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A Selection of 1980s Christmas TV Ads

Posted by Big Boo on December 12th, 2008

Whilst scooting around YouTube I came across a great selection of TV ads that were aired over the Christmas period of 1983.  One thing it shows is just how classy TV adverts could be back in the 1980’s, but also how cheesey they could be too.  You also get to see a few famous faces looking a bit younger (in most cases)…

We start off with an example of a classy advert, this being for Black Magic chocolates, which plays to the romantic idea of giving chocs to your girlfriend to impress her.  This guy does a good job though my booking out an entire restaurant!

Next is a terrible aftershave advert for Mandate – Worn by Men, Loved by Women – with a rather crusty looking chap attempting to kiss the camera, followed by an advert for Baileys Irish Cream where a woman with a dodgy haircut decides to dip her little finger in a glass of the drink.

Going back to a staple food of the Christmas period (chocolate) we have a rather jolly but a bit naff advert for Quality Street.  For me Quality Street is one of my cherished memories of Christmas as our family always got one of the big tins at Christmas.  Back then you were either a Quality Street or Cadbury’s Roses family at Christmas, as unlike today these were the only sweets generally sold in such large containers.

Not to give the impression that Christmas is just about chocolate and alcohol (surely not?) but we now have another alcohol advert, this time for Tia Maria.  If the “ingredient list” for Tia Maria isn’t cheesey enough for you, then the man’s comment to his wife at the end certainly is.

An advert for Castella cigars comes next, which comes as a bit of a surprise given in the UK tobacco can no longer be advertised on TV.  Another Christmas essential product follows in the form of indigestion relief product BiSoDoL, then its more sweets, first one of the much missed adverts for Fox’s Glacier Mints with the polar bear and the fox, and then another choccies ad, this time a Romeo and Juliet themed ad for Terry’s Milk Chocolates, featuring Mel Smith, who it has to be said hasn’t really changed a great deal over the years.

The Braun Independant is advertised next, a hair curler that runs on butane gas (sounds dangerous) and then a “stylish” and “elegant” Timex digital watch and an advert for British Telecom bigging up phone boxes (the old fashioned red ones too, which are becoming a bit of a rarity these days).  The massive Debenhams toy sale (Woo! A whole one pound off a Millenium Falcon  or Castle Greyskull!) features next.

More alcohol, this time Skol lager, which could almost pass as an advert for today, and features a Tom Baker voice over back from when he was merely just a bit loopy rather than completely doolally.  The Old Spice ad of the bloke surfing that aired every Christmas follows this and then yet more alcohol first with a Martini advert, featuring the girl on roller skates delivering a customers order half way across town, and then a very young (and decidely less posh sounding) Hugh Laurie advertising Kestrel lager.

The whole lot is rounded of with a slightly less epic than usual Woolies ad, this one starring Joe Brown as a circus ringmaster, accompanied with Geoff Capes, Rula Lenska (I think), Eric Bristow (who today looks completely different when he appears on the insurance advert).

All in all this ad break lasted a staggering eight and a half minutes, so I guess we should be grateful as I’m sure most advert breaks these days are much shorter (not that I care as I usually fast forward through the ads nowadays using Sky+).  View the entire lot below…