In 2006, after sales of its Mac computers had started to drop, Apple decided to use the power of advertising to change the world's opinion of its brands.The resulting Get A Mac campaign featured casually-dressed Justin Long (pictured right) as the 'Mac', and rather more stuffy-looking comedian John Hodgman as the 'PC'. The funny adverts put human faces and personalities to the two rival computer brands and, unsurprisingly, Apple's Mac always came out top. And that translated to sales, which were up by 39% by the end of the fiscal year. In fact, the campaign was so successful Apple made 66 different versions of the ad, and it ran for three years, which is a pretty long time in the world of advertising. Long has now returned 20 years later in an Intel advert that directly references this iconic campaign, but this time he's on the side of PCs. In one of the new ads he refers to his previous role "I'm a – Justin. Just a real person doing a real comparison between Mac and PC."
Whether it’s for a catchy jingle, a quirky storyline or even a long-fought rivalry, these iconic commercials from the 1940s up until the early 2000s have earned a place in the hearts of many. Click or scroll through to revisit some of the most memorable US TV adverts from the last 80 years.