Advertising in South Africa has come a long way and has made an indelible mark on the minds of so many people. Sometimes, you find yourself smiling when you remember an ad that you really love, and whenever it is aired, you can help but nod and sing along. Some of these South African TV adverts have entertained us, some have amused us, while a lot more of them have annoyed us even when we can’t seem to get them out of our heads. Even at times when some of these ads don’t appeal to us, we still can’t help but recognize that they are iconic and worthy of applause. Well, over the long history of adverts, some have been categorized as the best ads ever because they are more iconic than the others. So, we bring you a list of adverts that had you hooked at the time they were aired and the one that you just won’t mind seeing again.
Best 10 Iconic South African TV Adverts
10. Savannah AD – “If u hum it, I’ll play it!”
We begin with the Savannah AD as a countdown our top 10 best South African TV adverts was a funny clip which starts out with a guy sitting at a bar with his savanna drink, while the barman is singing some songs and playing the guitar with his eyes closed and then his monkey plays around a little, takes this man’s savanna and runs away. So the guy asks the barman: ”Do you know your monkey stole my savanna?” And the barman, thinking it’s a song title, replies – ”No, but if u hum it, I’ll play it!”
9. Farmer Brown – “They taste so good ‘cos they eat so good”
Sometimes it takes a bad ad to make the right impact. Just because an ad is bad does not mean it is not iconic or it has not achieved what the owner wants it to. Most people never really liked the ad for farmer brown and his chickens but to this day, if you ask someone to name a brand of retail chicken, Farmer Brown is the first name that comes to mind. This man was a visionary, advertising-free range before it even became a thing.
8. Cremora – “It’s not inside it’s on top”
Bill Flynn is quite the legend! The main reason that this ad makes the list is first because of the way it entered the South African lexicon and then there’s the fact that it really is very funny. It makes you want to taste Cremora.
7. MNET – Animal Ads
This classic will be remembered by most MNET viewers, as it was on some seriously high rotation for many years. The campaign had several incarnations, but this was the first one to hit the screens. It was a toss-up between this one and the singing sheep on top of the mountain, but as Buzz Aldrin will tell you, being first does win you a lot more fans.
6. StaSoft – Soft As A Mother’s Love
Okay, this ad made waves and caused a lot of rows for Stasoft because it relates its softness to the love a mother has for her child. “Things change over time. A mother’s love doesn’t”. That’s so touching.
5. Cadbury – Ape playing drums
Better than every other company, Cadbury does know how to turn up with unique ads that say unique things. So again, Cadbury scores the 5th place with The Cadbury Gorilla/Ape playing the drums. Now that was an amazing sight.
4. Coca-Cola – “It’s Brrrr On The Coke Side Of Life”
Coca-cola has had quite a lot of ads that are remarkable, so in the fourth place, we have our very own adored “It’s Brrrr On The Coke Side Of Life” advert. This advert may be old but it made quite the impact on its target market as everything became a Brrrr or Brrrr became the call name for anything ugly.
3. The Old “Oreo” Advert
Then we have the old Oreo advert where a little boy is sitting outside a house with his dog and he says to the dog; “I’m gonna show you how to eat an Oreo, first you twist it, then you lick it then you dunk it (in milk)…hmmm, Mom says that dogs shouldn’t eat biscuits so I’m gonna have to eat yours too, but you can have some of my milk”. It’s absolutely adorable how the little boy could express the sweetness of the biscuit dunked in milk, so this one is definitely a keeper.
2. The Heineken “Walk in Fridge” Advert
On the second spot and totally unforgettable is The Heineken Walk in Fridge AD, with the ladies going insane over the walk-in closet while the guys are going mad downstairs over the walk-in freezer with all that beer. It perfectly portrays what’s cool for guys and what’s cool for the ladies. What’s more, the screaming gets your attention even when you think you are too busy to watch.
1. Cadbury “Feel The Joy” Advert
On the number one spot of our top 10 South African TV adverts of all time is our most loved Cadbury Feel The Joy Advert. This Cadbury ad was made to capture ‘irrepressible joy’, it shows a story set in the womb where three unborn, singing and dancing bundles of joy perform The Soils’ can’t-help-but-feel-good “Joy (We Are Family)” in unison while their mother eats a Cadbury slab. This ad is particularly a must-see because of the little cuties, men and women alike adore this ad.