Hovis’s Boy on a Bike advert is voted most iconic advert of all time

Crumbs! Hovis’s Boy on a Bike advert is voted most iconic TV commercial of all time beating Cadbury’s Phil Collins gorilla and Yellow Pages

  • The 1973 advert of the boy on a steep cobbled hill captured the nation’s heart
  • It was directed by Sir Ridley Scott six years before his Hollywood debut, Alien
  • The advert was parodied by numerous comedians including The Two Ronnies

It was the television advert that captured the nation’s heart. 

A young boy valiantly pushes a bike loaded with bread up the steep cobbled hill of a post-war British town.

Now, 46 years after it first aired, Hovis’s Boy on a Bike advert has been voted the most iconic and heartwarming TV commercial of all time.

Hovis’s Boy on a Bike advert has been voted the most iconic and heartwarming TV commercial of all time

Cadbury’s 2007 advert featuring a gorilla playing the drums is another of the nation’s favourite adverts

Set to the music of Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the 1973 advert was directed by Sir Ridley Scott six years before his Hollywood debut with Alien.

Although the commercial is supposed to be set in a fictional Yorkshire town, it was in fact filmed on Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset, which has one of the steepest streets in Britain. 

Once the young boy reaches the top of the hill, he excitedly freewheels back down with a smile on his face, declaring in a heavy Yorkshire accent: ‘T’was like taking bread to top of the world. T’was a grand ride back though.’

The advert was later parodied by numerous comedians, most famously by The Two Ronnies.

The 1983 Yellow Pages commercial featuring elderly fictional author JR Hartley using the phone directory to hunt down a copy of his own book made the top five

Coca Cola’s 1971 classic featuring young people singing I’d Like To Teach The World to Sing is another of the nation’s favourite adverts

In the poll it beat Cadbury’s 2007 advert featuring a ‘gorilla’ drumming along to Phil Collins’s hit In The Air Tonight, and the 1983 Yellow Pages commercial featuring elderly fictional author JR Hartley using the phone directory to hunt down a copy of his own book.

Research firm Kantar conducted the poll. 

Other adverts that made the top five included John Lewis’s 2010 Always A Woman and Coca-Cola’s 1971 classic featuring young people singing I’d Like To Teach The World to Sing.

 

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