Tech

The Most Ridiculous AOL Commercials From The '90s

Somewhere, at the bottom of a cardboard box labeled "extraneous," is a bright blue CD from America Online promising you 50 hours of the Internet for free. If you had a computer between the time period of 1991 and 2000, you were on America Online. At its peak, AOL had 35 million subscribers. I sure subscribed, my first email address was RexyX@aol.com. 

And because America's bloodlust for the old days is watching old tech commercials and listening to dial-up sounds, the executive decision was made to focus on the glorious software suite that was America Online. Enjoy. 

1. Suddenly Snoop Dogg

When it comes down to it, Jerry Stiller could sell us a huge bag of elephant sh*t for $100 and we'd be all about it. And then, inexplicably, Snoop Dogg shows up.

2. Adam West

Uh...is this a joke?

3. Kayaking friends on your computer?!

This guy's mind literally melts when he finds out that he can send flowers, buy plane tickets, and "research dinosaurs" in less than a minute. "You know I can even send email on the Internet?" This guy's friend couldn't even handle it and likely went home and sobbed to Annie Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass."

4. I got homework help and my dad thinks I'm a genius

Finally, a commercial that was honest about the realities of teens having complete access to the Internet. This one's especially satisfying because we get to hear the "You've got mail" voice that everyone grew up with. 

5. What's hot

Maybe dads all across America were using AOL to "work on their golf swing"—but the minute night fell and the kids went to sleep, we knew what was really going on. God, just imagine pre-NSA Internet search queries...that's nightmare material. 

6. Can you believe what's possible these days?

Eggo waffles! Rollerblades! Hot muffins! Scooters! Conversation through your computer?! America Online didn't make the future amazing, it made the present amazing. 

7. No more computer mumbo-jumbo

We often forget that there was a time where even logging onto a computer took the skills of the kind hacker Hollywood thought existed back in the '90s. America Online was so especially successful because of how easy it was to use—except those damn vibe-killing parental controls. 

8. Sexy new AOL

Wait, why does this commercial think it's a late-night hookup ad?

9. America Online, sponsored by Skrillex

You gotta appreciate the efforts of the people who made this commercial: the dancing, the cacophonous sounds, the disclaimer that you have to be 18 or older to sign up. It's like AOL 6.0 was some kind of exclusive club where people dropped acid in trap houses. 

10. One Billion Dollars

A billion dollars for 56,000 bits per second. Oh, those early Internet days when we literally couldn't fathom waiting less than a full week to download the first half-hour of Titanic. All your friends were in one place and they were as excited as you to be there. America Online was part of the glory days, where people would respond to your emails because they were actually excited to get them. 


Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and his second AOL address was ObviouslyWhat@AOL.com—now you can find him on twitter: @CandyandPizza