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John West Bear & Salmon Ad - voted the funniest of all time
By Old Sam

John West Bear & Salmon Ad - voted the funniest of all time

As the UK’s favourite name in canned fish, we’ve made plenty of memorable and amusing TV commercials here at John West. One in particular from 14 years ago was actually voted the funniest of all time by both the advertising industry itself and members of the public (Source: Campaign Live). It features a fight over the best, fresh Salmon between a bear and a John West fisherman and it’s a laugh out loud fishy story from start to finish.

See a wild bear get wilder
Filmed in 2000 on the banks of the River Dee in the Scottish highlands, the ad begins as a mock David Attenborough style nature documentary. We see a tranquil scene of wild bears by a river, over which a typically hushed and reverent voice informs us ‘At the river mouth, the bears catch only the tastiest, most tender Salmon’. Then it all goes bear shaped, as a John West fisherman suddenly races into view and tries to grab a freshly caught Salmon from one of the wild bears. Obviously and hilariously, this makes the bear wilder than ever resulting in an all-out scrap with no holds barred.

Kicked in the growlers
At first, the surprisingly agile bear gets the best of the fisherman with a few nifty Jackie Chan style martial arts kicks, but then the man from John West distracts him by pointing upwards and shouting ‘Oh look, an Eagle’. And as the poor old bear looks skywards, the fisherman kicks him right where it hurts the most and it’s fight over. Unsurprisingly, this grizzly move leaves the bear growling in pain, as the triumphant fisherman walks off with the prized Salmon and we hear the immortal line ‘John West endure the worst to bring you the best’. All very silly and tongue in cheek, but all the funnier for it.

Enjoyed by millions - just like our Salmon
From the moment it was first shown the commercial was hugely successful and immediately won a number of ‘Best commercial of the Year’ awards. Since then, word of mouth has spread and so has the popularity of the ad, big style. By 2006 it had been viewed over 300 million times on the Internet, making it at the time the sixth most viewed video online. And there’s been no stopping it. The John West ‘bear vs. man’ ad is still being enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. As is John West canned Salmon itself. Which we must add, is well worth fighting for.

If you’re one of the very few who haven’t seen our ad yet, or you want to revisit it and get the giggles all over again, click here and give yourself a treat. It’s as fresh today as the Salmon we offer at John West.

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