It’s really odd to look back at life and consider how times have changed, even in my short time on this planet! Today we wait for nothing. Everything is available at our fingertips, no waiting, we can shop from our homes, on the bus or when we are out and about, safe in the knowledge that within 24hours it will be delivered to our homes or place of work.
This got me thinking about how we watch the telly! Back in the day… yes, here I go again,… we scrutinized the TV page in the paper or highlighted things we wanted to watch in the Radio times! We watched telly live! This is before VHS or Betamax, if you were out at brownies, playing out or at a party you missed it! Meals were geared around what we wanted to watch, early tea on a Saturday, ready to watch The A Team ahead of Doctor Who, and the dishes had to be washed ready to settle down to Coronation Street in on Mondays and Wednesdays. These routines were common across the country!
So...how do we watch now? Does anyone watch on the television any more, we have mobile devices to stream our viewing, in bedrooms, on the bus, anywhere we want to watch, we can! The other thing that occurred to me is the way we actually had to sit through the adverts! The entire country would pop the kettle on during the ad break or nip to the loo! No fast-forwarding or downloading without them. Now, before you think that this is a moan, it really isn’t! With only a handful of channels to choose from, viewers were the perfect captive audience for the nation's advertisers, and to be fair, looking back the adverts were bloody fantastic! They were clever, funny and we loved the catchy songs and tag lines that went with them.
So in respect for the adverts that we no longer watch I thought that I’d take another stroll down Memory lane to remind you lovely readers of my favourite 10 adverts as a blast from the past. Some you will love, others you will hate so here are my best and possibly worse telly ads that will take you back to those days when you watched telly live, in the same room as your family! You watched them! So in no particular order here goes…
1. Smash – smash get smashed
I flipping loved this advert – absolute genius! How we enjoyed watching this, and badgered our mums to buy smash instead of real potatoes! I think it tasted more like wallpaper paste than mash but we were sold! The true beauty of great advertising! Aliens mocked humans who still relied on the old-fashioned way of making mashed potato in this memorable campaign for powdered mash manufacturer Smash. These joyful extra terrestrials found earthlings habit of boiling and mashing potatoes hilarious and they went on the laugh their way through this iconic series of ads!
2. Sugar Puffs
“Don’t forget to tell them about the honey Mummy” as kids we went crazy for the Honey Monster and were all desperately trying to chuck a box of the cereal into the supermarket trolley. With the slogan ‘You’ll Go Monster Mad For The Honey’ the advert saw kids turning into the Honey Monster to get to the tasty cereal, and the Honey Monster destroying everything in his site to get at a box Sugar Puffs.
Starring the one and only Leonard Rossiter unexpectedly with the glamorous Joan Collins – each advert a mini story, and we eagerly awaiting next episode! These were the first adverts to be mini dramas, comedies, with actual stars in them. Whilst at the time I was too young to enjoy a Cinzano – I knew the catch phrase! This was a cult classic with hilarious results! We all knew about Cinzano’s “delicate and balanced taste and its fragrant and aromatic bouquet.” Not forgetting “Its recipe is a well kept secret and lies in the authentic Italian blending of high-quality wines and essences of herbs and spices.”
4 R Whites Lemonade
Mention R Whites to anyone of a certain generation and I promise you they will burst into song! What a concept for a soft drink – long before Nigella would sneak downstairs to raid her larder – we had the R white’s man in his stripy pjamas, sneaking a midnight drink of great lemonade. It was great lemonade!
5 Cadbury’s Milk Tray
“And all because the lady loves milk tray!” The late 60s and early 70s were all about glamour and romance! This advert was about legends and screen icons!, We had The Saint, Bond and many other dashing and brave characters on our screens. We were sold, if my dad bought my mum Milk Tray then she was one happy lady. My brother dressed as the milk tray man for the Queens Silver Jubilee, all you needed was a dark roll-neck jumper and a few bandages, clutching a box of chocs – still a good costume and I think we got to eat the chocolates afterwards (I however got to go as the Guinness Pelican, black tights, a leotard and a huge beak – not quite so glamorous!)
The Cadbury’s flake ad that I remember best is the one showing a beautiful young woman letting her bath overflow whilst eating a Flake! Cadbury's Flake ads became a TV staple. The 'Flake Girl' became synonymous with the slightly suggestive guilty pleasure of enjoying “Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate”. Have you tried to eat a flake in the bath? Not so attractive in real life…trust me…I’ve tried it!
7 Shake N Vac
Don’t even think about telling me that you haven’t done the Shake N Vac song and wiggle whilst doing the hoovering! I simply won’t believe you! The song is already buzzing in your head! Can you even still buy this?
8 PG Tips
Who can possibly forget the PG Tips adverts with the PG Chimps! Known as the Tipps family, I wanted one! Dressed in human clothes and lip synching to comedy actors voices these were genius! Everyone loved them and I’m sure this went a long way to ensure the tea brand became one of the UK’s most popular choices! Click on the link to watch my favourite, with Mr Shifter!
One of Britain’s most loved and remembered adverts was the Oxo Gravy advert. Can you believe it that the Oxo family featured in a series of 42 advertisements until the campaign ended in 1999. Still a firm favourite of mine!
10 Milky Bar
Ok, so please admit it if you knew a blond kid you must have, at least once, referred to him as “the Milky Bar Kid”. The setting was the Wild West, kids playing together until the hero finally declare “The Milky Bars are on me!” I really wanted to be friends with him… more white chocolate than I’d ever seen before and all handed out for free!
So... there you have it! Another blast from the past! I could have gone on as there were so many more I could have included. I hope you've enjoyed reading and watching the links! Share your all time favourite advert with me!