Cadbury's gorilla-2


Throwback Thursday: ads of the noughties

Wow. Well, here we are: the end of our #TBT series looking at the good, bad and, quite often, ugly ads of the last 60 years. We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling pretty emotional. And now it’s the turn of the noughties – the sort of in-between era that didn’t have a proper name, that festered in the 90s for a bit too long, that saw the internet ‘strengthening its grip on Western society’ (that last quote came from a particularly sensationalist section of the 2000s Wikipedia page, not us). To celebrate its very existence, we’re looking at some classic ads of the noughties, including one by Reebok that genuinely still haunts us every time we try to go running. Stress on the words ‘try to’.

Cadbury’s: Phil Collins

Have you ever seen a gorilla more totally engrossed in the music? It’s almost as if he’s been waiting for this moment for all his life… This ad made waves with its cheekily long intro and uncanny Phil Collins drumming style.

Sony: bouncing balls

Watching this ad kind of makes you feel like an idiot. You shouldn’t be so impressed by thousands of bouncy balls making their way down a hill, should you? And yet you are. Maybe it’s something to do with that José González chap – he probably has hypno-acoustic powers or something.

Honda: the cog

We’ve all seen it hundreds of times, but there’s still something a bit tense about this advert. What if something goes wrong? They’ll have to set it all up again – that’s going to take hours. And the oil has probably got everywhere. Nightmare. Anyway, it might have taken seven months and cost £1 million to make, but it was certainly worth it for all the hype.

Reebok: belly

Oh, cripes. Genuine horror, which only intensifies when you read the YouTube comment about it looking a bit like a bum. Vom.

Orange: Snoop Dogg

These light-hearted ads elicited a pre-film titter from audiences nationwide for years. What fun we had! This one’s a particular gem:

‘Now, listen, housies–’


Carlsberg: flatmates

Just to prove that portrayals of a chauvinist utopia didn’t actually end in the 80s like we’d all thought, here’s another gem from Carlsberg. Bloody lads.

Phones 4u: conchords

Seriously, though: when did this happen? Do you remember this happening? Bret and Jermaine obviously aren’t as funny as they usually are because they’re having to sing about Phones 4 U, but it has its moments.

John Lewis: the first Christmas ad

This is where the John Lewis Christmas ad tradition began. It was one year before they discovered acoustic covers of rock songs, but still knew how to make everyone feel pretty darn festive.

T-Mobile: Liverpool Street station

Challenge: watch this and don’t feel like getting on down. There’s something about spontaneous singing and dancing that just makes us want to shake our groove things. So sue us.

Chanel: No. 5 – the film

Was it advertising? Was it branded content? Either way, it was a frankly ridiculous $42 million project for a 180-second extended commercial. There’s lots of heavy breathing and the credits take up a third of the running time. Money well spent.

So there we have it, folks. The last sixty years of adverts all rounded up. Stay tuned for our upcoming series – one entitled #TransformationTuesday and the other ‘Digital Natives demos’. We’ll leave it as vague as that.