Friday, May 25, 2018

Yet Another Commercial Break

It's another bank holiday weekend and I'm feeling lazy again, so it's back to that old stand-by: a selection of old TV ads.  These are from 1967 and, obviously, in black and white.  They are fascinating because they represent the end of an era,  Back in 1967 TV was still, just, a novelty and the idea of advertising on it was also something of a novelty.  Consequently, there's still a certain innocence about these commercials.  There's no hard sell, irony or knowingness about them.  Compared to the slick production we've become accustomed to, they seem quite crude.  They also feel quite 'forma', with the attempts at a more relaxed, informal approach (such as in the Davenport's ad), seem forced and awkward. 

But the late sixties were a time of flux, as the 'swinging sixties' blew through Britain, youth culture flourished and pop culture started going wild.  Things were also changing in the world of TV: ABC, for instance, was shortly to be ousted by ATV as part of a wider series of changes in the ITV franchises (Rediffusion London would give way to Thames and the weekend London franchise would go over to London Weekend TV, for instance).  Colour TV was also just around the corner in the UK: BBC2 started colour broadcasts in 1967, with BBC1 and some ITV regions following suit in late 1969.  With the advent of colour, the ads started getting slicker.  TV also became less of a novelty and more a part of the furniture in the majority of Britain's homes.  Some of the magic had gone as we all started to take the mavrel of TV for granted.



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