Long Forgotten TV Adverts (Part 1 of many, probably)

23 05 2020

For this entry in the MUHOS, we take a wee trip down memory lane with a look at some well loved Grampian TV adverts from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Although the ad breaks were a pain in the tòin when you were watching your favourite shows, some of the adverts grew on you and have passed into the ‘fondly remembered’ category of memory.

Here’s some we remember…

  • Sheep n Vac:  Inspired by the famous carpet cleaner and those iconic adverts, Lewis Crofters spotted an opportunity to sell their sheep dip products by ‘borrowing’ the format of the original advert. Their version featured a trendy crofter blone (red Arnish Chacket, beannag, and Smith’s Shoe Shop’s finest wellies) hard at work at the fank, trying to get her flock dipped, drenched and vaccinated. This advert was famed for its annoyingly catchy tune  “Do the sheep and vac to keep the fungus back”
  • ‘For Mass, Get Smashed’. In a controversial move to get more bums on pews, in the 1970’s the Vatican tested out a marketing campaign in South Uist to encourage church goers to partake in a wee tipple to help them through a particularly long and boring mass. Featured laughing robot priests who can’t understand why Free Church church-goers aren’t tanked up. “…and the Protestants sit through a sermon sober!!”
  • Cadbury’s Fleek- Cadbury’s thought it would be a smart move to try and diversify in the Outer Hebrides and come up with a chocolate purely for the choc hungry residents of the islands.   The advert featured a sexy cailleach (only wearing two Damart thermal vests) from Crowlista seductively trying to get the wrapper off a bar of chocolate, to a soundtrack of  “Only the crumbliest tastiest chocolate”.  Also tried marketing a special chocolate for funerals called ‘Cadbury’s Wake’. And the limited edition fish flavoured ‘Cadbury’s Hake’.
  • Cinzandwick Bianco- Sandwick’s Smiths Soft Drinks diversified into posh booze in the early 1970’s.  They hired a couple of well known Gaelic actors from Machair, Joan Coll(ins) and Leonard RossTerraceiter, and showed them leading the high life in the exotic Clachan lounge bar, on the plane to Glasgow, and in the Suilven bar spilling Cinzandwick Bianco on each other.
  • Old Pies- This advertising campaign was devised as a way to get rid of old stale pies. It featured a typical bodach finding and scoffing a 3 week old pie, which immediately conferred near superhero powers to him, and the next thing you know is he’s surfing on an old ironing board down at the Braighe. The advert featured the stirring classical piece “Carmina Buntata”.
  • Cadbury’s Milk Pray- Milk Pray chocolates were popular with church goers in the early 1970’s as they didn’t have noisey wrappers and could be scoffed surreptitiously during lengthy sermons.The advert featured a hunky, yet mysterious Minister, dressed all in black, jumping over a ditch, skillfully opening a gate without letting the cows out, climbing in a window and leaving a box of Milk Pray (and a tract) on a blone’s pillow.
  • The PG Tips Sheep The Plasterfield Grazings tried to diversify into growning tea in the early 1970’s.  However, they didn’t have the budget for chimps, so trained up a flock of sheep instead. But sheep were terrible for stewing the tea, so this ad didn’t last long. Nor did the tea plantation. 
  • Cap’n Boardstore – in the days of big croft housing grants, Cap’n Boardstore went around followed by his “crew” of enthusiastic maws keen for a taste of his subsidized plasterboard, breeze blocks and 4×2’s.  His rival Captain A*ngh*s a’ Bhàrdseye used to sell construction materials too.
  • Knorrman Soup- This advert showed two gamekeepers (or more likely poachers) returning from a hard day on the hills, talking about what their wives have on for their tea. Calum Archie expected leftover guga soup, but how wrong was he? Shonnagh his wife had discovered Knorrman Soup!   “Pea and ham?” says his buddy. “From a fleekin’ guga?”
  • Corncrake-o, a shady Tolmie Terrace company that bred the birds in the swamps between Springfield and Mossend, and rented them out to unscrupulous crofters looking to score a big grant. Their ad featured a gondolier sailing along the canal past Newhall’s nurseries singing “Just one corncrake-o, geev eet to mee / So I can claim a /  beeg sub-see-deee”). 
  • Hovansnahovano Bread- featured a wee cove pushing his delivery bike up Lagley’s Brae with Johnnie Òg’s pan loaves in the basket, to the strains of ‘The Newton World Symphony’.