The Most Memorable Candy Commercials of the 1980s

The 1980s were a great time for child product marketing. The toy, cereal and candy commercials clogged the airwaves every day, filling our small brains with thoughts of plastic fun and sugar coated impulse buys. Many of these classic ads are indelibly burned into our brains. Here are a few of the most memorable candy commercials from the 1980s:

Big League Chew
I am not allowed to eat Big League Chew and when I say eat I mean eat. I am one of “THOSE” people who for some reason cannot chew this gum, but instead swallows it at the first opportunity. It was a problem that in my youth left my stomach swelled with gum and my family wide-eyed with disgust. Needless to say, I was expressly forbidden from buying the chew. Still, whenever I scoped the classic sports themed commercial I would try and sneak a pouch to bring to Little League with me. Of course I would finish on the walk to the park and be the most bloated 3rd baseman on the field

The magic Twizzler mouth still gives me nightmares. Sometimes when I try to sleep I can still see this gibbering hungry mouth searching for me in the darkness at the edge of my bed.

Bonkers were not quite gum and not quite taffy. They were sort of a variation on the Starburst with a little more chewiness and unlike the sunshine themed Starburst, Bonkers decided that the threat of death by crushing was a much more attractive marketing ploy. I am glad they did, because it made for some very memorable commercials.

Tom and Bill just finished lunch and Bill pulls out a candy bar and starts snacking.

Tom -What you eating?
Bill – Whatchamacallit.
Tom -But what’s the name of what you are eating?
Bill – Whatchamacallit.
Tom -You don’t know the name?
Bill – I told you the name.
Tom -You said Whatchamacallit.
Bill – That’s right.

Tom plunges a fork into Bill’s brain, ending this battle of circular logic.

Holiday M&M’s
M&Ms know how to do the holidays up right. That is why even after all the other great holiday product tie-ins have fallen to the wayside, M&Ms continue to endure as a symbol of holiday frivolity. My X-mas is not complete without a heaping bowl of red and green peanut M&Ms.

This makes a lot more sense when you grew up watching Peter Gabriel stop motion music videos.

Bonker’s Watch is Also a Transformer

In the 1980s everything was transformable. Nothing you see in the 1980s is actually what it is. It was a confusing time that kept you on your toes. You never knew when your Delorean was going to turn into a killer robot or when Molly Ringwald was going to turn into a terrifying strawberry-haired werewolf. Even Bonkers, the candy that wasn’t quite what is seemed, got into the act with their watch premiums. So I got to ask you, what do you need in a watch? A clock? Maybe a calculator or a calendar? How about a tiny transforming robot that will destroy your enemies? Bonkers has got your covered.


Bonkers for Bonkers!

If you were sick of eating Starbursts in the 1980s, you could switch to Bonkers. It came in the standard grape, orange, strawberry, watermelon and the odd tasting chocolate. I was always a fan of the watermelon, but it left a strange dairy-like aftertaste. Maybe it was just me. When the novelty of the candy’s odd commercials waned so did the candy. Fortunately for us the candy lives on in old comic book ads, like the one below for chocolate (yuck) and commercials that still survive.

In the Commercials snooty people eat bonkers and then get “bonked” by mutant giant fruit. Then they laugh themselves to death and die. See for yourself: