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Adverts I remember

I was talking to mom the other day, and we got on to the topic of adverts. She remembered all these horrid jinge-heavy cheese-laden adverts from the late '50s. What's worse is one of those seriously-minority satellite channels was playing a stream of them and - gah! - mom knew the words to sing along. Something she's not thought about for longer than I've been alive...

Well, I'm a child of the '80s so what do I remember?

  • I go with the InPhone, I go where the InPhone goes...
    I dimly recall a whole Flashdance theme on something not unlike the Brooklyn Bridge, used to promote BT launching the itty-bitty phone plug/socket arrangement instead of the previous hardwired nonsense. This is particularly ironic for two reasons - a BT ad supposedly set in America, telephony has never agreed in this respect (Bell vs CCITT), and it is secondly ironic because I tried looking this up in Google and it thought I mispelled "iPhone"!
  • Hello Tosh, got a Toshiba?
  • Zanussi - The appliance of science (quite a catchy, if geeky, phrase!)
  • Ariston... and on and on and on and on...
  • Mild green..... Fairly Liquid
    (I could have sworn I heard this the other day - have they brought it back?)
  • Okay, get ready for it:
    Do the Shake'n'Vac and put the freshness back
    Wifey getting orgasmic over chucking smelly powder on the carpet and then sucking it up the hoover, it was a horrid bad cheesefest of a travesty of an advert, it was bloody brilliant!
  • I'm a secret lemonade drinker
    Not sure what this was saying, it wasn't socially acceptable to drink R.Whites so you'd sneak downstairs in the middle of the night? Get caught by your wife, go back to bed, then need a pee from all the lemonade you guzzled?
  • You can' pu' a be'er bi' o' bu'er on your knife
    Or for people who speak proper-loike: you can't put a better bit of butter on your knife. Still, it is miles ahead of that modern one (Clover?) where everybody is crying. I don't know what the advertisers were thinking, but come on - if the product is so bad the cast can't make it through a 30 second advert without bawling...
  • So near so Spar
  • Remember The Green Cross Code adverts, originally with that superhero bloke who, frankly, I'm not sure I'd trust my children anywhere near? They must have agreed as it became The Green Cross Code robot which was the beginning of the end. Who wants instruction from Metal Mickey?
    It would have been perfectly acceptable to find a teacher wearing a pinafore dress over a fuzzy jumper, flat pumps, total cute MILF type, and get her to instruct children on how to safely cross the road. Kids would listen because she's not a gimmick superhero-bot, and the adults would listen because... need I elaborate?
  • Talking of patronising public service announcements, Charley says don't play with matches and Charley says don't talk to strangers.
    I think it is something of an indictment of the world in which we live now that public service announcements inform you of how to correctly spell Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia while asking you to Talk to Frank.
    Back in my day, we were instructed to neither talk to strangers nor set light to them. Ahhh, such innocence.
  • Whhhooooooaaaaaaaaaa! Booooddddyyyyfffooooorrrrmmmmmm!
    In the days before we had panty liners with wings, we had girls practically climaxing at the idea of putting one on, if the advert is to be believed.
    In stark contrast to the clinical "capacity" analysis famed for its use of blue liquid, this advert took the panty liner, reached out of the telly, and slapped you across the face with it. Whhhooooooaaaaaaaaaa! Booooddddyyyyfffooooorrrrmmmmmm!
  • BT and Maureen Lipman - especially those -ologies.
  • BT and Busby - Make Someone Happy (which is loads better than the obnoxious "quote me happy")
  • Only the crumbiest, flakiest...
    Yes, a chocolate guaranteed to make a mess turned this into their selling point. It was especially potent if you got into a StupidBath(™) in the middle of a large empty room, then left the taps running so while you were in chocolate ecstacy, water poured all over the floor...
  • First time, first love, oh what feeling is this?
    Electricity flows with the very first kiss...

    A very '80s song by Robin Beck (ps: for Brits, Robin's a girl) was somehow rejigged into a Coke theme. She's still around (though her website was last updated at the end of 2008!) and, incredibly, still doing First Time...
  • Just one Cornetto...
    Back in the days when Cornettos (Cornetti?) were big and the maxi-size ones truly massive. If they launched those mini bite-sized ones back then, they'd have been laughed out of existence.
  • A Mars a day helps you work, rest, and play
  • Um bongo - they drink it in the jungle...
    Obviously the days before advertising standards.
  • Kia-ora and Quatro - two other has-been drinks.
  • Heineken refreshes the parts other beers can't reach.
  • Take my breath away... (dum-duh-daah, dum-duh-daah)
    This was a car advert. It was a sleek-looking car driving really fast with lots of fire and stuff blowing up all along the road. I have a horrible feeling it was for a Peugeot something-oh-six, rather than anything worthy of the Top Gun effects like, say, the defining car of the decade, the Audi Quattro.
  • Happiness... is a cigar called Hamlet
    The one I remember, which sounds suspiciously like a comedy take-off of the real thing, was an old bloke in a wheelchair. He gets to the disabled toilet. It is locked. A montage of pictures of him and the lock. He wets himself. And then lights up. Happiness is soaking wet pants... and a cigar called Hamlet.
  • If you know what's good for you, you do! (Weetabix)
  • How how about the Ready Brek glowing boy?
  • Paint it, bend it, kick it, B and Q it
    Thump it, hit it, smash it, B and Q it.
    Well, it went something like that, if not exactly the same! :-)
  • Matey no-soap bath gunk. In other words, a shower gel in a funny bottle.
    [this Maïté (said the same way) is much better, though the idea of chucking her in a bath with me... let's no go there, she's 17 and I'm... not.]
  • Rutger Hauer
    That name alone should conjure up what is probably the greatest series of beer adverts ever created. Far from the hooligan binge crowd, Rutger was a seriously cool customer and he liked beer. Guiness. Pure Genius.
    Really, the only way to top these adverts would have been to have Christopher Walken in them. Maybe. But remember, it's not easy being a dolphin.
    (sadly it wasn't until the early '90s that video technology was advanced enough to make the epic 100-second Guiness advert a reality - this was it, this was beer for the existential crowd)
  • Fly fishing, by J... R... Hartley
    No idea what the advert was for, but I won't forget the title of the fictional book.
    [yes, I know it is listed in Amazon - check the dates, that book is life imitating art]
  • P..p..p..pick up a penguin
    In the days before Linux, it was a chocolate bar with a memorably naff slogan.
  • 54321 and Club - I don't remember the adverts, but two other chocolate bars consigned to history.
    Hang on, wasn't the latter "if you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit, join our club"?
  • Razzle dazzle Daz
  • Princess and shoes. Probably Clarks, can't think of other brands that advertised on TV. Cute white buckle-up shoes (very young-girl), stolen sunshine, trapped children, evil witch... could have made a one-hour-special out of that (and then get sued for similarities to The Wizard of Oz!).
  • Smith's Tubes totally sending up John MacEnroe.
    Whatever became of Smiths? I used to love their chips with the salt in the little blue bag. At one time I had a jam jar stuffed with salt bags because so many crisps oversalted and used icky fake flavours, it was nice to have a crisp à la natur with nothing whatsoever getting in the way of the potato taste.
  • Heinz Ketchup - non-runny, lots of adverts of people thumping the bottle to get the stuff out.
    Latterly they got a clue and put the stuff in squeezy bottles.
  • Kinder Egg - all I remember is the dubbing was terrible, the original must have been in German or something.
  • Various bizarre Pot Noodle adverts - back in the days when we had Pot Rice (which was like warm rice crispies with condensed soup dumped on them) and Pot Casserole.
    If I remember correctly, there was an unimaginably awful fish flavour Pot Rice.
  • Speaking of lost food (and this is no advert so don't look for italicised text!), there was a range of cheap'n'cheerful oven ready meals. Tin foil compartmentalised base with card top. Inside were niceties like scrambled egg, beans, and sausage (I guess this would be the breakfast version?). Damn, man, I could eat two of them right now...
  • Sugar Puffs - big fuzzy yellow hunchback creepy dude.

Oh, but yes... you'll be reading this list and thinking it's nothing but beer and chocolate. Okay, try this, in alphabetical order too (whoo!)...


Animation I remember (er, from the '80s)

  • Chip'n'Dale Rescue Rangers
  • Defenders of the Earth
  • Danger Mouse
  • Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
  • Dragon's Lair
  • Fraggle Rock (yeah!)
  • Garfield
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (pretentious title, remember Orinoco?)
  • (dinky-dinky-dink) Inspector Gadget
  • Ivor the Engine
  • Jayce Wheeled Warriors (or something like that)
  • Robotech
  • Scooby-Doo (various; before it got crap; possibly made in the 70s?)
  • Superted
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Terrahawks (I had a little model Zeroid; this series was like Thunderbirds on acid)
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold
  • The Wombles
  • Thundercats
  • Transformers
  • Ulysses 31 (those floating-stasis people creeped the hell outta me!)

Okay, okay, enough reminiscence. There's one other. A boy. Some sort of generic hero-saves-the-day rubbish. He has models in his pocket. Like a little model car. Which when taken out of his pocket can turn into a real car... sound familiar to anybody?


Mozilla twittage

So I'm running Firefox 3.6.
I ask it to look for updates. It does.
It says 3.5.8 is available.

Now, on the ASSUMPTION that this was the one released with the vulnerabilities claimed to be fixed, I retrograde to the older version. Looks/feels the same.
Only, the "What's new" page has autoloaded. A message up the top recommends:

For security reasons, we recommend downloading the latest and greatest version.

I click the link. Security is important, right?
The link takes me to Firefox 3.6.
So I ask my (retrograded) Firefox to look for updates.
It says 3.6 is available.

Gaaaaaaah! You morons!

I download and (re)install 3.6.
So after 20Mb of pointless downloading, plus the time taken for the installation (at least I was making pasta at the time), I cannot believe the thing is so frigging braindead as to say 3.5.8 is an update from 3.6! I mean, I'm pretty poor at maths but even I can work that out!


Your comments:

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Rob O'Donnell, 20th February 2010, 10:17
Yep I remember those- you might get a few comments now, as you do tend to write long blog entries. So, without further ado, one of my enduring memories as brought back by one particular jingle. Here we have the worst joke ever:

Two guys work in a restaurant. One named Yorfase, the other named Hans.Yorfase was a new waiter, Hans was the kitchen assistant.The restaurant was a fish restaurant, the kind that you choose which fish/lobster/crab/squid that you wish to eat, and it gets taken to the kitchens, etc.In the tank there was a squid that Yorfase had grown fond of. It was areal straggly looking thing, mild green in colour with hairy lips,almost like a beard and moustache. It seemed fond of Yorface and used to let Yorfase tickle him when the manager wasn't around. One day, a man came into the restaurant and ordered Squid. Yorfase asked which squid he would like. The man pointed to the mild green squid and said "that one". Yorfase tried to make the man to choose a larger more attractive active squid but the man refused to change his mind. Sadly, Yorfase took his squid into the kitchens and lay it on the chopping board. The squid looked at Yorfase with sad watery eyes as it awaited its fate. Yorfase stood with the chopping knife in his hand and could not kill his friend. He called to Hans who was assigned to plate washing, and asked if he could do the terrible deed, Yorfase could just not bear to kill the squid. Hans admitted that he could not kill the squid either. The moral of the story is....Hans that do dishes are as soft as Yorfase with Mild Green Hairy Lipped Squid!.

Rob, 20th February 2010, 10:30
I particularly remember the Hamlet ad where he's a golfer stuck in one of those sandpit things that golfers have a proper name for..

Fly fishing- - Yellow Pages. And yep, the book came after!

we used to have Smiths crisps in the tuckshop in school - they had a factory in Cheadle we passed. Now it's just a car park for a supermarket...

Funny you should write about videos - here's mine:

Animation - what about Fingerbobs, Mary Mungo and Midge, Bagpuss (he says, looking at the DVDs on the shelf..) Still as popular today as the new stuff, if the reactions of my little one are anything to be judged by.

And firefox? Go get a browser thatnot just anybody can fiddle with. I'm running Opera and never have that sort of problem...

ok, here's hoping you honor <br> tags in comments - CRs don't work for sure.. Get ready little submit button..
Rob, 20th February 2010, 10:30
Rick, 20th February 2010, 17:42
I've converted your <br>s to real linebreaks for you. HTML is rejected, for obvious reasons. ☺
It is \n and \p for newline and para break.

Mild green Hairy Lipped Squid? Arrrgh!

Rick, 4th March 2010, 04:22
Update... For linebreaks just press Enter! Don't bother with special codes (it WAS a hassle, wasn't it?). ☺
Rick, 6th March 2010, 03:50
Rob - my mother just get the Bagpuss DVD from Amazon. I'm looking forward to XviDing that to watch on Azumi. <yyyaaawwwnnn!> 
Do you remember the Moomins? 
Oh, yes - I remember that S..S..Studio Line. Idiotic. But not as bad as the Giant Suzuki ad. OMG! 
SuperChannel - was that the BSB "squariel" thing that was around before Sky-as-we-know-it turned up (via the short-lived BSkyB)? 
Here's mine (you might spot a bias!):
Rob, 24th July 2011, 22:47
Moomins! Squeeek squeek squeeeeeeek! 
No, Super channel was a cable-only pan-european channel. But you could pick it up if you had one of the HUGE dishes that existed before DTS. We didn't; that was recorded off Greenwich Cablevision. (very hackable, just used VHF frequencies!)  
"Sky" was another such channel before they decided to rent space on Astra and flog direct-to-home satellite dishes. BSB actually owned their own satellites and broadcast in digital right from the start, but didn't have the marketing power that Sky had, so lost out.

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