10 Funniest Commercials of All Time

Budweiser, "Whassup?" (1999)5

Click to view. Another campaign that would light up the culture, "Whassup?" featured Charles Stone III and his buddies groaning and bellowing the catchphrase at each other over and over. Simple, infectious, and hilarious, it originated as a short film before DDB got Stone and friends to remake it as a commercial. Before long, it seemed everyone in America, Budweiser drinkers or not, was parroting the phrase, while Stone was picking up multiple ad awards.

Reebok, "Terry Tate" (2003)4

Click to view. Slapstick violence livened up a familiar comic outpost—the drab corporate office—in this Super Bowl spot for Reebok starring Lester Speight as Terry Tate, a linebacker who thrives by viciously tackling colleagues when they mess up. It was conceived by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who made Tate a master of the one-liners. After flattening one worker who poured the last cup of coffee, he screamed, "You kill the joe, you make some mo!"

Cadbury, "Gorilla" (2007)3

Click to view. An animal spot with a twist. A gorilla is transported into a state of solemn euphoria by the Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight." But the beast is just gearing up. As the song reaches the drum solo, he ferociously leaps into action, pounding his drum kit with the kind of emotion only iconic '80s music can evoke. Preposterous, wonderful, and weird, the Fallon ad gave Cadbury's advertising new life. And it got the song back on the charts, too.

Wendy's, "Where's the Beef?" (1984)2

Click to view. Grumpy old people and mild suggestiveness—comic staples on their own, they worked even better together in this legendary spot. The diminutive and inimitable Clara Peller, 81 at the time, created a cultural movement just by swiveling her head back and forth, looking bewildered and barking the catchphrase. Created by writer Cliff Freeman, art director Donna Weinheim and director Joe Sedelmaier for agency Dancer Fitzgerald Sample.

John West Salmon, "Bear" (2000)1

Click to view. Animals and blows to the crotch—two more mainstays of advertising comedy, combined to great effect in this British ad for canned salmon by Leo Burnett. What begins as a nature documentary about bears fishing for salmon is interrupted by a John West fisherman running and screaming into the scene, determined to fight the bears for the best fish. And fight them he does, giving one a serious kick to the grizzlies.

Get the The AdFreak Daily newsletter:

Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox for a confirmation email.

Topics: Lists

Sign up for AdFreak Newsletters

About AdFreak

AdFreak is a daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd.

Click to Subscribe to AdFreak RSS