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Archive for the ‘TV – Adverts’ Category

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Get Yourself Seen!

Posted by Big Boo on December 11th, 2009

get yourself seenNow here’s another classic and much used public information film! The Get Yourself Seen campaign may have been created in the 1970’s (as the fashion and the presence of a Raleigh Chopper attest) but this ad must have been played many times during the 1980’s as it has been indelibly etched in my brain forever more.

The advert was aimed at cyclists young and old, telling them to take care when riding at night that they were as clearly visible as possible. I do cynically wonder though if perhaps the manufacturers of those highly reflective yellow and orange vests and bands were actually behind it in order to increase sales of something which can make you look a bit silly, let’s be honest.

What makes this particular ad so memorable was the song accompanying it, which was a very jolly little song informing you of the various ways you could improve your visibility. The afore mentioned yellow and orange vests were just one way. One lad in the film even goes as far as to wear what appears to be a jump suit made entirely out of tin foil. I think I’d rather wear the embarrassing vest thanks.

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The Green Cross Code

Posted by Big Boo on November 4th, 2009

green cross code manThere have been some great public information films over the years, and many of them were aimed at teaching young children about dangerous situations. Whether it be learning to swim, staying away from strangers or not messing about in electricity sub-stations, there was a short advertisement telling you to be good boys and girls.

There were also many ways in which the message could be put across, for example using cartoon characters such as the brilliant Charley Says adverts, a dramatisation of some dangerous scene, or the good old celebrity endorsement.

The Green Cross Code was the name given to the rules of crossing the road, and I believe the name is still in use here in the UK to this day, although I must admit to not having seen any evidence of this. The Green Cross Code can be distilled into three main actions – Stop, Look and Listen – although quite often Think got tacked on the end as well. All good advice and simple enough for kids to understand and stay safe on the roads.

Anyway, you all know how to cross the road safely I’m sure, but just in case here are a handful of my favourite examples of Green Cross Code safety films. This first one dates back to the late seventies, and I certainly remember it being shown when I was little. The celebrity of choice here is Alvin Stardust (thank God it wasn’t Gary Glitter, eh?) who lets two little girls know that they “must be out of their tiny minds” when they walk in front of a car. OK, he’s right, but all that glam rock gear doesn’t mean he has a right to go round speaking down to kids.

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Accrington Stanley, Who Are They?

Posted by Big Boo on October 9th, 2009

accrington stanley, who are theyI defy anyone to watch this classic TV advert for milk from the eighties without putting on a Liverpudlian accent and joining in with the two little lads. It’s one of those adverts that have somehow got ingrained in the conscious of any Child of the 1980’s.

As mentioned the advert in question was on behalf of the British Milk Marketing Board (or whatever their official name may be) and was intended to get the nations youth drinking nice healthy milk instead of carbonated badness. Whether it actually achieved that aim or not I don’t know, but the advert was certainly popular.

In it two little Liverpool supporters open up a fridge looking for refreshment after having a bit of a kick about, although we only ever actually see the face of the milk drinker. His mate asks for lemonade, and then sounds disgusted when the over little lad starts pouring himself a glass of milk.

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Fairy Liquid TV Ads

Posted by Big Boo on August 26th, 2009

fairy liquidThese days they just don’t seem to make television adverts with sing along jingles at the end, do they? I’m racking my brain to come up with some examples and the only one I can think of is “Compare the Market (pause) dot com“, and even that isn’t really a jingle but the name of the company set to music.

One brand that did have a classic jingle when I was little was Fairy liquid. You know the one:-

Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face,
with mild green Fairy Liquid.

It seems the people from Fairy washing up liquid must have noticed this too, because they’ve brought back the classic jingle from their old ads, although it has been twisted a little. It’s the one with the kiddie with the dirty scooter who tries to put it in the dishwasher at the end. It’s a nice attempt at reuse, if a little confusing:-

Now hands that do dishes can get everything sparkling clean,
but unfortunately you can’t get your scooter in.

Why talk about hands washing dishes if it’s advertising dishwasher liquitabs? I don’t get it… Here’s the ad so you can see it for yourself.

Anyway, this all got me thinking about some of the old Fairy liquid ads from my childhood, and I distinctly remember two styles of advert that were used back then.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Posted by Big Boo on August 3rd, 2009

quatroThe word quatro (or perhaps more correctly quattro) was strangely popular during the 1980’s for some reason. There was leather clad rock chick Suzi Quatro, and the Audi Quattro, most recently made popular again by DCI Gene Hunt in Ashes to Ashes.

Software house Borland even named a spreadsheet program Quattro, the idea being that Quattro, meaning four in Italian, was one better than three, thus making their piece of software better than the then market leader in the spreadsheet market Lotus 1-2-3. I think perhaps that this particular one needs too much explanation.

However, possibly even worse than the number crunching software was a fizzy drink called Quatro. Packaged in a white can with four coloured squares (green, orange, yellow and reddish orange) and a stylised white letter Q, Quatro was a mixed fruit flavoured carbonated drink.

So far so good then.  It even had a rather cool TV advert which looked like a mixture of Tron and Bladerunner, with a bit of Duran Duran video thrown in for good measure.  According to this advert the drink supposedly consisted of pineapple, orange, plum and grapefruit (or possibly melon, the video I found on YouTube is a little grainy and it’s hard to be sure exactly what those last two fruits actually were), and this is where things start to go wrong.

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We Hope It’s Chips!

Posted by Big Boo on July 20th, 2009

we hope its chipsHere’s a little bit of a poser for you.  Remember this TV advert from the early 1980’s?  A van is leaving a building site.  Inside the front seat passenger starts to sing:

Will it be chips or jacket spuds?  Will it be carrots or frozen peas?

His mates in the back of the van, a scary looking bunch it has to be said, then start to join in:

Will it be mushrooms?
Fried Onion Rings?
You’ll have to wait and see.
Hope it’s chips, it’s chips.  We hope it’s chips, it’s chips.

I’m sure you must recognise the advert by now, but do you remember what it was advertising?

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Ariston. And On. And On.

Posted by Big Boo on June 29th, 2009

ariston washing machineEvery so often a television advert comes along that hooks the nations interest.  It might be because it’s particularly clever, or very funny, or perhaps it’s just so incredibly annoying that it somehow lodges in your mind and you just can’t shake the damn thing out.  The Shake ‘n’ Vac advert is a particularly good example of this phenomenon, as are the adverts from the late 1980’s for Ariston home appliances.

First of all take a piece of electro pop music that sounds like it’s been ripped straight out of an old computer game.  Add in a few robotic sounding vocals and top it all off with some flying frozen chickens and a little animated guy made out of some fried eggs, sausages and a couple of cucumbers.  For that final finishing touch end with a repeating phrase consisting of just two words – “and on”.

Sounds pretty dreadful right?  Well, yes, but so dreadful that you find yourself glued to the television.  Whether Ariston sold more washing machines or not I have no idea, but it must have been fairly successful since they used variations on the “and on and on and on” theme for several years to follow.

Check out the clip below for our fried egg sausagey cucumbery friend, and also his mate the pots and pans man with cups for eyes and plates for lips.  Classic!  If that’s the right word…

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Bernard Matthews Turkey Drummers… Bootiful!

Posted by Big Boo on May 25th, 2009

turkey drummersPicture this. As a child, you’re outside playing and your Mum calls you in for dinner. After ignoring her a couple of times you finally come in when you’re told it’s getting cold, so you run inside and sit to the table to find Bernard Matthews Turkey Drummers sat there on your plate. Joy! Now you wish you’d come in sooner!

Well, I always felt that way anyway.  In the days before Chicken McNuggets the humble Turkey Drummer (and even humbler Turkey Burger for that matter) were a staple part of most kids diets during the 1980’s.  Made from bits of turkey reformed into shapes that roughly approximate a chicken drumstick, and covered in bread crumbs, they really were, as Mr. Matthews would put it, bootiful, and served with chips and baked beans you had a meal fit for a king!

They are still available today, and I still love ’em, although don’t go near the new healthier versions Bernard Matthews has produced labelled with a Big Green Tick.  They may look the same but they seem to have had all the moisture sucked out of them and taste like cardboard, whereas the originals were always fairly moist (probably due to a far too high fat content!).

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