The brainchild of Dutch brothers Michael and Pierre van Melle, Mentos have been making mouths fresh since 1948. But when the Brothers van Melle began advertising their delicious, chewy mints on television in 1976, it’s unlikely they knew what kind of profound impact their commercials would have on the world.
While I’m sure the company’s early TV spots were, dare I say, fresh, the series of ads that really boosted Mentos’ profile was the “Mentos The Freshmaker” campaign that debuted in 1990. After rolling out the gloriously campy ads, the company saw a dramatic increase in sales worldwide.
The commercials went on to become the gold standard of television advertising cheese (and success), earning a spot in the annals of popular culture and still inspiring dozens of parodies on YouTube more than 20 years later.
*BONUS – Let’s not forget about The Foo Fighters’ iconic video for “Big Me” in 1996 that paid tribute to the campaign.
(H/T Mentos, YouTube)