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Fantastic TV ads through the years

September 22, 2015

Written by Fantastic Media

Today marks the 60th Anniversary of ITV broadcasting in the UK, which also marks 60 years since the first TV ad ran.

The United States led the way in terms of using Television as an advertising medium, with the first official paid for ad for Bulova watches running in July 1941 before a baseball game. That ad cost between $4 and $9, a far cry from the $4.5m for a 30 second spot in 2015 SuperBowl.

The first ad to air in the UK was on 22nd September 1955 at 8:12pm for Gibbs SR toothpaste and since then TV advertising has seen some amazing creative ideas as well as technical innovation.

Despite the growth in digital, TV remains a buoyant channel. eMarketers 2015 report on the spread of advertising spend shows 3.2% rise in TV to £4bn. To mark this event, the team at Fantastic Media have picked out some of our favourite ads that have helped shaped our interest in marketing and advertising over the years.

We’ll be adding to this page during the day so please come back and tell us through social media about your favourite TV ads. 


“Accrington Stanley, who are they?”

One of the things that makes TV such a great medium is the ability to create memories that last a lifetime. Any child of the 80’s will remember this ad, more so if you were a football mad Liverpool fan like me. Even to this day on Final Score I still look out to see how Accrington Stanley got on…

Barry Holder – Operations Director


Pepsi 2010 World Cup ad

One that sticks with me is the Pepsi 2010 World Cup ad, I think it captured the true spirit of the host country and tournament. 

Beth Saville – Senior Account Manager


T-Mobile – Welcome Back

This T-Mobile advert was emotional and attention grabbing. It is one of the best examples of when looking at marketing actions that went viral.

Ollie Schofield – Account Manager


The first advert that pops into my head is the Budweiser one

Carl Smith – Senior Developer

Compare the Meerkat

A great way of engaging viewers as the adverts portray storylines of the Meerkats lives, helping us to become attached to the brand. Also, they are extremely cute! 

Laura Nicoll – Account Executive


Nike World Cup – France 98

Got to be Nike’s 98 World Cup ad – the original Ronaldo was such a huge star at this World Cup.

Miles Thorp – Head of Digital


Taco Bell – Routine Republic

Brilliant use of other companies brand to show Taco Bell in a bright light, damaging your competitors while highlighting how your company stands off.    All while not actually mentioning the competitor…

Mark Chodacki – Designer

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