Tuesday, June 04, 2019

More Messages From More Sponsors

Some old TV ads from 1978.  Which means, of course, that I'm at a loss for anything else to post today.  There are various old and schlocky movies I've recently watched, but I don't yet fell ready to write about them.  So, today, we have these commercials.  It's the usual mix of old tech that was new then, but obsolete now, the first iterations of now familiar products and the stuff that never seems to change and is still advertised today.  The Faberge ad just goes to show that even in 1978, deoderant adverts were extravagant and often entirely irrelevant to the product they were publicising.  Probably because they were Faberge, they felt they were too 'upmarket' to simply sell something that stops your armpits from stinking, so instead had to glamourise it all as some kind of 'experience'.

The Bic disposable razor, as advertised by Edward Woodward and son, was still a novelty back in 1978, but is now just an accepted part of male grooming.  Interestingly, the design has barely changed since then - the colours differ these days and they are slightly less prone to hacking your face to bits, but essentially the same product.  Of course, back then they were still considered inferior and 'downmarket' compared to traditional safety razors, as seen in the Gillette ad.  Gillette were fighting back against these cheap disposables by offering two, count 'em, two blades in their razors. The trouble is, that just made it even more expensive to replace the blades.  Nowadays, even disposable razors often boast twin blades, while traditional safety razors sport three or more.

The GEC sound system is another example of a sound system completely overtaken by subsequent technological advances.  Cassettes?  Turntables?  Vinyl?!!  Ariel washing detergents are still with, although now more commonly in liquid, capsule or tablet form and, along with its rivals, still advertised in much the same fashion.  Remember the Daz 'doorstep challenge'?  It was much the same format as this ad, 'proving' that the product could shift stains of the like no real person ever got on their shirts, better than rivals could.  If you are wondering who Juliet Harmer in the Fairy soap ad is, she was an actress best known for having been in the sixties TV series Adam Adamant.  Again, the basic format of someone beautiful telling us how wonderfully soft and kind to their skin the brand is, is still pretty much the standard format for soap ads.  Although soap in the form of bars is becoming less common, with the liquid variety tending to be preferred nowadays.  The Crest toothpaste ad features Jill Gascoigne a few years before she became a household name starring in The Gentle Touch.  Crest, of course, is another brand still with us.  As is Dettol, which is still advertised in pretty much the same way.

So, there you have it, another selection of commercials from an era when, by and large, you knew what was being advertised.  They were also for products you might use, rather than all the dubious financial services now dominating our ad breaks.  Not to mention the fact that adverts back then were actually quite entertaining.

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