Classic cartoon characters bring with them a nostalgic feel that can appeal to a broad range of demographics. These 11 commercials showcase big brands that have leveraged some of the most well known animation characters to tap into several generations and add a light hearted touch to their message.

Das Flintstones!

Year: 2005
Client: VISA
Cartoon: The Flintstones

This commercial launched in Austria, so unless you know German the only word you can understand is ‘VISA’. Still, it is a great example of how diverse The Flintstones brand is!

Does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter R?

Year: 2010
Client: Geico
Creative Agency: The Martin Agency
Cartoon: Looney Tunes

Poor Elmer Fudd has always struggled with the letter ‘R’, and unfortunately for him the insurance company Geico developed this embarrassing spot.

Ladies of Classic Cartoons

Year: 2005
Client: Dove
Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Chicago
Cartoon: The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons

Wilma Flintstone, Velma and Jane Jetson team up for Dove haircare. Talk about Yabadabadoo!

A Demanding Dishwasher

Year: 2004
Client: Electrasol
Cartoon: The Jetsons

Janes husband George Jetson has a disagreement with his dishwasher who refuses to function without Electrasol

Cartoon Mash up!

Year: 2012
Client: Metlife
Creative Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Insurance agency Metlife went for a nostalgic feel with this commercial featured during the 2012 Superbowl. The aim was to take viewers back to their childhood with cartoons such as Peanuts, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Casper, The Jetsons and Richie Rich. In fact, over 75 characters featured in the 30 second spot which was a real treat for cartoon fans.

Also featured in 5 Commercials that use over 20 Iconic Characters

Hare Jordan

Year: 1993
Client: Nike
Creative Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Cartoon: Looney Tunes

This spot required 3,000 separate illustrations hand drawn but 25 artists and the live-action part of the ad was rehearsed with cutouts in place of the animated figures–which were added later. Arguably one of the most iconic and recognised commercials of the 90’s, the success resulted in a full length feature film Space Jam.

More or less

Year: 2014
Client: NAB
Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Movie/TV Show: Tom & Jerry

NAB created this commercial a year after the first clip licensing campaign which also used the ‘more or less’ theme. This time we see Tom & Jerry used throughout the entire commercial.

To see the 2013 NAB commercial check out 7 Times a Short TV or Movie Clip has been used in a Commercial

Blink and You’ll Miss It!

Year: 2014
Client: Volkswagen
Creative Agency: Adam&EveDDB
Movie/TV Show: Powerpuff Girls

Out of London we see a very small snippet of girls cartoon series Powerpuff Girls used in much bigger campaign about a Dad who makes sacrifices for his daughter everyday.

Also featured in 7 Times a Short TV or Movie Clip has been used in a Commercial

Those Meddling Kids

Year: 2007
Client: DirecTV
Creative Agency: Deutshe LA
Cartoon: Scooby-Doo

DirecTV recruits the Scooby-Doo gang who capture a monster who turns out to the the cable guy!

Tom Meets his Match

Year: 2003
Client: Ford
Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Cartoon: Tom & Jerry

This clever commercial places fun-loving animation characters Tom & Jerry into a live action setting for the new Ford Mondeo. The Marketing Director at Ford said that ‘Everybody loves Tom and Jerry and this advertisement gains a lot of emotional impact by tapping into that affection.’

Gecko’s Unexpected Encounter

Year: 2014
Client: Geico
Creative Agency: The Martin Agency
Cartoon: Rocky and Bullwinkle

Geico’s spokesperson the Gecko runs into the animated duo Rocky and Bullwinkle in a commercial that was carefully created to ensure the strange encounter looked natural.