Commercial Break: British Advertising on Screen
Few films capture our hopes, fears and desires in such a compact expressive form as the screen advertisement.
A part of the film story from its earliest days, advertising grew up with the cinema, going on to transform television and colonising the online world with seductive viral videos. Look out for famous faces both before and after they had their big break, and the illustrious names of those behind the camera who, like Ridley Scott and Alan Parker, took their talents into mainstream cinema.
Here are snapshots of what we ate, how we travelled, and the lives we aspired to. But remember: other lifestyles are available.
A gentleman cyclist learns the error of his ways in one of the earliest surviving British film advertisements.
A mouth-watering glimpse of the art and craft that went into making and decorating Cadbury’s chocolates in the 1930s.
The iconic Findus frozen food, a crispy pancake wrapped around a choice of four different fillings.
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!
Advert197521 mins Location: Southampton
Enjoy this kaleidoscope of images taken aboard the MS Vistafjord - for an exclusive holiday cruise setting sail from Southampton
Advert19731 minsSilent Location: Clovelly
A couple walk in the pouring rain through Clovelly, North Devon, their journey and feelings narrated in song.
Advert19558 minsSilent Location: South Kensington
Everyday essentials like brandy, teabags and Tupperware are all on offer at London's most famous store.
Advert19821 mins Location: York
A child’s fantasy of being in a place where Smarties are overflowing, and there are no adults around to spoil the fun.
Animated advert for the much loved strawberry ice lolly, with chocolate and sugar balls and a chocolate bar inside!
Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees TelevisionSon of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television
Promotional196411 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Is comedian Clive Dunn the Don Draper of the British advertising world? Watch this imaginative Tyne Tees TV marketing film and decide.
19390 minsSilent Location: Castleford
No attempt to sell an idyllic lifestyle here in these two cinema ads for local shops, just a simple warning on the irreplaceability of eyesight.
The Art of Advertising
There's an art to selling, as any ad man or woman will tell you. And Britain's screen advertising has been among the most artistically ambitious of all.
A smorgasbord of culinary delights and thirst-quenching refreshment awaits in this collection of food and drink adverts.
A celebrity endorsement is one of the advertisers' most powerful weapons.
The Open Road
Whether you're going by road, rail, air or sea, this collection of screen ads doesn’t just get you from A to B, it offers a road map to an A-Z of desirable destinations.
Near Your Local Cinema
Local goods for local people! Screen advertising wasn’t all national brands and chain stores.
What Women Want?
Caring mums, hard-working housewives or independent, fun-loving 'new women' - the female consumer has long been a target of screen advertising.