TV Commercials: Forever Embedded in your Brain

The first ever TV commercial aired in 1941 (Bulova watches) and they have increasingly plagued our TV viewing ever since. Advertisers spend millions of dollars making commercials in hope of better selling their products by getting you to remember their brand. So? Does it work? Do we remember their commercials and thus their associated products? The answer is YES! And some of them — are stuck in our heads for years!

It is estimated that on average, TV viewer’s will spend (waste?) over “4 years” of their lives — watching commercials! Today, TV commercials take up well over 40% per tuned-in programming and if you’re a TV watcher at all these days, this percentage has been on an ever-increasing all time high! As a result, many of us have cut our viewing time down drastically, or even, completely abandoned the Idiot box all together.

This because of the increasing costs from greedy providers and because today’s programming comes with continuous repetitive looping of nonsensical, invasive, and unwanted commercials. Add the availability of cheaper and commercial-free online streaming services like Netflix and such; and plain old overly commercialized television seems to be nearing the end of its time?


However, the seemingly death spiral of TV and all the reasoning why, are not our focus here today. Their Commercials are! More precisely, their old (and stuck in our heads) commercials are!

Whether you realize it or not, and depending on your age, you have a vast collection of old commercial jingles, slogans, catchphrases and songs tucked away in memory just waiting to be brought out. And bringing these deep-water memories to the surface again is what we will attempt to do today. And in the process, proving to you that YES! Commercial Ads really do work!  And some — work very well indeed!

Okay WOW! readers, let’s see how many old TV commercials you can still remember?

QUIZ #1 — TV slogans from 70’s and 80’s (40 and 50 years ago!)

(all answers at bottom of blog!)


    1) “Just do it” (first release 1988) — ?

    2) “Where’s the beef?” (1984) — ?

    3) “Let your fingers do the walking” (1970’s) — ?

    4) “Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.” (1970′)  — ?

    5) “How do you spell relief?” (1970’s) — ?


    6)Don’t leave home without it” (1975) — ?

    7) “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing”(1970’s) —?

    8) “Ancient Chinese Secret” (1970’s) — ?

    9) “You can pay me now, or pay me later” (1972) — ?



Okay? How’d you make out? Probably most of you (from my generation at least) recognized most of these commercial slogans. However pairing them up with the product was probably not as easy? Now here’s something strange — the older the commercial, I find the more memorable it seems when you’d think the opposite would be true?  Try these OLDER TV commercials out!



    10) “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” (1950’s)

    11) “Finger lickin’ good” (1950’s)

    12) “Breakfast of champions” (early 50’s)

    13) “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” — (1954)
    14) “Silly rabbit —(?) are for kids” —  (1959)


15) “Does She or Doesn’t She?” (late 1950’s)
16) “You’re Soaking In It” (1965)

Well? Did you find these older ones easier? Even though they are much older slogans from older commercials they’ve seemed to of better stuck in our heads. Why? Are they better slogans? More Catchy? Or perhaps because they come from our nostalgic youthful past? Either way, I find this a little scary don’t you? That advertisers can embed their products so deeply into our heads that we can still remember them some 60 years later!

And that was old school marketing! Just imagine with today’s new technologies and science know-how (brain science) what they are implanting in us today? YIKES! Now that’s scary!


Check out these 2 (Ad-short) memorable product songs of old. See if you can remember the words and sing along? I bet you can?



Elite Quiz Challenge

17) What Juice drink of the 1960’s were Astronauts promoting?
18) Name of the store manager (old guy) that gave you heck if he caught you squeezing the Charmin’s (Mr. ?)
19) The Lady (in the nail salon) who had you soaking your nails in dish soap?
20) The name of the clay animation group who sang the ad song “I heard it through the grapevine”(1980’s)?



Whether you aced my little trivia questionnaire’s or only managed a few correct answers is irrelevant (but fun, No?) The point is, advertising works! It sticks in our unconscious mind and sits there for (decades?) taking up space inside our brains. Space well-used for less trivial nonsense no doubt! It’s too late for us as you have seen but what about the young children who are just starting out making memories?

Should we be letting these marketers fill their heads with their unwanted messages? Their products, catchy slogans and songs with storied portrayals of beautiful and successful people that you too can be! That is — “if” you buy their products?

And today, they are much more efficient in embedding their messages than ever! Marketing Ad Agencies today use the very latest in brain science to find a way inside of your brain by using today’s advanced technologies combined with years of past experience. They are no-doubt at the top of their game.

But their goal still remains the same — using commercials to sneak inside of your mind and break down your resistance, triggering your impulses to buy. And as we have seen here today, although on a tiny proven scale, they can be — very successful indeed!


SLOGANS 70′ and 80’s — EASY

1) Nike
2) Wendy’s
3) Yellow Pages
4) Secret deodorant
5) Rolaids


6) American Express
7) Alka-Seltzer
8) Calgon Laundry Detergent
9) Fram Oil filters

SLOGANS FROM THE 50’s and 60’s — EASY

10) Timex watches
11) Kentucky Fried Chicken
12) Wheaties cereal
13) M & M’s candy
14) Trix cereal


15) Miss Clairol hair coloring
16) Palmolive dish soap


17) Tang
18) MR. Whipple
19) Madge
20) The California Raisins


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RELATED POSTS: — R.I.P.— The Dying of TelevisionThe Power of SongThe Troubling Power of Social Media






2 thoughts on “TV Commercials: Forever Embedded in your Brain

  1. Ones I couldn’t remember: Calgon; Fram; Trix; Miss Clairol; Palmolive; Madge; California Raisins.
    Remembered the others. My favorite: “Where’s the beef?” Reminds me of U.S. Prez candidate Walter Mondale using it against his Democratic rival Gary Hart in the 1984 elections (Mondale ended up with the nomination, but got trounced by Reagan.) And also, it’s true — Wendy’s does (or did last I ate there) use real beef instead of those processed patties McDonald’s uses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome Bill, you did pretty good! Some of those were way in the past. I remembered most of them too, but with some, couldn’t quite pull the answer from the old dusty memory bank. As for McDonalds? After they started bragging about 50 billion or whatever served, I stopped going there. I figured there weren’t enough cows in the world to sustain that number so what the hell were they serving in their burgers? Yes pure beef, but what parts of the cow are we talking here? And since they were selling them cheap it certainly wasn’t prime beef? Thanks for playing along Buddy. Rock on!


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