Dear God, please take us back to the 1980s, when adverts were a merciful 30 seconds long, and we only had to endure them for a short period before forgetting about them. Yes, sometimes those catchy little jingles did stick in your mind, but at least you didn't have to endure the adverts that announce adverts that are due any day now, and at least they weren't 30 minutes long, until you're confused as to whether you're watching an advert at all or a TV programme. And today's TV adverts are big affairs, think John Lewis, Chanel No5, L'Oreal. Frankly, I want to be taken back to the days of when A Finger of Fudge was just enough, and that all time favorite the Shake-n-Vac, which always put the freshness back. Those 1980s hymns that were short but far more memorable.
Yes, before we knew about the dangers of sugar, a Mars bar in your lunch box would fill you full of vigour and enough energy to get you through the day, it might help rot your teeth, but it successfully get you through the working day. And that simple yet effective catchphrase put to music made eating chocolate a necessary pleasure.
Another perfectly good reason to let your teeth rot. The song was enough, even if the finger of fudge tasted like sludge, that song is legendary. Whoever came up with that little ditty should be given the Nobel Peace Prize....for something, perhaps most effective contribution to tooth decay, or advertising, one of the two. My teeth used to ping with agony every time I bit into one, but I felt compelled to fulfill the finger of fudge destiny to find out if it really was enough.
I hate housework, and I hated it as a child as well. The only good thing about a vacuum cleaner was that it could send me to sleep in under 10 minutes. But the Shake-n-Vac made me want to vacuum not just my own house, but anybody else's house that needed a quick run through, as long as I could play the Shake-n-Vac theme tune while I was doing it, and be able to shake the Shake-n-Vac tube vigorously. And that song, the catchphrase......
“For mash get smash” what a superb strapline from Boase Massimi Pollitt. Simple, yet effective, yet again. The simple catchphrases are always the best, and as a copywriter, they do give you a reason to believe everything you're told about keeping things nice and simple is true. Yes, those little martians looked like they'd been put together in a school classroom on a rainy afternoon by a group of bored 9 year olds. This is back in the day when peeling potatoes and boiling them in water was far too much like hard work for anyone, and it was lot easier to pour boiling water over some dodgy looking paste, throw a wodge of butter over it and nobody would be any the wiser. The emphasis was on the authentic taste, and how you couldn't really tell the difference between it and a freshly boiled plate of mashed spuds.
Slush Puppies “Fun in a cup” and death to your brain cells. A cup of grey-blue slush that was so much fun-fun-fun. It left your tongue completely blue and made your frozen brain feel like somebody'd taken it out and beaten it with a sledge hammer before putting it back in again. One or two sips and you had to clutch your head in agony before you recovered any kind of equilibrium. And you'd be happily sucking the damn thing for near on half an hour before eventually, all the flavour had evaporated, and you had little left but damp flavourless ice crystals at the bottom. Regardless, Slush Puppy was a success throughout the 80s and it's still going strong.
“Central Heating for Kids” Ready Brek was something you insisted your mother bought, because unlike other children, if you ate it, you'd have some sort of glowing red ring around your body. Except it was lie, nothing of the sort happened. Your mother'd bought a year's worth of porridge and you'd be eating it till kingdom come and you still wouldn't get a red ring around you could see in the dark. All the same, Ready Brek was successful in the 80s because parents thought it would save them on heating bills. It didn't. But this clever idea worked.
Yes, it's makes you wonder how we ever survived the 1980s. It was the decade advertisers were paid to convince you that unhealthy foods was really good for you and helped you to function in an extraordinary way. They could help you work, rest and play that was just enough, and keep you centrally heated for the best part of a day. And if you hadn't fallen into some sort of sugar induced coma at the end of it, you could sing your way through a fragrant vacuum cleaning session and make instant smash and impress your dinner guests.
Yes it was an impressive decade and how things have changed. The adverts are longer, slicker and far more expensive, and yes, we have learned a little bit more about healthy eating. Junk food advertising is banned on children's TV channels, or where 20% or more of the audience is under 18 for a TV programme, but today's adverts are not a patch on the 1980s, its a period I look back on with nostalgia, unfortunately however, my teeth don't.