Old Ads – Part 2

I was going to write about the adverts of McDonalds. However, it is hard for me not to sound like a hater; must be because of the ‘fatty foods’ reputation. I can assure you, from eating Maccas for years, that their food is decent.

Instead, the other day, I came across a fanvid of a rather unknown song. This video cut some old British TV ads from the 80s to the beat of the song.

And the ad I want to talk about is this one:

The history behind the ad campaign is as amazing as how the ad goes about selling the product. In the late 70s railways in the UK were not privatised like they are today. Then, they were suffering from a poor reputation and a lack of funds. Something needed to be done to revitalise the network, and to make train travel fashionable again. Luckily at that time, high-speed services were being introduced. A new ad campaign fronted by Jimmy Savile with the slogan “This is the age of the train” was launched. The campaign was a huge success, with performance and perception of British Rail improving greatly.

Remember, this was the 80s, and the advertising style was very different. In the ad above, there’s a lot of descriptive language of the service. I cringe at the amount of times the word ‘business’ is said. It sounds like the dialogue does not flow. But that sort of prose sold things back then!

These days, you don’t hear too many ads with meticulous descriptions. You’ll more likely see a product described in a very abstract way. Imagine, if Coke ads consisted of a voice over like “a drink for enjoyment on the hot days…”!

What I do like about the ad is the corny jingle, and the man pouring tea and coffee. The use of the jingle becomes more strange in the ad below, when the singing of the slogan is combined with the spoken words. And what about the man with the tea and coffee? It’s something of a lost symbol now. I used to see a lady at my local Maccas years ago refilling tea and coffee during breakfast time. She was always chatting with customers, and showing that flavour of personal service that now seems to be restricted to planes and fancy restaurants. Where has friendly personal service gone? I’d say the bean counters cut it out a long ago.

Second ad after the jump.

Leave a Reply