In the 1970s, it’s safe to say that nearly every home in mainstream America had a TV.
Not only did they have a TV, but most households had those new-fangled color televisions as well!
It was fun for the entire family to gather around the tube and watch their favorite shows, even if there were only 3 major channels and perhaps a few UHF offerings as well.
Truly, television was entertaining in the 70s and most shows were still family-friendly. And just as entertaining as the shows were the commercials of the decade.
During the 70s, some of the most memorable commercials ever made were released. They included jingles and characters that became icons of the era. Here’s a list of some of the most unforgettable.
I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke – Coca-Cola brought us this wonderful 1971 commercial, which took place on a hilltop. It began with one singer performing the Coke version of “I’d like to Teach the World to Sing”. She was then joined by a mountain full of others of obviously different ethnicities. It was a nod to the hope for peace that was so prevalent in the beginning of the decade.
Mikey and Life Cereal – This popular commercial first aired in 1972 and featured three brothers mulling over three bowls of Life Cereal. Hesitant to try it because it was “healthy”, they get little Mikey to try it first. “Let’s get Mikey. He won’t eat it. He hates everything” became a line that was repeated over and over again in households around the country.
Big Mac Ingredients – The Big Mac was introduced to hamburger lovers in 1968, but in the early 70s, McDonald’s introduced a series of commercials that helped Americans remember what was in it, namely: 2 all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.
You Deserve a Break – McDonald’s “You Deserve a Break Today” commercials were also introduced during the 70s. The jingle was associated with the fast food chain for more than a decade.
Manly soap – Irish Spring soap came on the scene in 1972 and the maker, Colgate Palmolive, tried to convince the public that the fragrance of the soap was masculine enough for men but pretty enough for the ladies. They did this using the soon-to-be famous slogan, “Manly, yes – but I like it, too.”
Take Me Away! – During the 70s, many women still stayed home to tend the house and the kids while others went to work. Either way, they were overworked. Calgon wanted to appeal to the overwhelmed ladies of the world by enticing them to stop and take a bubble bath. In the commercials, the women proclaimed, “Calgon, take me away!” when they stepped into the bathtub.
Part of the Original Crowd – Towards the end of the decade, Dr. Pepper introduced a memorable commercial featuring a handsome young man singing a catchy tune. By the end of the commercial, half the town was following him. The catch line? “I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?”
Great Legs – Beauty Mist pantyhose proclaimed that their pantyhose made anyone’s legs look good, even football player, Joe Namath! The Jets star was reportedly paid tons to show off his sexy legs.
Don’t Leave Home Without ‘Em – In the 70s, American Express convinced Americans to carry traveler’s checks when they traveled, with the help of Streets of San Francisco star, Karl Malden, who admonished the audience with a now famous line – “Don’t leave home without ‘em.”
Lunchmeat – A little boy with a fishing pole became the ultimate spokesperson for Oscar Mayer with his famous “My Bologna has a first name” song, which ended with him spelling B-O-L-O-G-N-A.