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Commercial Break: British Advertising on Screen

A sneak preview of a major new collection tracing the history of British screen advertising.

This special selection of cinema and television advertisements dates back to the late Victorian era and offers a taste of a major new collection exploring the history of British screen advertising, launching on BFI Player in summer 2019.

 

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Hovis: Boy on the Bike
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Hovis: Boy on the Bike

Advert19741 mins Location: Shaftesbury

A classic slice of British advertising history, though that hill's not as Northern as it looks...

Heinz Baked Beans : Common Market
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Heinz Baked Beans : Common Market

Advert19721 mins

In 1972 Britain entered the European common market full of beans. What could go wrong?

Vinolia Soap
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Vinolia Soap

Advert18981 minsSilent

One of the earliest films showing off a brand: three women pack Vinolia soap into boxes

Rudge-Whitworth - Britain's Best Bicycle
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Rudge-Whitworth - Britain's Best Bicycle

Advert19021 minsSilent

A gentleman cyclist learns the error of his ways in one of the earliest surviving British film advertisements.

Guinness - Plinths
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Guinness - Plinths

Advert19761 mins

Pete and Dud prove to be stout football fans in this Guinness commercial recalling a great sporting moment - however fleeting.

Quick Brew - Football
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Quick Brew - Football

Advert19751 mins

Glorious Ladies All Stars get a 10-0 lead against the QB's: time for an uplift with Quick Brew's quicker teabags!

The Spirit of His Forefathers
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The Spirit of His Forefathers

Advert19001 minsSilent

One of the earliest surviving British adverts

Little Miss Muddlehead (Rinso Advert)
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Little Miss Muddlehead (Rinso Advert)

Advert19432 mins

Use Rinso and help defeat Hitler! Soap brand Rinso deploys some savvy wartime advertising.

Wicked Witch (Rinso Advert)
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Wicked Witch (Rinso Advert)

Advert19422 mins

Only a witch would be wicked enough to help Hitler on washing day, warns this fun wartime soap powder ad.

Target - Geoff Hurst
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Target - Geoff Hurst

Advert19681 mins

England's 1966 hat-trick hero doesn't sweat the small stuff - or at all, according to this deodorant commercial.

Sam Goes Shopping
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Sam Goes Shopping

Advert19396 mins

Stanley Holloway recounts the exploits of Sam Small, whose wife sends him shopping for... what was it again?

Daz with the Blue Whitener
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Daz with the Blue Whitener

Advert19672 mins Location: Devon

Mrs Cross takes the Daz test but what will the outcome be?

Lyons Maid Lolly Gobble Choc Bomb
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Lyons Maid Lolly Gobble Choc Bomb

Advert19740 mins

Animated advert for the much loved strawberry ice lolly with chocolate and sugar balls and a chocolate bar inside.

Branston Pickle: Advertising Agency
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Branston Pickle: Advertising Agency

Advert19570 mins

15 seconds isn't long, you've got to say Crosse and you've got to say Blackwell, and you've got to say Branston Pickle!

Pa Puts His Foot Down
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Pa Puts His Foot Down

Advert193416 mins Location: London

Romance blossoms over a discussion of fluid flywheels in this cinema ad for BSA cars, directed by Zoltan Korda.

Trojan Car Advert
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Trojan Car Advert

Advert192610 minsSilent Location: York

There's no need to renew your socks with the Trojan Utility Car - you simply can't afford not to have one!

British Rail - Intercity Makes the Going Easy
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British Rail - Intercity Makes the Going Easy

Advert19691 mins

Travel to the Great Fair of London – with great fares on offer.

The Warning (Gibbs S.R. Toothpaste)
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The Warning (Gibbs S.R. Toothpaste)

Advert19415 mins

A mock trailer for a film "The Warning". The kind of warning you get from your toothbrush when you have tender gums.

What We Want Is Watney's
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What We Want Is Watney's

Advert19591 mins

A young Michael Caine bursts on to the scene as a cheeky soldier in this delightful advert for Watney's beer.

Little Red Riding Hood Up-to-date
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Little Red Riding Hood Up-to-date

Advert19452 mins

Don't trust cross-dressing canines with your dirty linen says this 1945 soap powder advert.

Minister of the Interior (Vim Advert)
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Minister of the Interior (Vim Advert)

Advert19432 mins

This Vim ad cleverly adopts the guise of a wartime public information filler.

Babycham: Clovelly
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Babycham: Clovelly

Advert19731 minsSilent Location: Clovelly

A couple walk in the pouring rain through Clovelly, North Devon, their journey and feelings narrated in song.

Just the Ticket!
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Just the Ticket!

Advert19532 mins

A hard-working Catford clippie and her family star in this cinema ad for hot chocolate.

Domestic Help
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Domestic Help

Advert19522 mins

A cup of Horlicks helps a struggling husband bring home the bacon in this 1950s advert.

Barbara's Secret
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Barbara's Secret

Advert192311 minsSilent Location: Devon

Lifebuoy Soap holds the key to love and happiness in a coastal Devon village

Huntley and Palmer Digestive Biscuits
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Huntley and Palmer Digestive Biscuits

Advert19811 mins

Liverpool and England footballer Emlyn Hughes gets nostalgic when he takes a team of aspiring youngsters through their paces

Pepsodent Twink: Tennis Girl: 80747
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Pepsodent Twink: Tennis Girl: 80747

Advert19550 mins

Worried about losing your good looks on the tennis field? No need with Twink!

Newcastle Brown Ale Monument
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Newcastle Brown Ale Monument

Advert19721 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Workmen clean an oversized bottle perched on a factory chimney. At lunch, two beers are delivered to them by helicopter.

Ovaltine - Train
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Ovaltine - Train

Advert19851 mins

Ovaltina will pick you up! With an electronic 80s synth and a catchy theme tune, Ovaltina parachutes in to save the day

Winter Holiday
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Winter Holiday

Advert19590 mins Location: Brighton

This handsome Technicolor ad makes a good case for a trip to Butlin's, despite the blustery rooftop activities

Rowntrees Polo Mint: Romeo
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Rowntrees Polo Mint: Romeo

Advert19650 mins

“Tis but thy name that is my enemy” is hardly an idea that lends itself to such a strong branded product, but it enlightens the otherwise humdrum.

Alloa Adverts
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Alloa Adverts

Advert19356 minsSilent Location: Alloa

Grab a choc ice and popcorn to enjoy this selection of quirky old-school cinema adverts from 1935 promoting various businesses in Alloa, from newsagents to drycleaners.

T.V. Talk - Lintas
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T.V. Talk - Lintas

Advert195420 mins

Points of view from a production company at the outset of commercial television in the UK.

Going Shopping with Elizabeth Allan
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Going Shopping with Elizabeth Allan

Advert19558 minsSilent Location: South Kensington

Everyday essentials like brandy, teabags and Tupperware are all on offer at London's most famous store.

Clock-wise or a Good Start for the Day
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Clock-wise or a Good Start for the Day

Advert19492 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Start the day the Andrews way with a strikingly crisp cartoon advertising a Toon tonic in Technicolor.

Anzora Viola Cream, Masters of the Hair
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Anzora Viola Cream, Masters of the Hair

Advert19251 minsSilent Location: Willesden

Animated advert showcasing the remarkable effects of Anzora Viola Cream, produced in London and the market leader until Brylcreem appeared.

Dolly Put the Kettle On
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Dolly Put the Kettle On

Advert19472 mins

A spurned doll turns knife-wielding femme fatale when she doesn't get her teddy bear, in this cartoon cinema ad for tea

Lyons Ice Cream
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Lyons Ice Cream

Advert19381 minsSilent

From out of the vaults comes this pre-WWII cinema advert for ice-cream

Elsie and the Brown Bunny
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Elsie and the Brown Bunny

Advert19218 mins Location: Bournville

This early Cadbury advert plays like a surreal outtake from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.

Looking Ahead
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Looking Ahead

Advert19302 minsSilent

Persil washing powder mix animation and live action in this vision of how to take care of laundry in the future.

Babycham: Tennis!!
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Babycham: Tennis!!

Advert19571 mins

After your strenuous workout at the tennis club, you need a Babycham

Sketchbook of Fashion (Knights Castile Advert)
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Sketchbook of Fashion (Knights Castile Advert)

Advert19402 mins

The key word in the book of fashion is simplicity

Good Strong Coffee
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Good Strong Coffee

Advert19682 minsSilent

Far-out guys and groovy gals drop doses of good strong coffee in this psychedelic 1968 ad for the hot black stuff.

Close-ups of the Stars
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Close-ups of the Stars

Advert19466 mins

A triple bill of glamour courtesy of Lux toilet soap.

Fable of the Fabrics
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Fable of the Fabrics

Advert19426 mins

"Gee, old age!" Malicious Father Time doesn't stand a chance against a cartoon cupid armed with a big box of washing powder.