“Holidays are coming” says the Coca Cola-fuelled TV ad six times, as the British public awaits the now famous ads for Christmas. Growing up in south London in the sixties there was never that anticipation of exciting TV ads – mainly because there was only one commercial TV station and the only thing anticipated was how much Cinzano Leonard Rossiter might spill over Joan Collins or the shock of the inarticulate Lorraine Chase talking about Luton Airport. (Says he who bunked off elocution lessons when 10).
However, there was one which I remember vividly and was in that box of things (like dates) that you only devoured at Christmas; that was promoting Advocaat (particularly the brand made by Warninks – pronounced with a “V” as if you were playing a German in Hogan’s Heroes). Suddenly a snowball wasn’t something you remembered making in 1963, or a leading character in Animal Farm, here was something your parents gave you in an effort to put you off drinking alcohol at Christmas – and subsequent decades. It’s like if custard was alcoholic!
My favourite Christmas ad from times gone by still remains the one marketing various forms of fragrances for Morny’s talc – although rather than the line: “Morny – the natural choice for Christmas”, I’d have preferred: “Because everyone suffers from chafing sometime”. Probably why I never made it in a creative department of any ad agencies in which I worked. To which I say “Bols”.