May 15, 2017 Retro Ads 0


How Do Retro Ads Make You Feel?

When people look back at old TV and print ads they are usually filled with one of two emotions; nostalgia or chagrin. In some cases, they feel both. The ads of the 80s and 90s were usually over the top dramatic or uncomfortably awkward. Magazine pages were filled to the brim with glossy photos of mundane products, carefully crafted verbiage, and a hint of sleaziness that wreaked of cigars and bourbon.

In this blog series, we are going to cover some of the ads from the 80s and 90s we feel are deserving of admiration. Each blog post will cover a different ad from these eras. It will also contain a parody ad created by us here at Viral Side Media.

Got Milk?

The first ad we are going to tackle is one of the most famous campaigns in history! Got Milk? If you think I need to proof read this blog because of the tiny little blip of a sentence, then you are probably too young to remember this ad campaign. It is an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow’s milk, which was created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993.

The “got milk?” campaign started as a commercial in 1993. The commercial can be found on YouTube here ( and it about a man trying to answer a trivia question. The man knows the answer to question to be Aaron Burr and he tries desperately to say so, but alas… he had taken a bite of a PB&J and is unable to answer. He tries to drink milk to get the PB&J down so he can answer, but he can only look on in horror as his milk cartoon has run dry. As you probably have guessed, the ad ends with the words “got milk?” appearing on screen.




The ads that most people remember are probably the print ads that depicted milk mustaches on celebrities. As the campaign progressed, it became somewhat of a status symbol among the stars. If you were asked to do a milk ad it was a big deal and it meant you were a big deal.

Here we have a few of the original “got milk?” ads that feature celebrities wearing the iconic milk mustache.



There are hundreds of these ads. They are brilliant for many reasons, but the most obvious one is using world icons to reinforce their already instantly noticed brand image. Everyone has had a milk mustache at one point in time. The white of the milk mustache stands out in contrast to person wearing it. Add celebrities to that easily identified branding and you have made the perfect recipe for a viral campaign. The ads are very simple in the fact that they are literally just a celebrity posing. My guess is that the milk was added in post production. All they did from there was put in the quote that they probably wrote for the celebrity and their brand at the bottom.

In honor of this amazing ad campaign, we have created our own little parody of it. Using the only celebrity that would be caught dead in our parody campaign (our fluffy mascot Elvis) we reimagined their iconic campaign into our goofy version.


Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow. We have another retro ad we can’t wait to dive into!