Roseanne is the biggest sitcom on television right now and the Will & Grace revival is a hit. All that is missing from network TV today are nostalgic '90s commercials in between. Thankfully, that is where YouTube comes in to save the day.
It's no secret that people upload everything to YouTube, including their favorite commercials. There's even an entire channel called 80sCommericalVault, which posts reels of classic commercials from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Each collection is a virtual time machine to days gone by, when ad agencies relied on analogue technology and the burgeoning computer generated techniques to sell you stuff you probably did not need.
Here's a look at 10 great commercials from the 1990s. Prepare for a trip down memory lane.
Photo credit: YouTube
Dum Dums are more than a Halloween staple. Back in the 1990s, we even saw advertisements for them on TV. Here is one with an a cappella jingle that will get in your head and stay there. Some of the flavors are still available, while others have changed. The video is a mix of Pop Art and commercialism in 30 seconds.
The Band probably never thought "The Weight" would turn into a Diet Coke jingle when they recorded it. In this weird commercial, a model drives up to a dusty town and starts throwing out all her belongings from the car, including her jacket. Clearly she needed to lose "the weight" just so she could drink Diet Coke.
Cindy Crawford's 1992 Pepsi commercial is one of the most iconic of the decade, if not of all time. The spot is so ingrained in popular culture that Crawford re-created it for Super Bowl LII in February, with her son co-starring. In the original ad, two boys look over a fence, supposedly in awe over the then-new Pepsi can design. Pepsi logos have changed, but Crawford's popularity has not.
This commercial is practically a kaleidoscope of images and media, with live-action footage of kid mixed in with stop-motion, CGI and hand-drawn animation. The voice of the narrator should be familiar. It's Kath Soucie, the voice of Dexter's mother in Dexter's Laboratory. You can still buy Fruit Stripe gum in stores today.
An actor has to start somewhere. Long before he starred on Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul appeared in commercials, including this bizarre 1999 Kellogg's Corn Pops video. It looks like his parents are trying to have "The Talk" about the birds and the bees just before breakfast... and all Aaron wants to do is eat his Pops!
Even in the 1990s, advertisers knew how to play with nostalgia. This ad for Toys 'R' Us is evidence, showing the kids from a 1982 commercial all grown up in 1992. Oddly enough, the original 1982 commercial included a pre-fame Jaleel White, who decided not to take part 10 years later. Still Jenny Lewis, who started her career as a child actor long before becoming an indie rock star, was in both versions.
Sadly, with Toys 'R' Us is no more, with stores going out of business this year.
The Reese's Peanut Butter Cup campaign from the 1990s featured different people eating the candy in unique ways. This one features domino champion Charlie Armstrong and racecar driver Bill Elliott.
And here is another one with an optometrist and an "Amazing Brainiac."
This is one of those strange commercials (starring Meredith Monroe of Dawson's Creek fame) that does not make too much sense. So you went out and everyone saw your dress get ripped. Rather than feel embarrassed, you suck on a Mentos and suddenly have this brilliant idea to ruin the dress even more! It's a good thing she got the tear just right.
How can you convince parents to buy kids frozen pizza to eat for breakfast? Make it on a bagel! Pizza bagels are still a thing, although it is probably healthier to buy unfrozen bagels and ingredients for a pizza to make them fresh.
How can you make kids take their vitamins? Make them in the shape of characters from a 1960s animated sitcom! The Flintstones have been used to sell plenty of products, including vitamins and cereal. When the show originally aired, the Flintstones were used to sell Winston Cigarettes. Today, the Flintstones are used more often as pitchmen than stars of a TV show.