20 Classic Chicago TV Commercials

victory auto wreckersWe love talking about commercials here at MWTVG because they are such a big part of TV and when they are really good or really bad, commercials are some of our strongest TV memories.  Being that we are from the midwest, Chicago specifically, I wanted to pay homage to some of the most classic Chicago TV commercials from the past.  My love of TV got started when I was young when most of these commercials were running on TV.  If you are from Chicago and are of a certain age, you no doubt know these classic Chicago TV commercials as well.  Chicagoans, let me know if I have missed any classics you remember from your youth.  Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit 20 classic Chicago TV commercials.

Boushelle Carpet Cleaning

There was a time back in the day when you used to have to call someone out to clean your carpets.  Now of course you can buy vacuums and carpet cleaners that are as good or better than anything industrial so for the most part, carpet cleaning companies have gone the way of the do do.  This is a commercial that when you first start watching it you might not remember.  When you hear their jingle though and you were in Chicago in the 70s, you’ll remember.  This classic Chicago TV commercial ran back in 1978:


Celozzi-Ettleson Chevrolet

Nick Celozzi and Maury Ettleson operated what was for a time, the #1 Chevrolet dealership in the entire country.  In their heyday, they spend $1 million a year on advertising.  Spending so much money is why they were on TV so much that we all know they were located at the corner of York and Roosevelt Rd and their dealership was the place where you always save more money.  Sadly, Celozzi and Ettleson had a falling out and parted ways in 2000 but they leave behind a lasting legacy of Chicago commercials. This one is from 1985:


McDade & Company

People from Chicago did you have one of these near you?  These guys ran commercials regularly and during the Christmas season? 1/2 of all commercials on TV seemed to be from McDade’s.  This one is from 1985. Check out the products:


Peppers Waterbeds

Is there anything more 80s than a waterbed commercial?  Maybe if someone was rapping about their waterbed while wearing parachute pants and their Vuarnet sunglasses.  This classic Chicago TV commercial is from 1985:


Howard Pontiac

Howard Pontiac Elmhurst. Where? On Grand Avenue. In 1978 Howard Pontiac embarked on an advertising campaign called the “Howard’s mother loves you” campaign. Howard’s mom would appear in commercials (I can’t find anything on whether it was actually his mom or not) and she would end every commercial with the “on Grand Avenue” tag. The dealership started giving any customer that bought a car chocolate chip cookies from Howard’s mom. It’s a tradition that continues today even though this ad campaign has been long gone from TV. This classic commercial is from 1987:

40 Comments on 20 Classic Chicago TV Commercials

  1. Anonymous // October 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm //

    Peter lawyer,, office on Roselle only open one time a week.

  2. Adam Wolak // October 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm //

    What was the commercial of that girl rapping for some business school. I had a really catchy bad song..anyone?

  3. Niles, Lombard, Calumet City, Oak Lawn. For sports, it’s SPORTMART.

  4. Tim Dwyer // October 30, 2013 at 8:25 am //

    I’m creating an account just for this:

    Seven Seven Three, Two Oh Two, beep BEEP beep BEEP…Lunaaaaaaa

  5. “Pepe’s tacos are very good tacos”


  7. Whatever happened to the old CET ad? Remember? Call MOhawk 4 4100 CET for televison? Does anyone else remember that one?

  8. I’m sorry, but where did this guy get the idea carpet cleaners are not around anymore?

  9. Here’s another one that should be on the list. The Lincoln Park Zoo commercial.


  10. weeeeeee’re the super service, super service, super service store . . . North Shoooooooore Refrigeration!

  11. Kids are king at Dispensa’s Kiddie Kingdom. Fun’s our thing at Dispensa’s Kiddie Kingdom!

  12. Tru Link Fence with Andre Dawson.

  13. FaabulousT // October 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm //

    Remember, the Empire commercials had another spokesperson BEFORE Lynn. It was a black woman and I don’t remember her name but I do know she played the maid in “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.

  14. Don’t forget about Golf Mill Ford.

    Push it
    Pull it
    Tow it to Golf Mill Ford!

  15. 588-2300 Empire Today with Lynn the Empire man. Even today, living in the Carolinas, I see Empire commercials with an animated Lynn character who has pretty much nailed Lynn’s voice. Maybe they’re national now??

  16. Two Chicago commercials I still remember decades later are for Holsum Bread with the great jingle that began “At two in the morning when you’re in bed, the Holsum bakers are baking bread” and for Lincoln whose phone number was National 2-9000.

    • I seem to remember an establishment with the number MOhawk4-4100, along with good ole HUdson3-2700.

  17. My aunt was in either the Moo or Oink costume in one of those commercials. She worked there and they needed somebody last-minute. And she got my sister and me some cool Moo and Oink stuffed animals. We thought it was just the coolest damn thing ever. Still do.

  18. Or Jim Moran, the Courtesy Man, of Courtesy Motors down near Augusta Blvd and… Cicero?
    Or “Robert Hall, Robert Hall…” the jingle of the mens/boys suits and topcoats store.
    Or Norman Ross doing Talman Savings commercials … before he joined the First National Bank of Chicago.
    Or Uncle Ned with the Smiley Head doing commercials on Lunchtime Little Theater
    Or Uncle Johnny Coons making us eat boloney sandwiches just like his, before they caught him swearing into the microphone that wasn’t turned off…

  19. “Nelson loves me, Nelson loves me, Nelson Brothers loves me; and they’ll love you too…”
    Or Frank Sinatra singing Pete Epstein car commercials to the tune of Kick in the Head (DIno’s song, actually)
    Or Fohrman Motors
    Or “… cookies by Maurice Lennell. He came here from Swe-den… One taste will tell that Maurice Lennell cookies are just simply ..Good!” by the dean of Chicago folk singers, Winn Stracke, with a little bit of “Top of old Smoky” in the tune.
    Or the “Cahpeting, cahpeting, cahpeting!” TV commercials that haven’t changed much in 60 years.
    Or the Nahighian Brothers Oriental Carpet store ads on WFMT done by the mellifluent Mel Zellman between pieces of classical music.
    Or the live Aunt Jemima ads acted by a beautiful, dignified lady (Edith Wilson, I think) who was originally a famous singer, who sang with Eubie Blake back in the 1920s.

  20. Tony Papaleo // October 29, 2013 at 12:20 am //

    What? No “Timmy” the newsboy from Long Chevrolet?

  21. Congrats on the Huffington Post – Post! Way to go Midwest MO and MW Mike!!!

  22. ITA, that is the number one, most famous Chicago commercial. The fact that it is still running cracks me up and I hope they never ever change it! Does the company know what a classic they have created? I have been watching the Victory Auto Wreckers commercial since that guy was in fashion. Who is that guy? Does he know that commercial is still running on WGN?

    • Midwest Mark // October 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm //

      My neighbor from a few years back looked exactly like the victory auto wreckers guy. I’m still secretly convinced it was him

  23. Midwest Mark // October 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm //

    I love the Eagleman commercial with Mancow… a true 90’s Chicago mashup

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