The 1990’s was a decade of optimism. The world was rapidly changing, signaled by rapid technological advances and the impact that the internet had on culture, society, and relationships. However, the 1990’s still had an air of simplicity that can be seen in pop culture from the decade, especially television commercials. Because streaming services like Netflix and Hulu were still years in the making and cable TV was the norm, the commercials we saw on TV were infectious. The catchy jingles stuck with us, we recreated scenes from the ads with our friends at school. Today we’re embracing that nostalgia and looking at some of the most memorable commercials from the 90’s.
10. Duracell Batteries- The Puttermans
The Puttermans were certainly memorable. They were a family of plastic, latex robots appearing in a series of commercials for Duracell batteries. Commercials of the era were unique, distinctive, and creative, but at times they could be downright creepy. The Puttermans all had large duracell batteries in their backs and most of the ads featured them outliving other plastic robots who possessed generic batteries instead. Between the strange character design, the odd situations in which the robots they encounter meet their fates, and the Puttermans’ unsettling human-like movement, we won’t be forgetting this family anytime soon.
9. Betty Crocker - Gushers
Here’s another mildly terrifying one that certainly haunted the dreams of plenty of 90’s kids. It was simple enough: a kid pops a Gusher into their mouth and their head turns into a gigantic piece of fruit. But there was something undeniably creepy about the 90’s animation of it and realistically animated human eyes on giant pieces of fruit.
8. Budweiser - Wassup
This one is possibly the most iconic commercial of the decade. If you haven’t seen the commercial itself, you’ve almost certainly seen it parodied before. In the ad, friends on the phone ask each other “whasssuppppp?” and it really is as simple as that. It’s simple, it’s funny, and it quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. It’s been parodied and featured in Scary Movie, the Office, and The Simpsons just to name a few.
7. Pepsi - Cindy Crawford
Another one of the most iconic commercials of the 90’s and possibly one of the most iconic ads of all time is the 1992 Cindy Crawford Pepsi commercial. The ad features the beautiful Crawford, complete with the most quintessential 90’s supermodel hair, downing a can of Pepsi in the most glamorous way. Two boys watch in awe, only to find they’re marveling at the sleek new Pepsi can. Everything about this screams early 90’s but represents some of the glamour of the time.
6. Fruit Stripe Gum - 1991
This commercial also screams early 90’s but in more of a chaotic way. So many 90’s commercials were marketing towards children and featured infectiously catchy jingles, strange alien cameos, and distinctively 90’s animation. This one sums up some of the most chaotic and creative 90’s children's commercials.
5. Barbie - Rappin’ Rockin’ Barbie
Rappin’ rockin’ Barbie exemplified what it meant to be cool in 1992. She rapped, wore the most “happenin clothes”, and carried a boombox. What’s not to like? The commercial gives us major nostalgia for those early days of 90’s rap.
4. Bagel Bites - 1996
Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime. Possibly the catchiest jingle of the decade and one that we won’t be getting out of our heads anytime soon. This is another simple one that’s the perfect example of what makes a good 90’s commercial: simple, catchy, and fun.
3. Socker Boppers - 1997
More fun than a pillow fight! That’s what this catchy jingle promised, and this toy was as straightforward as you could find: blow up the balloon bags, put your hands inside the holes, and go to town fighting your siblings and friends. It’s that kind of laid-back simple idea that makes us nostalgic for the days of pillow fights and Socker Boppers.
2. Connect Four - 1992
This one is an absolute classic. Between the creative “go for it” jingle and the sassy anthropomorphized discs, this is a wholesome trip down memory road for so many 90’s kids. This was the ultimate Saturday morning cartoon commercial and it brings back memories of a simpler time for so many of us.
1. Mentos - The Fresh Maker (1994)
The most stereotypical 90’s commercial set in the most stereotypical 90’s mall. A taste of simpler times. The days of being a wacky teen hiding from your mom at the mall so that you can hang out with your cool friends. So many 90’s commercials had absolutely nothing to do with the product being advertised and I still have no idea how this relates to mints but it’s an absolute gem of a commercial.