Friday, April 21, 2017

Back After the Break...

That's right, due to circumstances beyond my control (mainly trying to get someone to look at my gas boiler which has stopped working) I haven't been in the right headspace to come up with a proper post today.  Instead, I've fallen back on that old standby: a selection of some old TV commercials.  These are from the sixties and, right from the off, feature some points of interest.  First up is the Fry's Turkish Delight ad featuring the 'Big Fry', who is portrayed by none other than a pre-James Bond George Lazenby.  Indeed, before his one and only appearance as 007 in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the 'Big Fry' was the role for which he was best known to the public.

These ads come the period when London was on the cusp of becoming 'swinging' and a lot of them place an emphasis upon glamour and youth culture, with Sandie Shaw advertising Lux soap and young women being told that the secret to pulling blokes is to make out sure that their 'Head and Shoulders' are free of dandruff.  Obviously, she won't want to waste that effort with her hair by getting hot and sweaty in the disco: so Mum under arm deodorant is another essential.  The commercial for London Life magazine pushes the point that Britain's capital was the 'happening' place to be.  The Sunday Mirror ad is a reminder that the tabloid press's obsession with UFOs is nothing new and certainly wasn't invented by the Daily Mail.  I do remember from my early years that throughout the late sixties and early seventies the Sunday papers were always running lurid stories about UFOs, hauntings, black magic rituals and the like.

Then there's avuncular Jack Warner advocating the benefits of formica.  Did you know that there was a time when formica was considered such a desirable product that they had advertising campaigns for it?  Then there's the equally avuncular Captain Birdseye, who is still hawking his fish fingers to this day.  I'm guessing that this was the original Captain Birdseye - he's regenerated more times than Dr Who since then (they'll probably insist he has to be a woman next).  Before we go, let's not forget the brands seen here which no longer exist - most notably National petrol.  One of several brands which had their own strings of filling stations in the days before you filled your car up at the supermarket.  Ah, the nostalgia of it all!


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