Overall, I am incredibly tired of commercials. They have gotten so stupid lately. Actually, let me rephrase that — they have always been dumb. But the creativity has taken a dive the last several years. Every now and then, however, you run across a commercial that either makes you bust out laughing, or leaves you with a stunned — quois? — as you contemplate what just happened.

My first memory of a memorable TV commercial is from 1999.

For years, the commercials in Sweden had sucked. I mean, some were exceptionally bad. I swear 90% of the ads were trying to sell laundry detergent, diapers, tooth paste, or various feminine products. Then, Iprenmannen (The Ipren Man) came.

“Hmm, we need to create a TV commercial for our new super pain killer. How can we sell it most effectively?”
“We should have a short guy in the ad … dressed up … as the pill … playing and singing …”
“Eh, are you sure about that?”

But it truly worked! That ad was incredibly successful. Everyone was humming the tunes to the song. The Ipren Man himself was selected as Swede of the Year (well, not quite … but awfully close!) … External Link

“I am Ipren, the intelligent pain tablet. Against pain and fever, I am one effective one. Pain relieving, fever suppressing, yes, Ipren is simply intelligent. I have anti-inflammatory properties. Good against muscle pain, back pain, and joint pain. A 400mg Ipren usually works better than two non-prescription tablets with Paracetamol¹, such as Alvedon, against menstrual cramp, headache, and toothache. I am Ipren intelligent pain tablet …”

Today, I was listening to the Swedish radio station Rix FM. Usually, the radio commercials are just as boring as TV ads. However, today there was a short ad I found really funny.

“If you buy a McDonald’s cheeseburger for only $1, instead of buying a $100 million jet, you save $99,999,999. For the money that is left over, you could always buy a mansion on the French Riviera and just … sit there.
McDonald’s cheeseburger — no big deal.”

Clever, and fun.

Have you watched or listened to any memorable commercials recently? Or can you recall a funny/clever one from the past?

¹ Acetaminophen in the United States.


“If people aren’t going to talk about your product, then it’s not good enough.”
Jeffrey Kalmikoff (1979–)

“You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.”
Norman Douglas (1868–1952)

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