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Archive for the ‘TV – Adverts’ Category

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I’m In With The InPhone

Posted by Big Boo on August 12th, 2011

British Telecom InPhoneNot to be confused with the now awesomely popular iPhone (blatant plug – don’t forget to download our free FaceMaker iPhone app!) the British Telecom InPhone wasn’t so much a particular handset, or even a range of handsets, it was actually primarily a wall socket!

It may seem hard to get excited about a wall socket (hence the over the top advertising campaign – see below) but it was a very forward thinking idea. Prior to this a telephone was connected directly to the wall, meaning it couldn’t be moved around the house (indeed you probably only had a single telephone in the house), and if the phone itself broke for any reason (probably unlikely, but possible) you’d need an engineer to come out and wire up a new telephone for you.

So along came the InPhone system, and suddenly not only could we have multiple spots around the house where we could plug in a phone, we could more affordably have a telephone in every room of the house (if we so wished of course) and change our handsets too.

In the years to follow it also meant that getting your computer online became a simple matter of connecting your modem to the wall socket. Imagine if we had still had to use one of those ridiculous acoustic coupler modems like Matthew Broderick used in WarGames.

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Wash & Go Shampoo

Posted by Big Boo on July 18th, 2011

Vidal Sassoon Wash & GoThere are an awful lot of TV ads that have been ridiculed over the years but one that has probably been ridiculed more than most is the advert for Vidal Sassoon Wash & Go shampoo.

Wash & Go was launched during the Eighties and was aimed at those Yuppie types who lived such incredibly busy lives. After a busy day at work, they hit the gym before hitting the town, but of course they need to look their best. However, having to both wash and condition their hair just took too long. What were they to do?

To the rescue came Vidal Sassoon, a man who could only ever have become a hairdresser with a name like that, with a bottle of Wash & Go, a cunning little green bottle containing a mixture of both shampoo and conditioner! Our Yuppie friends lives were saved!

Now the product itself was probably a very good idea, and in a round about kind of way so was the television advert for it. There were countless ads which all followed the same basic pattern, with some young go-getter (possibly even a famous sportsperson) giving us the same basic script:

“Spend time on shampoo and conditioner? Take two bottles into the shower? Not me! I just want to wash my hair and go, so I use Vidal Sassoon Wash & Go.”

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P-P-Pick Up A Penguin

Posted by Big Boo on July 13th, 2011

p-p-pick up a penguinAs chocolate biscuit bars go, you can always depend on the good old Penguin. It gets straight to the point and gives you exactly what you want – chocolate. Chocolate biscuit with chocolate cream filling, all coated in yet more milk chocolate, it might not be anything fancy, but it hits the spot.

The Penguin was first produced way back in 1932 by William McDonald, a biscuit company from Glasgow. In 1946 it became part of the McVitie’s line up when McDonald joined forces with several other biscuit companies to form United Biscuits (but not United biscuits, they came a long a little later 😉 )

Quite why they were named after the cold dwelling flightless bird I’m not sure, I don’t really see the link myself if there is one. However, the use of the Penguin was definitely a good idea, as most people tend to find penguins amusing, a fact which various TV adverts for the brand that we’ve had over the years took great advantage of.

The brands slogan of P-P-Pick Up A Penguin has also stood the test of time, and indeed is still used on the packaging now, though I can’t recall seeing a TV advert featuring it for quite some time.

Here’s a good example of the kind of advert we were treated to when I was a kid. It features a parcel of penguins (apparently that is the name for a group of them!) waddling around a fun fair and generally having a good time on the dodgems. It’s accompanied by a song sung by a very well-to-do sounding gentleman, which makes great use of the stuttering P to bring us the classic line “When you feel a little p-peckish, p-p-p-pick up a Penguin!

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Posted by Big Boo on June 17th, 2011

CornettoDo you remember how as a kid there were some sweets and snacks that your parents would buy you normally, but others were considered a treat? Notice how quite often it also coincided that whenever you were allowed to have one of those “treat” items, you’re parents were likely to have one as well?

A good example of this in our family was the Cornetto ice cream. Back in the Eighties the Cornetto was a new idea still, and as such was often twice the price of other ice creams. If my parents weren’t having an ice cream then I would probably be allowed a Lemonade Sparkle or if I was lucky a Walls Feast (yummy), but Cornettos were generally off limits unless they were having one too.

I certainly used to enjoy having a Cornetto when allowed though, and at the time I much preferred them to the standard Mr. Whippy style ice cream, or indeed the scoop of Soft Scoop Vanilla on a cone. I liked the way the ice cream went right to the bottom, so you didn’t have to worry about pushing the ice cream down the cone with your tongue to prevent having to eat half a dry cone on its own.

I recall there being four flavours originally, which in order of my own personal preference were Mint Choc Chip, Strawberry, Chocolate and Hazelnut and Rum ‘n’ Raisin.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Meow Mix

Posted by Big Boo on April 8th, 2011

Meow MixNow here’s another classic TV advert that’s right up there in cheesy stakes with the Shake ‘n’ Vac ad. I remember the first time I saw it the whole family were watching TV, and every single one of us was rolling on the floor laughing at it. Even the family dog loved it, and was sat there watching intently nodding her head from side to side.

The advert in question is for a cat food called Meow Mix, and it simply consists of a cute little cat singing about what she likes to have for her dinner. Whilst the cat has unsurprisingly been dubbed with a human voice, all that human voice actually ever sings is “Meow”, and instead the translation of what the cat is singing about appears at the bottom of the screen karaoke style, complete with little bouncing ball.

By far the best bit though is when the voice over man tells us all about how great Meow Mix is, yet you can still hear the dubbed cat singing along with real feeling in the background.

Not much more too say about it really other than it’s an awesome ad, and one of the first examples that I remember seeing of playing a piece of film backwards and forwards repeatedly to give the effect that an animal is able to talk like a human. Check it out below…

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The Country Life Butter Men

Posted by Big Boo on March 14th, 2011

The Country Life Butter MenOver the last couple of years the controversial Sex Pistol John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) has been advertising Country Life butter and has helped put the brand back on people’s shopping lists, but back in the Eighties this particular brand was being advertising by four men made from the stuff.

There were four Country Life Butter Men, though there were no real distinguishing features between them and they looked pretty much identical. They were presumably made from butter since they were seen to live within a packet of the dairy product in question.

The adverts featured the four Butter Mens singing a song in West Country accents, which always made them sound like they were being forced by The Wurzels (though whether that is the case or not I really don’t know). The lyrics to this song will forever be etched into my subconscious, and they went like this…

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The OXO Family

Posted by Big Boo on February 18th, 2011

The OXO FamilyThere have been a lot of very long running advertising campaigns over the years, including the PG Tips Chimps, the Gold Blend Couple, and the subject of today’s post, the OXO Family, a series of TV ads which started in 1983, and ran for 16 years, coming to an end in 1999.

During this period over 40 adverts were aired, featuring a typical middle class family consisting of Mum, Dad, two boys and a girl. Amazing really that there were that many, because I really only remember a handful, such as the “Mum’s cooked something different one” (see video below), the “Dad does the cooking one”, and the Christmas one, where the daughter narrates over scenes of the family doing the usual Christmas things, yet poor old Mum only gets credited for making the gravy.

As with most of these advertising campaigns when they come to an end, the reason for the OXO Family being dropped were that they weren’t seen as being representative of the average UK family any more, and I suppose I can see how that is true given it seems that many families no longer sit down to a home cooked meal together any more.

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Ferrero Rocher

Posted by Big Boo on January 12th, 2011

Ferrero Rocher“Ambassador, with these Rocher you are really spoiling us!”

Any article about Ferrero Rocher would be incomplete without the above immortal line and a picture of a giant pyramid of those golden balls, so I thought I might as well get those bits out of the way to start off with!

Introduced in 1982, and despite (or perhaps because of?) some truly terrible advertising, Ferrero Rocher have somehow managed to become the after dinner party treat of choice, usurping previous king the After Eight mint. If you want to give a little gift to a more discerning person, somehow Ferrero Rocher seem to fit the bill perfectly.

To be fair, they are actually quite nice to eat, with their perfectly roasted hazelnut, crispy outer shell and that lovely gooey creamy stuff in the middle. They do give off a certain air of luxury, especially with their elegant gold foil presentation, but the thought of that TV commercial is still never far away, is it?

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