As a teenager in the ‘90s I was highly influenced by any advertising on television mainly because I watched television every waking minute of my life. Some of the commercials were classic, genius ideas while others were so bad I’m still not sure what they were trying to sell. Let’s take a little trip back to the days of grunge and the OJ trial and look at some of the most memorable commercials of the ‘90s.
I always found this commercial creepy. First of all Peter starts huffing coffee grounds with a young girl that I assume is related to him in some way, then he pours a cup WAY TOO CLOSE to his face. In the meantime his family members start waking up to the aroma of coffee. They didn’t wake up when the cab pulled up in front of the house, or when the little girl ran down stairs screaming, but the smell of coffee did the trick! By the way, I think we can all agree that the saddest sentence is “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” That’s the best part of waking up for another day?
Fruit Stripe Gum
I’m not sure what exactly happened during this commercial but apparently Fruit Stripe Gum turns nerds into cool kids and is also loved by aliens? If you’ve ever had a piece of Fruit Stripe you know that it’s delicious for about 11 seconds and then it tastes like a melted shoe falling apart in your mouth. Great marketing for what has to be the cheapest gum ever made.
Why were Ring Pops so popular? It’s just a lollipop that you have to wear. As memorable as this commercial was, the most disturbing part was the marriage proposal from one ten year old to another. Are they actually engaged? Do their parents know what’s going on? This is illegal, isn’t it?
The guy talked fast and somehow that convinced us to buy these tiny cars. I admit I fell for it too. I thought, “Hey, if he’s got this much to say about them then I should definitely buy them all, right?” Of course like everyone else I would lose the mini-car after about 20 minutes and would never see it again.
My Buddy was basically a doll for boys so we’d grow up to be sensitive. He was cool though because he rocked overalls, a Fruit Stripe Gum-looking shirt, and a Dutch Boy painter’s hat. Kid Sister, the female version of My Buddy, came along later but her theme song was just a cheap rip-off of the My Buddy classic. If nothing else, My Buddy directly inspired the Child’s Play series.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PSA
This was my most memorable commercial as a kid. Let’s break this thing down. First off, nobody is going to walk up in the middle of a crowded hallway and pull out a bunch of joints. That’s insane. The drug dealer’s impression of a chicken is just way too elaborate and, I’m sorry, but the look of utter defeat on his face when Joey calls him a turkey is priceless. If you tried that with an actual drug dealer who had nothing to lose like this guy clearly did, he would stab you. Thanks, Donatello.
“No One Ever Said” PSA
These commercials probably should have freaked me out but instead they created some awkward moments for my parents. The reason why is that if you say “No one ever says I want to be a junkie when I grow up” in a commercial, what are smart-ass kids going to do? They’re going to start saying “I want to be a junkie when I grow up!” That’s what we did and I’m sure my parents were just thrilled.
Definitely the coolest commercial for the dumbest Nintendo product, the Power Glove was impractical and awkward to use, but who cares? It looked awesome! If that commercial wanted to be realistic he would have had to take out each game and blow in it for 8 minutes before they finally worked. I guess they had to edit for time, though. Understandable.
Eating a Slim Jim is how I would imagine a raccoon’s stomach lining tastes , but as soon as Randy Savage popped out and told me to eat one I was sold. Does anyone know the ingredients in a Slim Jim because there’s a good chance they were made out of human skin.
I always thought these commercials were a little rude. It’s bashing adults for giving what turns out to be sound advice. “The lunch lady puts gravy on everything.” Uh ok, awesome! She also says Bubble Tape isn’t part of a well balanced diet? Right again, lunch lady, it’s a strip of pure sugar and artificial ingredients. Take your rude attitude elsewhere. Bubble Tape.
Were those kids playing ping-pong in the ocean? I don’t know if you’ve ever had a glass of Sunny Delight but it is a nightmare. Sure it’s probably better for you than soda or whatever that purple stuff was but they pass on actual orange juice for Sunny D? Why have real oranges when you can have artificial oranges?
Gap did this weird series of commercials where attractive people would sit in a plain white room dressed exactly the same and sing emotionlessly. It worked apparently because we’re still talking about them today. By the way, if you watch closely at the end of this commercial you can see Rashida Jones from Parks & Recreation singing along in the front row.
When not asking ten weird questions of celebrities, Rob compiles The 25 Greatest Sitcom Theme Songs of All Time and The 10 Most Disturbing ‘Saved by the Bell’ Episodes.