Friday, October 26, 2018

Some More from Our Sponsors

Another commercial break while I try and come up with some proper posts.  I'm all over the place right now, with all manner of stuff going on which is distracting me from my usual writing duties here.  So, instead of me rambling on about something or other, here are some TV commercials from 1977 that somebody has kindly posted on You Tube.  Once again, we find ourselves back in an era when VHS recorders were a novelty and pretty much the cutting edge of home entertainment.  Not only are they now obsolete, but John Lewis have now stopped selling one of its successors, the DVD player, because of falling demand as people increasingly turn to streaming services for watching films and TV at home.  (Mind you, I think the media are being premature by announcing the death of the DVD based on a decision by John Lewis, whose customers aren't exactly representative of the population at large and their home entertainment preferences).  But who knew that there was ever a time when Cadbury's Caramel bar was new?  Or that it's conception was a s recent as 1977?  It's one of those things you just assume has always been around.  Unlike Cadbury's Pint Size, which I don't even remember from 1977 and have never seen or heard of subsequently.  Hopefully, somebody strangled that bloody puppet to death.

Even in 1977 adverts boasted a smattering of celebrities - I don't mean the obvious ones like Twiggy and Petula Clark, but rather Micheal Robbins of On The Buses fame, who wishes that he'd rented that TV set, and Melvyn Hayes, who is selling fruit from his barrow to passing blondes.  Interestingly, the company Robbins apparently should have rented from - British Relay - is one that I've never heard of.  As my father worked at this time for Radio Rentals - the UK's biggest TV rental company - I was familiar with most of their sister companies and rivals.  DER and Rumbelows were part of the same group as Radio Rentals, whilst Vision Hire and Granada were their arch rivals.  I never recall having seen British Relay on the High Street. Yet they were apparently big enough to be mounting a TV ad campaign fronted by a recognisable actor.  It is also sobering to be reminded that Chrysler UK were still producing cars at this time - the successor to the Rootes Group were subsequently bailed out by the British government in order to safeguard UK jobs, becoming Talbot in the process, before being bought by Peugeot.  As for Matey bath foam - I'm not sure that having sailors advertising a children's bath time product with a sea shanty would be allowed these days.  (Allegedly, all that foam was designed to hide the fact that you were wanking in the bath - or so it was rumoured when I was at school).  I seem to remember that Matey was replaced by Super Matey a few years later, although I'm not sure exactly what made this incarnation 'super' - perhaps it could conceal farting in the bath as well as wanking.



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