But in today's new world, following Ofcom's restrictions on the broadcast advertising of food and drink products high in fat, sugar and salt to children - announced yesterday - many of these nostalgic family adverts would not get off the drawing board.
For which advertiser will invest millions in creating a great campaign for a product if it is restricted - even if that restriction is limited?
Food and drink advertisers will consider such investment better spent on different communication methods - though it should be noted Ofcom's ruling opens the floodgates on the future of all marketing of food and drink brands to children, and the next step is to look at how this ruling translates into non-broadcast areas such as direct mail, point of purchase and new media.
Unsurprisingly, many major brands have already pulled any overt advertising to children, including nine members of the Union of European Beverages Associations (Unesda) who have agreed to end advertising to under-12s.
"We are moving with the consumer," Dominique Reiniche, the head of Unesda and European president of Coca-Cola, told the Financial Times last week. "We used to talk of markets; now we talk about society."
This week European health ministers met in Istanbul to discuss a code of conduct for marketing to be developed under the auspices of the World Health Organisation. European Union health commissioner Markos Kyprianou has indicated he does not want to resort to regulation, believing companies will co-operate in the fight against obesity. As well as Coca-Cola, he singled out PepsiCo, McDonald's, Unilever and Kraft as good examples of companies that had changed for the better. But for the creative industry, for brand owners, and for TV viewers, the damage has already been done.
The products highlighted on these pages are among those from the chart that will almost certainly fall foul of the FSA's controversial nutrient profiling model, created to help Ofcom distinguish between so-called healthy and unhealthy foods when implementing restrictions.
Using the model in conjunction with BARB's 120 index, which defines programmes of "particular interest" to children aged nine and under, makes this scenario even more likely.
From Coca-Cola's classic 1971 campaign to teach the world to sing to the mysterious Milk Tray man in black, from the serenading gondolier of the 1980s Cornetto advertisements to Gary Lineker's childish pranks for Walkers crisps, food and drink advertisers have caught the imaginations of millions of television viewers over the past 30 years.
So here they are: eight ads that celebrate the best of the industry's creative talent. Gone but not forgotten. n