David Beckham Surfing & Santas With Hams: 10 Best Surf Adverts Of All Time
Just sometimes those advertising execs manage to get it right...
We've seen the ten worst surfing adverts of all time. Now, in the interest of balance, we thought it might be a good ideas to find examples where the commercialisation of surfing actually has a happy ending.
"These are rare examples where surfing and ads haven't managed to rub each other the wrong way..."
From beer in the 1970s, cologne in the 1980s, Coca Cola in the 1990s and everything from chocolate, ham and price comparison sites in the last decade, here are some rare examples where surfing and advertisements haven't managed to rub each other the wrong way.
MoneySupermarket.com Does Jaws
Jeff (Geoff?) is pretty cool. He wears speedos with a lovely paunch. He rides an inflatable crocodile at 80ft Pipe and 120ft Jaws, does some radical rotations and handling one impressive wipeout.
If you hadn’t worked it out it is all superimposed (apologies for the spoiler), but it looks like at least someone who has surfed at least once before was involved in the footage and edit.
There’s enough humour to make it all work - the can of sunscreen that Jeff launches over his shoulder to ignite a beach barbeque is pure gold.
Tooheys Beer With Mark Richards
There’s a whole generation of Australian surfers who can recite every words to the song for this ad for an Australian beer called Tooheys.
Made in the early 80s, a few years after Mark Richards had won his fourth world title, the song is damn catchy.
"There’s a whole generation of Australian surfers who can recite every words oF this ad"
This combined with fairly accurate lyrics (“With a proud Novocastrian grin, he was the first champ to ride the twin fin") and the overall likability of Mark Richards (and his signature raised eyebrows) the advertisement still remains a favourite for many older Aussies surfers who still like to raise a Tooheys (or two) whenever they come across it.
Corona Extra's From Where You'd Rather Be
It's a three minute clip of beer surf porn shot by noted surf director Taylor Steele that documents road trip down the west coast of Mexico in a beat-up 1976 Winnebago.
A pack of attractive twenty-somethings frolic joyfully in the golden Californian light and fun right points of Mex to the song 'Miles Away' by Years Around the Sun.
It’s all very cinematic and although you know you are being manipulated by master craftsmen to buy overpriced Mexican beer that tastes like catpiss, somehow you still like it anyway.
Guinness' Big Wave
We are not exactly sure about the correlation between “Moving Over to Guinness" and late ‘70s Hawaiian surfing is, but we don’t care.
"It still makes you want to both drink Guinness and go surf Hawaii at the very same time"
Classic North Shore footage of Pipe and Sunset is cut with the swirls and foam of a pint of Guinness getting poured, all soundtracked by a composition by Bill Whelan (who later wrote Riverdance) and ends with a sax solo by Rafe Ravenscroft.
It ran in cinemas in Ireland from 1981 to 1983, but even now still makes you want to both drink Guinness and go surf Hawaii, at the very same time. Now that is a remarkable achievement.
Coca Cola’s Nias Ad
In the early 90s in Australia, you couldn’t beat the feeling of seeing surfers like Luke Egan, Jodie Cooper, Kye Fitzgerald and Stuart Bedford-Brown on your own TV surfing perfect Nias.
Obviously pre-internet, seeing surfing on the telly was a revelation that caused pant wetting levels of excitement for a teenage grom.
Even 25 years on, the backhand turns still stand the test of time and we can forgive Jodie Cooper her wooden acting for the huge barrel she scores in her sexy red one-piece.
Just watching it on YouTube still makes me want to go out and buy a Coke right now.
Old Spice in the 1970s
“You will become yourself, you will find success" is the tagline to the Old Spice advertisement from the late 70s that was responsible for introducing surfing to the UK mainstream market.
With a rousing soundtrack of 'O Fortuna' spliced with a surfer getting spat out of thunderous tubes and a hot blonde swishing her big 70s hair, this advertisement had emotion, incredible surfing and a general sense of urgency and excitement.
It was exhilarating and cool. Who wouldn’t want to be a surfer... and wear Old Spice?
Aldi's Christmas Ham
On the face of it, this is utterly ridiculous and should be perhaps placed in our previous ten worst ads of all time.
"This should be perhaps placed in our previous ten worst ads of all time..."
The 2012 ad for supermarket chain Aldi featured 30 Santa Clauses surfing with whole hams around Byron Bay.
Yet with the Glue Factory’s James Dive directing, this turns into slightly surreal, but mainly fun, celebration of an Aussie Christmas, surfing in summer and, of course, pork products. A little ham fisted (if you will pardon the pun), but somehow it works.
The Cadbury’s ad starts off tweaking the lyrics to the classic Beach Boys song, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the world was Cadbury’s, you could surf inside a chocolate tube," while a surfer made of chocolate gets absolutely pitted on his backhand in a super cool claymation style runner.
Then there is the punchline. “And if a shark came up and tried to bite you, you could say I’m chocolate, I invite you." Funny, irreverent and with some solid surfing, you must have a heart made of ice if this commercial doesn’t bring some type of style to your dial.
Pepsi's Football vs Surfing
Is this so bad, it's good? Or so good, it’s bad?
Either way, whenever David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Raúl, Fernando Torres and Ronaldinho are doing flyway away pull-outs to head and scissor kick footballs, it at least has to rate a mention.
"Beckham is paddling a surfboard, although he seems to be sinking"We think at 0.41 there is footage of Beckham paddling a surfboard. Although to be fair, paddling might be an exaggeration as he seems to be sinking.
Pepsi spunked huge amounts of money on the ad (which was then held back for a year after the 2003 tsunami) by building two large water pools, a heated plunge pool and a wave machine to do the football sequence.
The surf sequences where shot at Tavarua using professional surfers who were made up to look like the players.
High action, high octane surf, skate and snow ad that marked Nike’s foray into surfing and action sports culture.
The surfing was mostly shot at night in Keramas by legendary surf filmer Don King, where Julian Wilson, Kolohe Andino, Michel Bourez, Monica Byrne-Wykes and Laura Enever doing the “stunt work".
Back in 2011, this signaled that Nike was attempting to be a major player in the surf world. However, a year later they pulled out with all athletes signed to their subsidiary Hurley. Still, it was good while it lasted...