Hilarious Camera Commercials From the 1980s That Now Seem Weird and Inappropriate

Everyone loves a heady blend of nostalgia and a good mullet, but when you throw in weirdly awkward voyeurism and cringe-worthy special effects, it makes for some rather amusing viewing. Check out this short video presenting five incredible adverts from yesteryear.

In a suitably dry tone, YouTuber, photographer, and amateur historian Azriel Knight has sifted through the archives to dig out a collection of his favorite clips, each giving an indication of how advertising has evolved and how certain elements have stayed the same. In the early 1990s, tennis player Andre Agassi was at the top of his game and offered advertisers a perfect combination of athletic success with just a touch of bad boy styling — enough to give a product a rebellious, punk vibe but simultaneously safe enough for a brand as conservative as Canon. Tapping to the notion of the rebel as a means of marketing mainstream products is a tried and tested strategy, an approach that has fared much better over the years compared to headbands and white suits.

The slightly gratuitous and weirdly voyeuristic nature of the adverts for the Minolta X7 and Olympus OM-10 date from the early 1980s and show how the Japanese manufacturers were evidently targeting a very specific demographic. If you’ve ever seen anyone use a water fountain quite so provocatively, please let us know in the comments below.

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16 Comments

In the last commercial, I think he totally missed the reference to the first Christopher Reeves Superman movie that was big back then.

My little thoughts, Old clips are only funny, when they can stand alone. The most funny part here, is the speaker trying to explain everything.....

Przemek Lodej's picture

The 80s rocked dude, if you don't get it you won't...ever. You got your 5 minutes of fame with this senseless video, now move on. ;)

Michael Comeau's picture

I have an old photo book that recommends not photographing women that are menstruating.

Are you supposed to ask them? Get ready to dodge flying objects.

SNL had the best take on a camera commercial.........https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/kannon-camera/n9098

Przemek Lodej's picture

Hahaah brilliant. Imagine how may pansies would be offended if this was shown today? :)

David Pavlich's picture

I live in Winnipeg. When I clicked on your link, it says it's not available in my location. Maybe it's too cold? :-)

I don't think the video is available with a translation to Canadian...eh........:)

David Pavlich's picture

I'm a transplanted Yank. You're probably correct!

chris bryant's picture

“Weird and Inappropriate” only to today’s snowflake generation. Very ego-ethnic to comment on the past from today’s screwed and perverse snowflake perspective.

You seem oddly offended by this humorous little video. Perhaps “screwed and perverse snowflake” is a more accurate description of what you yourself see when you look in the mirror.

chris bryant's picture

No, I am not offended by the video at all. How did you come to that conclusion? Neither is the video humorous. Those adverts were not either weird or inapproproate for their time and audience. The video was just cheap and infantile. Then again, us Brits, generally, do find american humour rather tediously puerile. That is a cultural difference not a pejorative. I wonder if the people involved in the original adverts feel “hurt and offended” by being the “victim” of your humour (not being at all serious here). I am not offended by much at all, that is because I am grown-up and have some balls.

michaeljin's picture

We get it. You're weird and inappropriate.

David Pavlich's picture

I've seen TV shows that show more than the young lady that removed her jeans. Another thought...the Japanese are well known for their off beat commercials. Nothing new there. And if any of this offends anyone, you need to get over yourself.

One other note: If Agassi had been more into his tennis than he was in his 'styling', Sampras wouldn't have won as many Slams as he did. It's a shame that Andre got his head screwed on straight late in his career.

michaeljin's picture

I think that the "weird and inappropriate" part is the voyeuristic feel of the whole thing. "Creepy" might be the better term, though.