Television has introduced us to many flavors of ice cream over the years.
Long before modern celebrities Kendall Jenner and Rachel Bilson filmed their first bites of icy Belgian chocolate-covered treats, there were cunning advertisers luring us toward the sweet side of the freezer aisle in various ways.
Here are 10 of our favorite frosty TV spots, for all sorts of reasons:
American Dairy Association
For all the whimsy of this seemingly innocuous industry spot from 1963, there is a subtle undercurrent of social revolution as well. Self-fulfillment was a big thing for the baby boomers, whose postwar appetites exceeded the simple necessities embraced by earlier generations. “Why not have a fling?” the announcer says, nudging young Rudolph into trying new things. He’s talking about ice cream flavors, of course. But the implications are much larger.
This 1966 spot for Baskin Robbins has so much going for it: It’s voiced by legendary announcer Don Pardo, for one, and drawn by Mike Salisbury, the guy who later went on to create the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. Watch out for the fudge!
The best part of this cartoonish spot is, of course, the catchy ragtime tune: Dig in and do it!
Jumping through random hoops for a simple dessert sure seems silly, but the way this guy is able to pull off multiple variations of primate noises is impressive nonetheless. The guy clearly deserves something for his effort.
Ice Cream Cones Cereal
How decadent and depraved were the 1980s? The mere existence of a breakfast cereal shaped and flavored like ice cream cones suggests a very high level indeed. Brooklyn kindergarteners choking down their kale chips have an all-new reason to whine.
Butterfinger Ice Cream Nuggets
We’re suckers for anything that animated rascal Bart Simpson is selling.
OK, this really has nothing to do with the ice cream. It’s just good social commentary.
In France, it seems, frozen-dessert marketing is a little more risqué.
Leave it to a company that shares its name with a line of prophylactics to up the innuendo even more.
This ad, well, it’s just plain weird.