Classic TV ads


We’re suckers for a good ad. There’s just something so charming about a sock puppet attempting to sell us tea, or a space alien made of old pans trying to make us buy mashed potato. Here are some of the classic ads we can’t help but adore. 




The Honey Monster 

We'll never forget that big yellow face.

We’re still not sure how to feel about The Honey Monster. On the one hand he’s all yellow and cuddly. On the other he’s a monster. Sometimes he brings us cereal. Other times he performs improvised rap on a dimly lit stage. We’re so confused! But one thing’s for sure – we’ll never forget that big yellow face.

Captain Birdseye 

A staple of our childhood.

The late John Hewer, who died recently, played the salty old seadog from 1967-1998. He was a staple of our childhood, but the good Captain had a dark secret… He actually didn’t like fish fingers at all! 

Bertie Bassett 

Britains favourite asset.

Good old Bertie Bassett – he’s Britain’s favourite asset! Sometimes we wish our friends were made out of sweets… Especially if they didn’t mind us breaking bits off for an after lunch snack!

The ITV Monkey 

The ITV monkey was picked up by PG Tips to promote their tea.

The ITV Monkey has had quite the crazy career. After he made waves by starring in a series of adverts with the lovable lump Johnny Vegas, he was picked up by PG Tips to promote their tea. That’s quite good going for a sock puppet!

PG Tips monkeys 

PG Tips used chimps to advertise its tea from 1957 to 2002.

We’re big fans of cute little chimps dressed as people. And luckily for us, from 1957 until 2002, PG Tips used chimpanzees to advertise its tea. The PG Tips chimps are now in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running advertising campaign ever.

Milk Tray man 

And all because the lady loves...

And all because the lady loves… Oh, excuse us, we’d drifted off a little there. We tend to do that when chocolate is involved! The Milk Tray Man was a tough, James Bond-style action hero who would go through hell and high water to deliver a box of chocs. What a guy!

Tony the Tiger 

The face of Kelloggs Frosties since 1952.

What do we think about Tony the Tiger? He’s grrrrr-eat! The face of Kelloggs Frosties, Tony the cereal-loving Tiger has been on the air since 1952. That’s a long time!

Churchill the Bulldog 

Voiced by Vic Reeves until he was caught drink driving.

We bet you don’t know this… The voice of Churchill the insurance-selling dog used to be none other than… drum roll… Vic Reeves! Unfortunately Vic lost the job after getting caught drink driving. Oh nooo… 

Flat Eric 

Made by Muppet creator Jim Henson, Flat Eric was an extra in The Office.

Flat Eric was actually made by Jim Henson – the creator of The Muppets. After being dropped by Levi’s marketing department, Flat Eric returned to our screens as an extra in Ricky Gervais’ award-winning show The Office. See if you can spot him next time you see the David Brent dance! 

Shake 'n' Vac 

One of the most-loved TV ads in UK history.

Featuring actress Jenny Logan, the Shake ‘n’ Vac advert has been consistently voted one of the most-loved TV ads in UK history. And it’s easy to see why. That catchphrase has been in our heads for years and years… 

Smash Aliens 

We love them almost as much as The Clangers.

What’s not to love about a spaceship full of alien puppet robots made of rusty old woks and string? We love these guys almost as much as The Clangers – even if their bizarre powdered mashed potato was a little on the strange side.

Leonard Rossiter - Cinzano 

Rising Damp star - Leonard Rossiter.

These legendary adverts featured two of Britain’s favourite ever actors: Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins. The tongue-in-cheek ads always involved the pair encountering each other on a plane or some other well-heeled exotic clime, with the Rising Damp star accidentally tipping vermouth in La Collins lap. Comedy gold.

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