Is your shizz built to last?

The other day my son’s class sang a song in assembly that they said was based on this ad:

As we were leaving I turned to my wife and said, ‘That’s a pretty obscure reference to base a 2014 Year Three assembly on.’ She agreed, but the thing I found even more interesting was the fact that we both remembered the ad. I then went home and showed it to my kids (8 and 4) and they both loved it. Could it run today and delight kids into buying crisps? Absolutely, and that’s a hell of an achievement for a little ad from the 80s.

So how long will your work live for, and does it matter?

I have no idea why certain ads have stuck in my mind for decades, but it does seem that animation and a catchy song was an easy route to victory:

But there were other ads that seemed to hang around for less obvious reasons:

I loved the slicing noise, but now I’ve had another look, what the hell was the point of slicing it? To show it had peanuts all the way through? Did anyone doubt that?

I remember the kissing snooker balls of this one, and the fact that my friends and I used to say ‘Der-der… follow the bear!’ in the playground a fair bit:

Anyway, are today’s ads doing the same thing to impressionable young minds? Is it possible to deliberately create something that will still last for decades even though it’s ‘just’ an ad?

I have a feeling the Cadbury’s Gorilla will last a while, but what about the Wonga.com puppets, or the Yeo Valley rappers? Will that weird little poo character for EDF imprint itself on our psyches? Will the adults of 2040 sing ‘Confused.com’ to the tune of YMCA?

Like almost everything on God’s clean earth, it doesn’t matter whether that happens or not; but it might give you quite a glow if you can pull it off.

Comments 9

  1. Scamp wrote:

    Agree on the slicing noise. It actually sounds a little like the sound at the end of each level on Missile Command, when it counts how many missiles you had left.

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 5:07 am
  2. Putney Nope wrote:

    Don’t want your butthole to develop taste buds Ben, but I remember your apples ad (actual apples not the phones obvs) lasting quite a while after it was on TV. Kids doing impressions of it while eating their lunch etc.

    So…well done?

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 9:42 am
  3. ben wrote:

    I only wrote this post so that someone like you would write something like that ;-)

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 10:11 am
  4. Nick wrote:

    Wieden’s Barry the biscuit boy for Cravendale is cut from this same cloth

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 10:21 am
  5. ben wrote:

    I just checked that out and laughed out loud when his head fell off. I think it’ll be a winner if the media spend was big enough.

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 10:28 am
  6. Wigan PR wrote:

    I still occasionally sing this in the shower, but replace the world ‘chocolate’ with ‘radox’, and ‘biscuit’ with ‘man bits’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmZCMmNPkM

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 2:46 pm
  7. Putney Nope wrote:

    Also worth keeping in mind that this audience has grown up/got older/gone from children to manchildren

    And what with Buzzfeed continually pushing the nostalgia skinner box button, you get stuff like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWqq1MMGt2o

    And you’ll get a lot more like it in the future, too.

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 4:01 pm
  8. ben wrote:

    ‘The cheeky wink of McVities’?

    I think it’s all getting a bit pomo.

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 4:19 pm
  9. neil christie wrote:

    Definitely harder to achieve ‘playground meme’ status now than it was in the pre-multichannel, pre-internet ’70s and ’80s when everyone in the country was watching the same things at the same time. Maybe that’s why things like The Goodies and The Sex Pistols had such earth-shattering cultural impact – there simply wasn’t any competition. Bloody love that Trio ad, though. And I still know by heart many of the old public information films of that era: “If at work you drop a spanner, it travels in a downward manner. And every common working tool, is governed by the self-same rule…” (Continues babbling incoherently and is wheeled away for nap time.)

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 9:54 pm

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