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Top 10 drinks TV adverts

The drinks industry has contributed its fair share of imaginative, inspiring and humorous adverts to the small screen over the years – but these are perhaps some of the most memorable.

From beer-stealing toucans and high-flying comedy to epic waves and hit tracks – these adverts each possess a unique charm which has earned them a spot in our top 10.

Scroll through to see some of the best ads for beers, wines and spirits over the last century…

Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

1950s – Guinness “Toucans” (1955)

Undoubtedly the maker of some of the the last century’s most memorable adverts, Guinness has long set the benchmark for quality advertisements. This vintage Guinness advert from the 1950s plays on a post-war era featuring dive-bombing toucans which steal glasses of Guinness from the RAF mess hall. This advert was the second to be adapted for the silver screen based on the Irish brewer’s popular poster adverts.

1970s – Cinzano Bianco – Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins (1978)

In 1979 Leonard Rossiter, an English actor best known for his role in the sitcom Rising Damp, became the face of Cinzano – an Italian brand of Vermouth – starring in a series of adverts for the brand alongside Joan Collins. This advert, in which the pair are seen sipping the herbal-infused fortified wine, was released in 1978 at a time when the world of aviation was still taking off, presenting the Italian aperitif as the height of luxury. Today, the Cinzano brand is owned by Gruppo Campari.

1980s – Martini Rossi Asti Spumante (1985)

With a catchy jingle sounding like something from a children’s TV show, this advertisement for Martini Asti was accompanied by a number of print adverts with the slogan “when you’ve got good taste it shows”. Made from the Moscato Bianco grape, Asti Spumante is a sweet, sparkling wine low in alcohol commonly produced in the southeastern Italian region of Piedmont, particularly in the town of Asti, unsurprisingly.

Cointreau – “Ice melts” (1980)

This memorable advert from the 1980’s is surely a contender for the decade’s cheesiest, and therein lies its charm.

Guinness – “The Surfer” (1999)

Perhaps one of the most famous TV adverts of all time – it is no surprise that it belongs to Guinness who set the bar for adverts to come with its now iconic Surfer advert. Released in 1999 the advert, initially released in the UK, features a Polynesian surfer taking on a gigantic wave. Shot in Hawaii over nine days and directed by Jonathan Glazer, the advert went on to win a host of awards and was voted the “Best ad of all time” by Channel 4 and The Sunday Times. The advert was inspired by Walter Crane’s 1893 painting Neptune’s Horses with its dialogue taking inspiration from Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick. The music featured is British band Leftfield’s track Phat Planet.

Budweiser – “Wassuppp” (2000)

Who can forget the familiar sound of “wassuuuppp” which rang out throughout the early 2000s thanks to this Budweiser advert. There was a time when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing someone shout the ubiquitous phrase, which was given even more prominence after a spoof of the phrase was included in the first Scary Movie film. 

Blossom Hill – “Welcome to Blossom Hill” (2009)

This mythical advertisement was created for Diageo’s Blossom Hill brand in 2009 directed by Vincent Ward. Released in the UK the advert features the song ‘Jungle Drum’ by Emiliana Torrini.

Guinness – “Rhythm of life” (2012)

This is another example of the calibre of adverts produced by Guinness over the years. Released in 2012, it features Sammy Davis Junior’s famous track the Rhythm of Life and shows three modern men take a trip back in time through the evolutionary cycle ending with the phrase “good things come to those who wait.”

Carlsberg – “The Crate Escape” (2012)

This 2012 advertisement saw Carlsberg present a humorous solution to one of man’s age-old dilemmas – what do you do when your girlfriend corners you with a trip to the spa? The result was a cleverly executed “Great Escape” style mission to the nearest bar.

Southern Comfort – “Whatever’s comfortable” (2012)

One of the more recent adverts in our round up, time will tell if Southern Comfort’s “Whatever’s Comfortable” ads will stand the test of time – but they certainly have the hallmarks of a memorable campaign. This simple “beach” advertisement features the song Hit or Miss by Odetta as the soundtrack to one man’s inspirational beach stroll.

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