Watch 80 Minutes of Old Commercials From the ‘80s and ‘90s

From ads for “Donahue” and “Santa Barbara” to spotting Wrigley’s Doublemint twins, these retro TV commercials pack a lot of nostalgia into just 80 minutes.
Retro TV Commercials from the 80's Part 1
Retro TV Commercials from the 80's Part 1 / John Hatcher

If you’re of a certain age, you probably recall how unavoidable TV commercials used to be. These short advertisements would appear between programs on television sets. These days on streaming platforms, you can pay extra to avoid ads, but in the days before streaming, you pretty much had no other choice but to sit there and bear through them, or opt to make a quick trip to the bathroom to skip them.

But there’s a bit of charm to watching those old commercials, too. In the ’80s and early ’90s, they explored a level of cheesy weirdness that is pretty much unmatched by any other period (although these toy ads from the 1970s do come close). It was the heyday of corny truck commercials, Doublemint gum spots featuring the Doublemint Twins, ads for newspaper delivery (how quaint!), and lots of Radio Shack promotions. To celebrate the magic of YouTube, you can check out 80 minutes of retro commercials from those eras.

All of them appear to be taped from broadcasts in Florida, so the local ads are very Sunshine State-specific. They contain some pretty memorable throwbacks though, like Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons and music collections you could send away for by mail (including tapes, LPs, and maybe even CDs). There are also ads for Time-Life books, perfumes, Hamburger Helper, Chia Pets, and various talk shows, including those hosted by Phil Donahue and Dr. Ruth.

If you’re in the mood for a trip down memory lane (or you just want to marvel at what TV was like before the age of streaming), you’ll definitely get a kick out of these ads. And if this isn’t enough for you, there are hours more.

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A version of this article was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2024.