By their very nature, advertisements are meant to leave a lasting impression on the viewer, and while many of them fail, many of them succeed. Thus, so many come to mind that it’s very hard to pick just one. There’s Coca-Cola’s Mean Joe Greene advertisement, which has now become widely accepted as one of the most successful or memorable ads of all time. There’s also Apple’s 1984 ad that catapulted a new brand into the limelight, which most people still remember today. However, the field of advertising is always changing and evolving and so, too, are the ads. The memorable ad I have chosen exemplifies this exact concept with the phrase, “Every generation refreshes the world.”
During the 2009 Super Bowl, Pepsi released a commercial that brought together the old and the new. It celebrated the past, while highlighting its link to the present, focusing on Generation Y’s nostalgia. This advertisement was the “Forever Young” mash-up ad. Pepsi used footage of previous generations in their youth and juxtaposed these clips with very similar clips from the current day, all set to Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” At one point in the middle of the commercial, Will.i.am takes over and starts rapping, blending Bob Dylan’s message with his own lyrics.
A main part of why this advertisement was memorable to me was the music. I am a huge Bob Dylan fan, as are many others, and the way they used his music and his message, while adding a contemporary element to it made it extremely catchy and memorable. It was something you found yourself singing without realizing it has ever been stuck in your head to begin with. However, the message was also something that resonated with me. My generation is one that prizes ‘vintage,’ with all of the 90s kids looking back to the glory days of Blockbuster and Furbies. It seems that a desperation to be more like past generations have swept over us so much so that we sometimes forget to move forward. Pepsi is reminding us that although today is a little different than yesterday was, many things remain the same. Maybe the clothes or the dances or the music changes, but that’s natural. Things progress for a reason, and that’s the reason we have something to look back on and wish for. This ad reminds us that change is good and that each new generation has the chance to make it their own so that future generations are nostalgic for what we had.