Advert Nostalgia: Remember These Iconic Ads From The 2000s?

That Cadbury one, though. Incredible scenes.

Everywhere we turn, there’s a hefty dose of nostalgia to be had – whether it’s through the sampling of 80s and 90s hits dominating the charts, fashion’s Y2K revival or the reimagining of some of our favourite movies (especially Disney classics) for a new generation.

But one thing we didn’t have on our 2023 bingo cards when it comes to things we’d feel nostalgic about? TV adverts.

They’re not necessarily the first thing you think about when harking back to yesteryear, but the unearthing of vintage adverts from the 2000s (and even 2010s) has claimed its own space on TikTok recently – and we’re lapping it up.

Although TV ads may only last for 60 seconds, they’re broadcast into our living rooms a number of times during their life cycle (sometimes a little too often). With less than a minute to grab our attention, every second counts, whether it’s the music, storyline, graphics or characters that star in them.

And while you might’ve forgotten what on earth they were selling in the first place, chances are seeing these again will transport you back to where you were when they originally aired.

Whenever I was at my nan’s house (which was a lot as a child), we’d spend every evening watching TV together. I can’t hear the quirky, operatic song from the 2007 Lloyds TSB ’For The Journey’ advert without thinking about my nan trying to imitate it herself (she wasn’t successful, btw).

“When life was much simpler,” one user commented under the advert’s TikTok revival. “Strange that it hasn’t aired in 15 years yet I remember it vividly,” said another.

To take you all the way back, here are 10 more of those 2000s/10s adverts that we just know you’ll remember.

1. ‘Cake’ by Škoda (2007)

An absolute classic, especially because of its pairing with Julie Andrews’ My Favourite Things (aka that The Sound of Music song).

Promoting the second generation of the manufacturer’s Fabia supermini car, the innovative ad won an award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and yes, the cake was actually real.

(Although because it had been sitting under hot studio lighting for four days, it was deemed inedible and composted. We bet it would’ve tasted amazing, though.)

2. ‘Bingo’ by Specsavers (2013)

The frantic aerobic instructor. The LMFAO track. The hip thrusting grannies. This one speaks for itself.

3. Cillit Bang (2005)

Who can forget the chilling yell of “HI, I’M BARRY SCOTT!” that soundtracked TV in the 2000s? Well, sorry to break it to you, but Barry isn’t actually a cleaning expert or even a real person – his name is Neil Burgess and he’s an actor.

The brand killed the shouty character off a few years back now, but whenever I see a bottle of Cillit Bang I can’t help but replay the iconic quote from Natasha Hamilton on Celebrity Big Brother in my head: “YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOUT!”

4. ‘Glide With Us’ by Barclaycard (2008)

Before he featured in the likes of Gavin & Stacey and Bridgerton, actor Robert Wilfort lived my childhood dream (and skewed what I thought working in an office would really be like) by riding the massive waterslide in this viral Barclaycard ad.

The intention was to promote how seamless contactless payments were and to encourage more of us to make them (imagine having to actually promote contactless payments).

5. ‘Marbles’ by Petits Filous (2005)

Looking back, we know that the media’s portrayal and treatment of women in the 2000s was generally awful. But there’s one exception: the Petits Filous arm-wrestling girlboss.

6. ‘Eyebrows’ by Cadbury (2009)

Talented. Brilliant. Incredible. Amazing. Show-stopping. Spectacular. Never The Same. Totally Unique. Completely Not Ever Been Done Before. Yes, those might be the words of Lady Gaga, but they also apply to this historic Cadbury ad (which was the follow-up to their iconic Gorilla advert of 2007).

The clip amassed millions of views online, was voted one of the best adverts of the decade by ITV, and was spoofed by none other than Alan Carr and Lily Allen on The Sunday Night Project. Incredible.

7. Lelli Kelly (2010)

Those shoes. Those flip phone makeup cases. That song. Guaranteed if you were a little girl in 2010, you wanted a pair of these. (Side note: how the hell did they cost up to £48 in 2010?!)

8. ‘Crusha Kittens’ by Crusha (2003)

Mmmmm, who remembers sugary milkshake mixers? This is probably the cheapest advert ever made: the team behind it had Windows MovieMaker, a guy with a Northern accent, an accordion and a dream.

Weird fact: this ad was actually banned from television for a period because someone tried to recreate it with real cats.

9. ‘Yop Me Mama’ by Yop (2004)

Continuing the milky drink theme, this rendition of Eddy Grant’s Gimme Hope Jo’anna is permanently etched into my memory. The editing of the teenagers’ distorted mouths and the gag with the mum at the end deserved Oscars, Emmys, BAFTAs, you name it.

10. ‘Flext’ by T-Mobile (2006)

A few years later, here’s another example of a song being used perfectly in an advert. British folk singer Vashti Bunyan was relatively unknown when she released Diamond Day back in 1970, but the song’s inclusion in this advert helped in her journey to becoming a cult hero. Someone on TikTok perfectly summed this one up: “Weirdly comforting.”


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