The Smash martian ads were created by John Webster, who died last year aged 71, and Boase Massimi Pollitt, now DDB. Webster was also behind the Sugar Puffs Honey Monster.
The ad starred a family of Martians laughing as they watched "Earth people" peel potatoes, boil them for "20 of their Earth minutes" and then "smash them to bits". It featured the catchphrase "For mash, get Smash" and earned respect for selling the product without discussing the taste.
Smash was top in the 20-strong list, which was decided from a poll of 3,000 visitors to the BBC Good Food website.
Second place went to the sexy Cadbury's Flake ad, which crooned "only the crumbliest flakiest chocolate…".
Ridley Scott's Hovis spot, featuring a boy pushing a bicycle laden with loaves of bread up a cobbled street, set to the nostalgic Dvorak melody, came third. Scott went on to make Hollywood films including 'Alien', 'Blade Runner' and 'Gladiator'.
Other favourites included Heinz ads featuring the "beanz meanz Heinz" slogan, tthe Bisto Kids series and the Oxo Family series, the Ambassador's Ferrero Rocher ads and Kit Kat' "have a break, have a Kit Kat".
In addition, the Milky Bar Kid, the Cornetto ads with the serenading gondolier and, more recently, the Gary Lineker Walkers Crisps ads made it into the top 20.
1. Smash "For mash, get Smash"
2. Cadbury's Flake "Only the crumbliest, flakiest..."
3. Hovis "bread boy"
4. Heinz "Beanz meanz Heinz"
5. Bisto Kids series
6. Oxo Family series
7. Cornetto "just one Cornetto"
8. Milk Tray "burglar"
9. Ferrero Rocher "ambassador"
10. Cadbury's Creme Eggs "How do you eat yours?"
11. Kit Kat "have a break, have a Kit Kat"
12. Mars Bar "A Mars a day..."
13. Captain Birds Eye series
14. Rolo "Do you love anyone enough?"
15. Cadbury's "Everyone's a Fruit and Nut case"
16. Milky Bar Kid "Milky Bars are on me"
17. Walkers Crisps, Gary Lineker
18. Cadbury's Fudge "A finger of fudge is just enough"
19. Chicken Tonight "I feel like Chicken Tonight"
20. Homepride men series
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This article was first published on brandrepublic.com