Ignite your curiosity

The White Clarke Creative blog – a place to be inspired

The adverts that hide in the corner of your memory

What is the power of memory, and how can it play a role in building brand awareness?

Marketing has changed substantially from what it was a couple of decades ago, even a few years ago. With technology, internet and open access to so much content, the way the world interacts and communicates is changing every day.

So what is the best way to build a new brand or sustain an existing one? One thing’s for sure – no matter what you do to a brand and how much it might evolve, there are some brands and some adverts that are so iconic that you can’t forget them.

Deciding whether to build upon a successful campaign or take a different direction can make or break a brand. Reassuringly familiar messages can have a powerful nostalgic draw for an older audience or enable a brand to reach a whole new younger audience with a strong, confident message for those who don’t remember the original.

As a creative agency, it’s important to understand the power of memory and the role it plays in building brand awareness. Of course, what is memorable to one person may not be to another as memory is shaped by our individual experiences, situations, emotions and personality.

We are all different, and we all see things differently. Understanding this highlights the importance of understanding your audience, another key factor that plays a huge part in any creative campaign at White Clarke Creative.


Do you remember a TV or radio ad from your childhood that you can still recite, a magazine advert that shifted your perception or that social media campaign last week that really made you laugh? We asked our team to share the marketing campaigns that stayed with them – here are the responses from our team, what’s your favourite?



The one that springs to my mind instantly is the 1989 Milky Way advert that I can still sing the whole song to “The red car and the blue car had a race… “ EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.



0891 Chatback

Utter nonsense. Never called it, obvs, but it’s lodged in my brain forever. Something about catchy phone numbers, I suppose? I can still remember the Live & Kicking number, and the Big Breakfast number. And their address!



Sun Pat Peanut butter!

“Our son Pat, he’s a bit nifty with a bat, Hh can run in a circle, as fast as a cat! With 93% peanuts, he likes a bit of this, like a bit of that.”



There’s just so many from a long time ago!

  1. For mash get Smash
  2. The Esso sign means happy motoring
  3. Esso – Put a tiger in your tank
  4. A finger of Fudge is just enough
  5. Mars helps you work rest and play



  • Audi 100 quattro c. 1984 as part of a series of ads that turned Audi into the brand it is today, and tonally just brilliant….
  • And any of the DDB ads for VW from the 60’s (before my time of course!) creating a message of durability and reliability that has continued through to today. Simple, single minded, consistent, tonally understated yet superior, I love them! See Snowplough TV advert at or the beautifully understated press ads like Lemon.



The legendary JCC Sugar Puffs advert



Don’t remember the actual advert, just the song/slogan…

  • Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles TV ad –  ‘Gotta chew, gotta chew, gotta chew, gotta chew… well the only thing that you can really do, with a Rowntrees Fruit Pastille is chew.’
  • Plus the VW TV ad for golf back in the 80s (maybe a series of ads) – ‘If only everything in life was a reliable as a Volkswagen’



That is easy. Birds Eye Pizza 1979ish – “That’s handy Harry, pop ‘em in the oven” 😊



The Smash adverts with the aliens, the Caramel Bunny and of course the infamous Flake in the bath ad!



‘Look out look out there’s a Humphrey about’ which was for milk. I liked the straws, I remember them with hats on?

‘I’m a secret lemonade drinker (R Whites lemonade)’. We didn’t get a lot of lemonade, it was squash or nothing so I liked the idea of being a secret lemonade drinker!

‘Of course you can Malcolm’ (Vicks Sinex) – don’t know why it was just one of those very memorable adverts.



The Adverts first nationwide tour was with Stiff labelmates the Damned. The tour poster read: “The Adverts know one chord, the Damned know three.”



Mine would be a dairy milk ad, where a girl runs into a cricket ground dancing around



Surely it has to be that Coca Cola advert (the idealistic young people who would like to teach the world to sing). We had the New Seekers record (vinyl).

It was so iconic, it was used as the culmination of Madmen.



Appletise – The less, the more.


If you’re interested in this, take a look at our views on the M&S relaunch of their “It’s not just food” campaign which was a clever take on nostalgia marketing…

More than just another creative agency