Forgotten gems from 100 years of British advertising

The UK agency trade body the IPA is celebrating 100 years of existence this week so it seems fair enough to celebrate some of British adland’s finer works.

We all know the usual suspects of course – Cadbury’s Smash (although the brand flopped), Heineken, Benson & Hedges, Charles Saatchi’s pregnant man for the Health Education Council and so on. In the pre-TV era most of the ones that have been saved are what Campaign amusingly describes today as “pubic service.”

Tobacco features strongly in most such ancient lists (mustn’t forget Hamlet of course) and here’s a polished effort from 1959, from Ogilvy I think. Directed by Third Man director Carol Reed so it should be good.

Reminds you of Archer of the Yard in the BBC’s SS-GB, even down to the hat.

But it bombed spectacularly, Strand was withdrawn a year later accused of depicting smokers as sad losers.

Nice film though.

Here’s a more recent offering, from the 1980s, that seems to escape most such lists. With Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan in a Jeff Stark offering from Hedger Mitchell Stark.

School of Heineken admittedly but can you think of a harder-working, funnier thirty seconds?

We’ll see what inspiration brings in the rest of the week (suggestions welcome).

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