Drinks adverts have long been one of the more creative sides of advertising, but some are just a cut above rest. Here are 8 of the best drinks ads in history
How do you turn a taste into a visual spectacle? It’s a question that has been at the forefront of the drink industry since it all began, and it’s led to some pretty innovative and creative efforts over the years. From memorable catchphrases to thoughtful concepts, the most iconic adverts have a way of sticking with us.
However, in an industry with plenty of variety it seems that the spirits have the upper edge. Some of the greatest adverts from the last century have come from brands like Guinness and Budweiser, and despite nearly a decade and a half of attempts there have been few to match them. Here are 8 of the greatest examples of advertising genius we could find.
How do you turn your biggest drawback into your biggest asset? Two words: reassuringly expensive. Stella Artois’ famous slogan put out the idea that a higher price meant something was better, and if the immense popularity of Stella is anything to go by then it worked. Alongside the slogan the ads were also known for their distinctive European cinema style, as well as the music (which drew from a popular film known as Jean de Florette). The Flower Seller was an instant success, and the first of a series of six award-winning adverts produced between 1991 and 2000.
Whasssuuuup? One of the most memorable sayings from the turn of the century, Budweiser single-handedly turned a greeting into a cult icon and pegged it to their drink. In an advert that’s more shouting than talking, a group of friends all phone each other to say hi and end up using the iconic greeting to get a hold of more and more people. Each whassup is more extreme than the last, with waggling tongues and expressions of glee all around. It didn’t feel like an advert, and by the time the parodies started flooding in, Budweiser’s website traffic had almost tripled as a result.
Though perhaps better known for spawning an entire generation of memes, the “most interesting man in the world” campaign propelled Dos Equis to international recognition. These adverts described a man who “once warned a psychic” and “won a staring contest against his own reflection” amongst other impressive actions, ending off each advert with “Stay thirsty, my friends.”
Leonard Rossiter, star of “Rising Damp” and “The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin”, was paired with Joan Collins in 1978 to become the face of Cinzano. This classic ad, in which the pair are sitting sipping the drink on a plane, was made whilst the aviation industry was just beginning to take off, giving the impression that this was a drink enjoyed in the lap of luxury.
There have been several Guinness adverts throughout the years worthy of a spot here, but I think we all know it was always going to be this one. Billed as one of the best adverts of all time, the “Surfer” ad shows Polynesian surfers riding alongside the ‘white horses’ of a massive wave, all set to a now-classic soundtrack by Leftfield. Simple but good, it won more awards than any other advert in 1999 and remains to this day one of the most memorable campaigns ever. All good things apparently do come to those who wait.
The Red Bull Stratos campaign is the perfect example of background advertising. The project sent skydiver Felix Baumgartner 24 miles into the stratosphere via a helium balloon, with him returning to Earth after 4 minutes of freefall at Mach 1.25. Not only were several records broken but the whole project had the Red Bull tag throughout, from the name itself to the decals on Baumgartner’s space suit. The stunt was also livestreamed, attracting 8 million concurrent viewers – the record before then had been 500,000.
Proud owners of perhaps some of the strongest Australian accents you’ll ever hear, the comedy duo of Brad and Dan have been giving advice to viewers since the ad campaign first took off in 2010. To this day a well timed g’day will still have the catchphrase “Good call” running through your head. As memorable as it was successful.
Yes, you read right, Budweiser takes not just one but two spots on the list. This one comes from the “Frogs” advert, in which three different frogs respectively croak “Bud”, “Weis” and “Er”. Originally shown in USA, it’s often listed as one of the best Super Bowl adverts in history, and has remained that way thanks to being both simple and impossible to forget.
This is only a tiny selection of some of the genius drinks ads gathering dust in the archives. If we’ve missed out your favourite then let us know!