENT: Nextel
AGENCY: TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, 2006

Office workers gyrate to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.”

17. “Training Camp”
Click to Watch
CLIENT: Little Caesar’s
AGENCY: Cliff Freeman & Partners, 1995

High-intensity training for Little Caesar’s delivery service.

18.“People Start Pollution. People Can Stop It.”
Click to Watch
CLIENT: Keep America Beautiful
AGENCY: Advertising Council/ Marsteller Inc., 1971

Liberal guilt, care of a tearful American Indian.

19.“Driving School”
Click to Watch
CLIENT: American Motors
AGENCY: Wells Rich Greene, 1969

Hapless driving students abuse AMC Rebels.

Click to Watch
CLIENT: Oscar Mayer
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson, 1977

A kid in overalls, bologna sandwich in hand. Singing the wiener song.

Compiled by Nick Parish


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