Name That Ad: Can You ID These 19 Classic Slogans and Jingles?

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Vintage photo of two children watching an old TV set in black and white
mike mols /

Those old-school commercial jingles and slogans could burrow into your brain more permanently than any algebra formula or state capital list ever could. So, why not embrace it?

Here’s a little quiz to see just how good you are at remembering those ads from the good old days. Are you a slogan smartypants, or did you spend all that TV time outdoors, healthily never watching a commercial in your life? (Even then, you may be surprised at what you picked up.)

For each slogan, identify the product it advertised, then click on to the next slide to see if you’re right. Keep track and give yourself a point for each correct answer — we’ll grade you at the end.

1. “Sorry, Charlie”

Charlie Brown stamp.
catwalker /

What product’s ad campaign popularized the phrase “Sorry, Charlie”? Hint: It has nothing to do with cartoon character Charlie Brown, though he was on TV around the same era as this commercial — think 1960s and ’70s.

a) Pepto-Bismol
b) StarKist Tuna
c) Willy Wonka Chocolates

Answer: b) StarKist Tuna

StarKist tuna in a can
dcwcreations /

Cultured undersea character Charlie the Tuna worked hard to demonstrate his good taste, but StarKist was looking for tuna that tasted good. Charlie was repeatedly rejected by StarKist with the apology, “Sorry, Charlie.”

Check out the iconic canned tuna ads here.

2. “Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible.”

Close-up of pine tree and cones.
Serenko Natalia /

a) Pine-Sol brand cleaner
b) Wheaties cereal
c) Grape-Nuts cereal

Answer: c) Grape-Nuts

Grape-Nuts cereal
The Image Party /

Naturalist Euell Gibbons hawked Grape Nuts (which are made with wheat and barley, not pine trees) with this somewhat nutty statement in a 1974 commercial. Here it is.

3. “The San Francisco Treat”

San Francisco
Pius Lee /

a) Rice-A-Roni
b) Shasta soft drinks
c) Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Answer: a) Rice-A-Roni

A box of Rice-A-Roni for sale at the grocery store
The Image Party /

Rice-A-Roni, a side dish named for its combination of pasta and rice, was created in 1958 by a San Francisco-based business then called the Golden Grain Macaroni Co. It was advertised to TV-viewing Americans as “The San Francisco Treat” from the 1960s on. Watch an old commercial here.

4. “Have it your way”

Young woman works in a fast food restaurant
Paul Vasarhelyi /

a) McDonald’s
b) Burger King
c) Wendy’s

Answer: b) Burger King

Jonathan Weiss /

“Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce …” In the 1970s, the chain tried to sell diners on the idea that “special orders don’t upset us.” It was a whole song, which you can listen to here.

5. “The Breakfast of Champions”

Maria Symchych /

a) Quaker Oats oatmeal
b) Eggo waffles
c) Wheaties cereal

Answer: c) Wheaties cereal

Wheaties cereal boxes on the shelf at the grocery store
Jeff Bukowski /

Famous athletes have decorated the boxes of this cereal as far back as 1934, when baseball superstar Lou Gehrig graced the growing brand with his visage. More recently, you might have seen NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.

6. “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing!”

Pop Paul-Catalin /

a) Chunky candy bars
b) Alka-Seltzer
c) McDonald’s Big Mac

Answer: b) Alka-Seltzer

Alka-Seltzer on the bathroom counter
APN Photography /

Other famed Alka-Seltzer slogans include “Plop plop, fizz fizz” and “That’s-a spicy meat-a-ball!

Watch the “whole thing” ad here. (Note: Most of us remember the phrase as “the whole thing,” but actor Milt Moss actually says “that.”)

7. “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”

Gagayear /

a) Chiffon margarine
b) Grecian Formula hair dye
c) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

Answer: a) Chiffon margarine

Marietjie /

When Mother Nature is fooled in the ad — because supposedly this margarine tasted just like real butter — she invokes thunder, lightning and sometimes a charging elephant. She warns: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

Watch one of the vintage ads here.

8. “Good to the last drop”

Bobex-73 /

a) Folgers
b) Maxwell House
c) Country Time lemonade

Answer: b) Maxwell House

Maxwell House coffee
Felipe Sanchez /

The slogan is even incorporated into the coffee’s logo, which shows that final drop falling from a coffee cup.

9. “They’re g-r-r-r-eat!”

dotshock /

a) Levi’s jeans
b) Fritos corn chips
c) Frosted Flakes

Answer: c) Frosted Flakes

Frosted Flakes
Eric Glenn /

Tony the Tiger is the mascot for this breakfast cereal, which was called Sugar Frosted Flakes until 1983, when the company dropped the word “sugar.”

10. “We wear short shorts”

Dmitrij Skorobogatov /

a) Nair
b) Gillette razors
c) Dockers clothing

Answer: a) Nair

Nair hair removal cream on the shelf at the grocery store
Jenari /

In one memorable ad for this hair remover, a group of women jump off diner stools and perform a kick line to show off their hair-free, short-shorts-wearing legs.

Watch that retro ad here.

11. “Tastes great!” “Less filling!”

Syda Productions /

a) Coors Light
b) Bud Light
c) Miller Lite

Answer: c) Miller Lite

Keith Homan /

The famous call-and-response ads featured a collection of famous athletes including pro football players Bubba Smith, Billy Martin, Deacon Jones and Dick Butkus, and other celebrities such as comedian Rodney Dangerfield, arguing over the reason for drinking Miller Lite. The idea of the ad campaign, which started in 1973, was to sell “Joe Six-Pack” on light beer, according to a Wikipedia article.

Watch one of them here.

12. “Where’s the beef?”

JMx Images /

a) McDonald’s
b) Wendy’s
c) Burger King

Answer: b) Wendy’s

BWM Infinity /

Clara Peller, the manicurist-turned-Wendy’s-spokeswoman who uttered the famous line after inspecting a competitor’s obviously tiny hamburger, was in her 80s when it made her famous.

Watch Peller’s famous ad here.

13. “Sometimes you feel like a nut … sometimes you don’t!”

Mixed nuts
George3973 /

a) Planters mixed nuts
b) Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars
c) Honey Nut Cheerios

Answer: b) Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars

Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars
Steve Cukrov /

Both bars had chocolate and coconut, but only one (guess which … ) had almonds.

Watch one of the ads here.

14. “Finger lickin’ good”

oatawa /

a) Kentucky Fried Chicken
b) Snickers candy bars
c) Duncan Hines cake mix

Answer: a) Kentucky Fried Chicken

Jonathan Weiss /

The company formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its official name to KFC in 1991. The famous phrase has been around since the 1950s, though at times KFC has stopped using it.

15. “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!”

Thumbs up
jamesteohart /

a) McDonald’s
b) Coca-Cola
c) Life cereal

Answer: c) Life cereal

Life cereal
Arne Beruldsen /

Oddly enough, “John” was the name of the “Mikey” who enjoyed eating the cereal “that’s supposed to be good for you” in the 1971 TV commercial — though those are his two real brothers with him, Tommy and … Mike.

Watch the commercial here.

16. “Two great tastes that taste great together.”

promsri /

a) Sprite
b) Vanilla Coke
c) Reese’s peanut butter cups

Answer: c) Reese’s peanut butter cups

mikeledray /

Usually uttered after two klutzy actors slam into each other, knocking one’s chocolate bar into the other’s peanut-butter jar.

“Hey, you got peanut butter on my chocolate!”

“You got chocolate in my peanut butter!”

And a product is born.

Watch the commercial here.

17. “Let your fingers do the walking”

rvlsoft /

a) Yellow Pages
b) Adidas shoes
c) Apple computer

Answer: a) Yellow Pages

Rob Hyrons /

You see, kids, in the old days, we couldn’t just Google the phone number of the nearest florist: We had to look it up in a 5-pound book full of the phone numbers for just about everyone in the area.

18. “When you care enough to send the very best”

MemoryMan /

a) U.S. Postal Service
b) Hallmark cards
c) FTD florist

Answer: b) Hallmark cards

Icatnews /

It’s been the Kansas City, Missouri-based greeting-card company’s motto since 1944.

19. “Think outside the bun”

artjazz /

a) Subway sandwiches
b) Papa John’s Pizza
c) Taco Bell

Answer: c) Taco Bell

Taco Bell
Ken Wolter /

Appealing to customers with the late-night munchies, “think outside the bun” ads attempted to lure customers from the competition, predominantly fast-food burger joints. Taco Bell takes its name from founder Glen Bell, who first tried a hamburger stand — which surprises many folks who assume the company just wanted a bell as a logo.

Scoring guide:

Casper1774 Studio /

19 correct: Congratulations, you really know your ads! Move over, Don Draper — there’s a new boss of Madison Avenue!
18-14 correct: Very good! Got a few old jingles stuck in your head, do you? Spoiler: They’ll never leave.
13-10 correct: Not bad! Your memory is still hanging in there, just like that old gob of gum on the bedpost.
9-5 correct: Um, let’s look on the bright side: You use your memory for other, more important things, like where you left your keys.
Fewer than 5 correct: What was it like being raised on a deserted island and never seeing a magazine, newspaper or TV set? Probably pretty cool.

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