Tag Archives: Adverts

A Word From our Sponsors… Lego

“But he turned into an anti-kipper ballistic missile…”

I couldn’t help noticing the other night that the nostalgic trend of classic vintage adverts being dusted off and rerun seems to be gathering pace.

We’ve already seen the old Milky Way and Accurist watches adverts reappear recently after many years languishing in the archives.

And now Lego is the latest product to get in on the act. They are proudly re-presenting this wonderful advert from, I believe, 1981, featuring the voice of the late, great British comedian Tommy Cooper.

Possibly inspired by the wizard duel in Disney’s 1963 animated Arthurian adventure The Sword In The Stone, this advert, called Kipper (“I said ‘kipper’ not ‘slipper’…”), was made by ad agency TBWA/London.

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A Word From Our Sponsors… Accurist Watches

In keeping with the Monty Python theme of this week’s Monday Movie, today’s classic advert features some prime-vintage John Cleese.

Here, from 1978, is an award-winning series of Accurist adverts in which a Basil Fawlty-esque Cleese character flogs us some of those fancy new digital watch gizmos.

In those days, you see, as Douglas Adams famously wrote, us ape-descended lifeforms were so amazingly primitive that we still thought digital watches were a pretty neat idea.

Um… actually, the Choob still does. Hmmm…

Ahem. Moving on, it’s time (see what I did there?) for those classic ads:

The reason these ads came to mind this week is because I noticed that Accurist have dusted one of them off and, with a few digital tweaks, started re-running it, 31 years on. Spot the differences between the following 2009 version and the original:

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A Word From Our Sponsors… Cadbury’s Flake

Incredibly, Cadbury’s notorious “Flake girl” UK TV adverts have been around, on and off, for 50 years now.

The first of the long-running series aired in 1959 and, from the earliest days, the adverts were extremely suggestive, packed with sensual imagery and overtly sexual symbolism.

These are from the 1960s and, though quite tame in comparison to what would follow, were still incredibly risqué for their time:

All of the adverts in this article aired on UK TV, except this one, which is from the similarly themed Aussie ad campaign:

In the 1970s, they moved to colour and upped the ante in the sexual metaphor stakes.

The following are all, I believe, from the 1970s and 1980s. First, two of the best-known ads:

This one is perhaps the least subtle of the lot, in which a woman in a canoe loses her paddle and then the canoe breaks through a waterfall into a hidden cave…

This 1980s advert provoked the most controversy in the press, due to the perceived highly erotic way the woman put the flake into her mouth… and speculation about what the lizard on the telephone was supposed to represent:

And in the 1990s, they just stopped pretending and went the whole hog by having the girl “enjoying her Flake” stark naked:

The saucy Flake girl was retired by Cadbury in 2004 – but revived in 2007 in this ad featuring Australian model Alyssa Sutherland:

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A Word From Our Sponsors… The Guinness Theory Of Evolution

Guinness have a track record for making clever, outstanding, ground-breaking adverts, so it’s a surprise that I haven’t featured any of them yet.

Time to put that right, then, with this one, which is one of the more recent offerings but, for my money, a contender for the all-time best:

And here is a nice little twist on the main advert that they produced to promote the Guinness Extra Cold brand:

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A Word From Our Sponsors… Stratos

This advert looks like it’s British but, despite the Manchester United shirt and English soundtrack, in fact, appears to be from Norwegian TV (and to complicate things further, the song used is The You And Me Song by Swedish group The Wannadies).

It’s clever, witty and subtle and, despite having nothing really to do with the product being sold (a chocolate bar called called Stratos that appears to be similar to Aero or Wispa, made by a company called Nidar), is one of the best, most effective TV ads I’ve ever seen.

This one, for the same product, has a similar theme (clever kids getting what they want, but is a bit more cheeky:


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A Word From Our Sponsors… British Rail

Much-loved comedy actress Hattie Jacques, star of Carry On films and TV sitcom Sykes, races Scottish Formula One champion Jackie Stewart in this 1976 advert for British Rail.

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A Word From Our Sponsors… Miller Pilsner’s Fox Hat

Even now, 10 years on, this beer advert, starring Rich Hall, never fails to make me laugh.

It even inspired an entire comedy festival earlier this year in Auchtermuchty, which, if you don’t know, in a small village in Fife, Scotland.

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