It’s the 60th anniversary of the first TV ad in the UK (September 22) so expect of barrage of surveys and so on to mark the event.
Here’s the first one broadcast, for Unilever’s Gibbs SR toothpaste, now known as Mentadent. I presume this was produced by Unilever’s then in-house agency Lintas.
SR stands for sodium ricinoleate by the way. Magical ‘scientific’ ingredients were big in those days.
You could advertise cigarettes too. Here’s one for Consulate menthol flavoured gaspers, “the cigarette that’s good for you.”
And from 1969 possibly the first TV appearance by Joanna Lumley, trying (not very hard) to escape the clutches of a would-be lover on a Greek island in the cause of Nimble low calorie bread.
The great age of UK TV ads is said to be the 1970s. Whitbread, then a brewer, was arguably the most famous advertiser along with tobacco firm Gallaher (Benson & Hedges, Hamlet) – both clients of Collett Dickenson Pearce.
But Whitbread boss Tony Simmonds-Gooding hedged his bets rather, using Allen Brady and Marsh for this:
And CDP for this:
Directed by Alan Parker with David Puttnam as the suit on the case – genius.
Bumped into Alan (Sir Alan as he is now) a while back and very charming he was too, despite his formidable reputation. Puttnam, of course, is a lord.
Anyway, we’ll see what the next few days bring.