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This morning, while prepping questions for tomorrows Zoom quiz with the chaps, I’ve been researching old 1970 TV commercials online. From this trawl down memory lane, I’ve just productively completed penning ten ‘true or false’ inquiries. Vigour further inflated by evocations of fond childhood recollections flooding the old cranium during my random delving.

Ad tag lines such as “For mash get SMASH.‘, “I bet he drinks Carling Black Label‘, “Is she….. Or isn’t she wearing Harmony Hairspray‘, and ‘Mellow Bird will make you smile‘ hurtling me back over forty years to the living room of my Gateshead home.

Times when my telly viewing was undertaken laying horizontal on the carpet in front of the gas fire, a mere couple of feet from the gogglebox. Chromatic analogue pictures from the trinity of stations available in 1970’s Britain, broadcasting a wealth of content; rendering me…… well….. content.

That’s until I got my habitual rollocking from my mum of “Don’t sit too close to the telly, Gary…. You’ll go blind!“….. In my teenage years, a more inappropriate habit was flagged as a potential cause of diminishing eyesight.

The UK only broadcast three channels in that decade, nevertheless BBC1, BBC2 and ITV schedules managed to provide enduring recollections for this (then) young boy. Not only for scheduled programmes but the advertisements on ITV.

Commercials broadcasting Hamlet cigars eased the irk of a golfer bunker in situ; Nimble’s hot air balloon metaphor highlighting the bread’s lightness; Coca Cola wanting to teach the world to sing; and Ready Brek’s claim their product provided the consumer with an infra red winter heat barrier.

Those ads a marketing tip of the iceberg in an era when copywriters mainly cottoned on that even good advertisement epiphanies had a shelf life. Not like some of today’s creative ‘salespersons’ who, for example, milk an originally inspired meerkat storyboard for all its worth. A strategy pursued despite none of the subsequent commercials rising above the creatively ordinary.

Of course, the meerkats are synonymous with the brand since its innovative inaugural commercial, meaning the client’s understandably reticent to let Aleksandr Orlov and his buddies disappear without trace.

The patron understandably loving the click bait attaching itself to the cuddly meerkats. However, surely copywriters professional pride must want to produce a least one more funny and innovative storyboard, After all, its twelve years since the last and only whimsical storyboard played out.

To me, it appears when an advertisement agency’s guaranteed a marketing gig, following a previous great campaign, maybe an element of laziness creeps into the creative mindset.

How about a commercial crusade where our meerkat heroes, Aleksandr and Sergei, attempt to attract comparethemarket.com customers by retiring into the sunset. Leaving a hefty Welsh tenor to take over the baton for peddling the client’s visa, food and insurance deals with a raucous refrain incorporating the products moniker…… Nah, ridiculous idea!!…… It’d ever work!

I’m unsure why I indulged myself with the meerkat commercials rant. After all, not only do I not give a shiny s***e about the creative integrity of comparethemarket.com adverts, but I’ve never earned a bean from my creativity. Consequently, yours truly opinions are posited from an uninformed position.

The above controversial riff an avenue I’d inadvertently wandered along while seeking inspiration to relay my fondness of childhood TV ads. That being said, yours truly does feel my meerkat ad polemic does bear a degree of basis in fact.

However, as it’s more likely driven by envy I never got a chance to pursue a creative role, it’s not delivered with nobility….. My bitterness exacerbated by the fact for thirty years I meandered a career path in IT incident management. This employment course an utterly unfulfilling path which without introducing financial jeopardy into my life, as I’d four mouths to feed, I was reticent to remedy.

Anyhow, I’ll share my ‘true or false’ 1970’s advertisement questions later in the weeks after that’e been delivered to the Zoom quiz participants……. I’ll let my bitterness of not having a career which played to my strengths go one day. I promise.

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