Monday, June 11, 2012

A Commercial Success Story

My memory is less than perfect. Ok being honest, it's pretty crap really.

I may have mentioned this before but if I did, I've forgotten. Boom, boom.

Actually facts have shown that my memory peaked between 1959 and 1969. Before those dates it was still maturing, still growing, still full of youthful promise. After those dates, it was still full - but just full of 60's musical trivia and little else.

Jump forward 40 years or so and nothing much has changed. I still know more about the world of 60's music and culture than just about anything else. I guess I got a bit of a lemon for a brain as it simply stopped remembering anything new after 1969. This was a bit of a bummer considering I took my A Levels in 1970 !

Thankfully I got such a superb result in my A Level 60's Musical Appreciation that I got a place at Oxford where my thesis on Dusty Springfield is still mentioned as a classic of knowledge over style.

S'all true.

Anyway, I was in bed last night and a commercial jingle just popped into my head. As they do. Suddenly long dormant neurons shot along equally dormant synapses in my brain and I was remembering 50's and 60's jingles for the next hour. Can I remember any from the last 40 years ?

No.

Oh we all know that commercials have been very technically clever for decades now but memorable ?

No.

Not for me anyway.

As a geek and a lover of photography I admire many modern commercials. But only for a short time as one replaces the other and none leave any lasting memory.

My neurons aren't titillated.

My synapses see little traffic.

These days it seems clever computerised images are much more important than jingles and catchphrases. Big mistake. How much money could be saved if the ad men's computers were shut down and instead they give a fraction of their budget to a jingle writer ?

In the wee small hours of this morning I was merrily reciting "A Million Housewives Every Day, Pick Up A Tin Of Beans And Say, Beanz Meanz Heinz."

"A Double Diamond Works Wonders, So Drink One Today"

"The Milky Bar Kid Is Strong And Tough, And Only The Best Is Good Enough.....Nestle's Milky Bar."

"Opal Fruits...Made To Make Your Mouth Water."

"Murray Mints, Murry Mints, The Too Good To Hurry Mints."

"The Esso Sign Means Happy Motoring, The Esso Sign Means Happy Motoring, The Esso Sign Means Happy Motoring, Call At The Esso Sign."

"You'll Wonder Where The Yellow Went When You Brush Your Teeth With Pepsodent"

Remember Phensic ? I do. Never bought any in my life but I remember the slogan......

"Phensic Is Better For Headaches Than Aspirin Alone."

And Mackeson stout......

"Looks Good, Tastes Good And By Golly It Does You Good."

"Now Hands That Do Dishes Can Feel Soft As Your Face With Mild Green, Fairy Liquid."

Even today when I see a block of Turkish Delight, I always think it'll be "Full Of Eastern Promise." Really it's full of starch and sugars but thanks to the slogan writers (and, I suppose, images of belly dancing women from Hull) , I'll always believe the Eastern Promise bit.

My particular favourite ?

"For Mash Get Smash." Ok remembering the cute little metal aliens laughing and getting jiggy with it helps with that one.

So you can see why it took me ages to get to sleep this morning. I was in a tv timewarp and a scan would've shown my brain was lit up like a Christmas tree.

The things is, with modern technology, we can now skip adverts or change channel when they come on and mostly we do. Well I do. I'm not sure I've ever bought something based on a commercial but my subconscious might disagree. In any case, they spoil my enjoyment of whatever I'm watching so I'll do anything to avoid them.

But back in the day, my day, we couldn't do that. No remotes for a start ! I know. Can you imagine it, you young people ? We had to get up off our backsides to change channel and in our house that 'we' meant my dad. I wasn't allowed near the precious tv till I was 27 !

And as we only had 2 channels, dad didn't bother getting up much anyway.

So we saw ads. Lots of ads. And they were often as memorable as the shows, which wasn't saying much.

With nothing in the way of computer trickery, the ad men had to rely on snappy memorable jingles, slogans and catchphrases and as I proved this morning, they did a good job.

At 2am all that brain activity gave me quite a headache.

And for some reason I wanted a Phensic !

2 comments:

Jennyta said...

It's my (very unobjective) belief that there has been practically nothing decent musically since the 60s. ;)

rhymeswithplague said...

The only jingle of yours I recognize is the one for Pepsodent.

We had "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the great big Texaco star!"

And "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestle's makes the very best...chocolate."

And "Double your pleasure, double your fun..." (I think that one was for Doublemint Gum).

The one I remember best wasn't even musical: "Take it off, take it all off" (the product was shaving cream).

Our long-term memories are working fine and our short-term ones are crappy.

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