David Beckham Surfing & Santas With Hams: 10 Best Surf Adverts Of All Time

Just sometimes those advertising execs manage to get it right...

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.


Cadbury’s Chocolate

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.


Nike’s Chosen

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…

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