The Milky Bar Kid is one, Persil mum is another and, inevitably, the Hovis bread delivery boy struggling up his cobbled hill while the brass band plays on.
What next? Bing Crosby singing about Shell perhaps or the famous Smash-peddling Martians who thought it was so funny that Earthlings bothered to peel potatoes?
Advertising experts believe nostalgia works because it takes adult consumers back to a time when they were young and without any worries. Never mind recession, the old ads say, these are value brands that have stood the test of time.
Marks and Spencer has been trying a similar tack with the launch of its 75p plain jam sandwiches. "For those who haven't eaten one for years, one bite takes you straight back to your childhood," runs the blurb.