Iconic Ads of the 80s

Will it be chips or jacket spuds, will it be salad or frozen peas?
A fun look back at some of the most memorable ads of the 80s.

Picture of Tim Swann

Tim Swann

Will it be chips or jacket spuds, will it be salad or frozen peas?

If you were born in the 70s or 80s you know what ad I'm talking about, the one with all the builders in the van singing about the dinner they were going home to. The catchy tune "We Hope It's Chips, It's Chips" reflected a simpler time, when frozen food cooked by 'er indoors was more common than Quinoa or a Carreer Women. Things have moved on a lot since then, especially in our culinary tastes, thank you Master-Chef.

Still, you ask any kid from the 80s to name a memorable ad, and that'll make it into everyone's top 5.
But what was the ad for? Right about now, you're maybe guessing McCain's, after all they've pretty much always been the market leader in frozen chips. But you'd be wrong.

The product being promoted was actually frozen beef grills, by Birds Eye. We can all picture the ad so clearly... until that all important end frame. To be fair, it's getting on for 30 years ago, so I think I'm allowed a little leeway in memory. But the ad itself... that pervades, that has stuck with us all this time.

For main the reason, I think, is that catchy tune,  a head-splitting ear-worm of a tune, that's the bit that brings up the rest of the memory.

So that got me thinking, what are the other Ads I've never been able to shake out of my brain? And does the theory hold true there too, was it all about that catchy tune?

So, in no particular order - here are the top TV ads of my childhood, all of which crawl into your brain and try to come out again at 6am.

 

Scotch Video Tape - Re-Record Not Fade Away

Kids, video tape was like a big black square bluray

 

Ki-Ora - I'll be your Dog

 

Ariston and on and on

 

Hello Tosh, Got a Toshiba

You can thank Alexi Sayle for this ad.

 

I gurantee you'll be humming at least one of those tunes tomorrow, and you wont even know why.

There's no doubt too, that if irritating rather than catchy tunes were the basis, then the Shake N Vac ad would have been in here as well. But I just couldn't bring myself to impose that one on you.

 

I started this post with one of the most memorable ads for me, but one, for which I struggled to remember the product. The others I knew exactly what the product was, but I'll end the way I started, with another one that always catches people out. Do you know what this song was about?

"They're tasty, tasty, very very tasy, they're very tasty"

I leave that one with you while you ponder the power of words & music to evoke memory.

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