ITV was launched in 1955, but it wasn’t until the ’60s that the power of TV advertising really began to kick in as TV sets became more commonplace in British homes.
Be Sure with Sure
A thoroughly modern ’60s home had a TV set in pride of place in the living room, but all thoroughly modern women in the ’60s were too busy hosting dinner parties to spend much time watching it – and Sure antiperspirant cashed in on the trend. In their TV ad, they showed a fashionably-dressed young woman busily laying a table, and the voice-over said:
It’s her first dinner party; she’s nervous. It could lead to perspiration odour, but she uses Sure… Be sure with Sure.
With her perspiration odour taken care of, the next worry facing a ’60s dinner party hostess was what to serve. Luckily, John West’s TV advertising campaign solved the problem. With a tin of John West salmon in the foreground and a stack of unlabelled tins being swept away by the swoop of a hand in the background, the voice-over confidently announced:
“What makes this can of salmon the best? These, the ones John West reject. It’s a fact that of all salmon caught, only one in eight is top quality, and it’s from this quality that John West select their middle-cut brand. Next time you buy salmon, and make it soon, remember it’s the fish John West reject that make John West the best.”
Salmon vol-au-vents it is then!
Get the Sunsilk Look
Only the best was good enough at a sophisticated ’60s dinner party, and every hostess wanted to look her best. To add to her worries, the Sunsilk Beauty Shampoo advert let her know that her “normal hair” simply wouldn’t cut it. As a model with beautifully shiny hair rotated on the TV screen, a male voice-over, trying just a little too hard to sound seductive, purred:
“Your hair can have the Sunsilk look. There’s a shampoo in the Sunsilk range that’s made especially for you. Give your hair the Sunsilk look, the fabulous Sunsilk look. Sunsilk Beauty Shampoo gives normal hair the Sunsilk look.”
Look Your Loveliest
The swinging ’60s brought many changes for women, including mini skirts and the contraceptive pill, but the Knight’s Castile TV ads clung on to good old-fashioned values – a woman’s need to have a flawless complexion!
The ad showed several women fawning over a man arriving on his Vespa scooter, but he only had eyes for the rather wholesome looking Anne:
“This is the complexion that Anne gets with Knight’s Castile. Her Knight’s Castile loveliness – young, fresh, flawless. All the glamour in the world is wasted without a lovely skin… Look your loveliest with Knight’s Castile.”
Many in the Spring Chicken Community look back on old black and white TV ads from the ’60s with fondness:
Brings back great memories… much happier and simpler times.
By today’s standards, TV ads were certainly simpler, but were we really living in simpler times? There were no computer-generated effects in the ads, but the motive behind all of them was the same – to play on people’s insecurities and sell more stuff.
We may have had less back then, but TV ads were already fuelling our belief that we needed to buy certain brands if we wanted to keep up with the Jones’s!