The best adverts of the 1970s

Cresta/Jill Posener/Hovis/Apple
(Image credit: Cresta/Jill Posener/Hovis/Apple)

A competitive and creative decade in advertising, the 1970s was an era when talented copywriters, photographers and directors could shine, whether on the pages of magazines or on TV – particularly as TVs were increasingly commonplace in homes and colour was outpacing black-and-white. 

The 1970s saw ads refocus to become consumer-centric over product-centric. Advertising began to show more cultural and social awareness – though sexism was still rife. Brands increasingly used comparison tactics in campaigns, much of which was reigned in as new regulations came into play. Audio branding saw success, jingles came into their own, with humorous campaigns abound and punchlines a plenty.

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Antonia Wilson
Freelance writer and editor

Antonia Wilson is a freelance writer and editor. Previous roles have included travel reporter for the Guardian, and staff writer for Creative Review magazine, alongside writing for The Observer, National Geographic Traveller, Essentialist and Eco-Age, among others. She has also been a freelance editor for Vogue and Google, and works with a variety of global and emerging brands on sustainability messaging and other copywriting and editing projects — from Ugg and Ferragamo to Microsoft and Tate Galleries.