Getting all Nostalgic on a Damp Bank Holiday Monday

Picture the scene. It’s mid-morning on a particularly wet Bank Holiday Monday in Surrey. Everyone is bored. The youngest is playing Nerf guns upstairs with his friend. The oldest is practicing beat boxing on the laptop. The Mrs has gone shopping.

And I’m reading The Times when I come across an article titled ‘6 of the Best’. In it John Hegarty, advertising ‘guru’, lists his all-time favourite TV adverts in the UK.

BTW this is not one of Hegarty’s favourites, this is a cheap attempt at humour.

The article includes a picture of a shot of each campaign and at this point I thought ‘Shame you can’t watch the actual ad whilst you’re reading the article’. Which of course is what The Times wants you to think, so no doubt they have the adverts available in their online version of the article.

Problem is, no way I’m paying to subscribe to online news from The Times. Forget it. Its just plain irritating that they expect you to pay when a year or so ago you could read it for free. I mean why all of a sudden should you pay?

That’s when it struck me – use the power of WordPress to bring life to this flat, static article I’m reading and so here is Hegarty’s favourites (with help from Youtube):

1. Hovis, 1974

This ad was voted as the UK’s all time best. And it was directed by none other than Ridley Scott who went on to make Alien and Bladerunner.

2. Heineken, 1984

My favourite. It sums up us Brits so well.

3. Levi’s, 1985

This is one of Hegarty’s commercials and he says it revived the brand, that music and the boxer short. But these things are fleeting and none of then are particularly popular now…are they? (To be fair it did enable Levis to start charging stupid amounts for denim though).

4. Smash, 1974

Smash – bloody horrible stuff.

5. Fiat, 1979

This advert shows the pure power of marketing – it made what was in reality a totally shit car seem okay. The music (Pavarotti) and the focus on computer production confused the viewer into thinking that Fiat could produce cars. They couldn’t.

6. Orange, 2003

In the UK we get ads like this in cinemas. They are quite funny but the problem is that you know by the time you see them the film is about to start and you’ve been sitting there so long you just want it to get going!

So these are all famous adverts from history we have seen on UK TV and cinema screens – what about the rest of the world? What’s your favourite advert?

12 thoughts on “Getting all Nostalgic on a Damp Bank Holiday Monday

  1. What a great post! I had so much fun reading it and seeing some of these ads. I remember the Orange one. They had a whole series of these and they were all funny. Are they still making them?

    Personally, I thought the new-ish Old Spice commercials were brilliant.

  2. Years ago I was sitting in a laundromat waiting for my wash to finish & a guy really did come in, strip down & was his clothes – just like the levi’s commercial. I’m guessing it was his only set of clothes so what are ya gonna do? Me, I couldn’t get out fast enough because this guy surely didn’t look like the one in the levi’s ad!!!!

  3. Marvel at the advertisement’s ability to stick in your head for years, despite the fact you can live without the product. Commercials I like are the Clint Eastwood car ad and the Coke “I fall to pieces” (sung by Patsy Cline) ad, both run during the Superbowl (not the same year).

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