Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And ye shall know them by their TV commercials

The past is another country, sure enough.
  • The captain of the England football team dropped in at his local unmolested after a match.
  • There was a product called Dreft.
  • People got excited about the prospect of winning five pounds.
  • They blended tea specially for Northern Ireland.
  • All blondes were Swedish.
  • Middle-aged men wore bowler hats.
  • They advertised boots on the TV.


  1. Anonymous10:16 am

    Talk about serendipity (as you did recently). I saw this Mud-on-the-street ad last week for the very first time when another website informed me that Dave Prowse's Green Cross Code ad was filmed round the corner from my house in East Dulwich. I followed a link to see the west country Darth Vader in action and spent a good few minutes avoiding work by looking at other unlikely celebs offering sensible advice. I remembered Keegan's ad, but Les Gray, purveyor of fine rock and roll pastiches doing road safety? Whoever next? Alvin Stardust? Yes it was actually.

    And the past is indeed a foreign country. One where a Double Diamond worked wonders.

  2. Anonymous10:21 am

    That is remarkably timely. A good but eccentric friend of mine has just got hold of a DVD completely full of Tv advertisements from the 50s and 60s. I went for a trip down memory lane the other night, and saw most of the ones you're alluding to, but the outstanding one for me was a Schweppes commercial featuring a young William Franklyn wandering around in a beautiful double fronted Edwardian house while it is being demolished...

  3. Men in suits in a pub when it's not a wake! Hairspray for blokes! Tremendous!

  4. Is this where it all went right for Persil and wrong for Dreft then, I wonder? And is that the great Arthur Mullard comparing the boots advert? Most excellent all round - but how much did they (ones for actual products, rather than stopping ver kids getting run down by Hillman Avengers) work in their time do we think?

  5. It may all be on YouTube anyway, but this DVD is good fun:
    "Charley Says" - Classics from the Central Office Of Information archives.

    Get the best of "Superstars" on DVD too and you've got yourself a pleasant evening's entertainment.

  6. .... and we're still fallin' for the same old crap.
    Quote: "sex sells everything, and sex kills. (and a chance to win)

  7. You can still get Dreft.

    Apart from the Bobby Moore one, a lot of these look surprisingly modern to me. Apart from the plummy accents, the haircuts and the colour of course.

  8. I can't think of any ad these days that has sad music. Back then, it was everywhere.

  9. John Bejamans 1973 documentary 'Metroland' is another gem (and available on DVD)filmed when anyone over thirty five dressed in the palette of a sparrow.

  10. Anonymous12:39 pm

    In case anyone is following this thread: Betjeman's Metroland is on BBC Four this very week.