Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another Word From Our Sponsors...

For no particular reason, here's a selection of TV commercials from Christmas 1979 that I found on You Tube.  Interestingly, these are actually from the ITV region I grew up with: Southern TV.  Their uninspiring logo (nobody could ever work out what it was meant to represent, every other ITV region seemed to have exciting idents like ships or knights or, at the very least, a dynamic sounding jungle), can be seen at the beginning.  I do remember most of these adverts, particularly the Bloo cistern block one voiced by Kenneth Williams.  Indeed, around this time, Williams' main TV presence seemed to be in the form of voice overs - it was easy work and undoubtedly paid well and, with the Carry On films pretty much over by the late seventies, they provided a useful alternative source of income for him.  The end voice over on the Bloo ad is, of course, the late John Junkin, who was something of a fixture on British TV in the seventies, in a variety of roles including comedian, actor, game shoe compere, chat show host and writer.  Now, sadly, he's largely forgotten.

The Polaroid advert with Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers is another example of a commercial seeking to cash in on a popular TV series, in this case The Good Life, by featuring its stars, rather than its characters.   UK advertising standards prohibited the use of popular TV characters in advertising at the time, so ad agencies played the game of trying to get as close to the TV characterisations and settings as possible without provoking an reaction from the Advertising Standards Agency.  The ad for Summer holiday brochures represents something that always used to irritate me: the advertising of Summer holidays in the middle of Winter.  I understand the psychology behind it: what better time to persuade people to book holidays in the sun than when they are shivering in the midst of a dark Winter's evening?  But I always felt that such ads, showing blazing sunshine and beautiful beaches, simply made Winter feel even more miserable than it was, undermining any attempt to actually enjoy the season.  And yes, it is possible to enjoy the Winter, with its blazing log fires, the comfort of the pub lounge bar and the crispness of Winter mornings.  Nowadays, of course, it's the holiday itself, rather than just the brochures they advertise - and I've learned not to be irritated by them.

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