It seems like just yesterday – well, maybe the day before yesterday – that Judy and I went on a motoring holiday in France in her spiffy new Toyota MR2.Â There were drawbacks – it’s not a spacious car so we could only take one toothbrush, and MR2, when pronounced “emmerdeur,” means something rude in French so children tended to giggle when the car pulled up, unless of course they were giggling at the sight of a rather solidly-built 6 foot 6 man craning himself inelegantly out of it – but we had a great time.
Today, guess what we saw proudly displayed at a classic car show?Â Yes, that’s right – and it was a C reg, a year later than Judy’s B.
As chance would have it, it was the second timeÂ in aÂ week that I found that what seemed like a recent memory had achieved classic status.Â On AOL the other day I found a selection of “classic” TV commercials, courtesy of Youtube.Â Some were pretty whiskery by any standards, but one was written in the next door office to me what seems like a few years ago.
Actually it must be slightly more than a few years, becauseÂ I seem to have completely forgottenÂ who wrote it.Â Was it Don Bowen?Â Was it Malcolm Duffy and Paul Briginshaw?Â Was it Judy someone whose surname I’ve forgotten?Â Anyway, it wasÂ a Bisto commercial with a jingle called “Never In AÂ Month Of Sundays,” and although I think we all liked it at the time it never occurred to any of us that some years later it would be among a selection of 20 classic commercials on the Internet.Â
There were two reasons for this.Â First, obviously, we’d never heard of the Internet, which was in fact still at least ten years away from existing.Â (I think, give or take a year or two, that the commercial was made two years before Judy’s MR2, in 1983.)
And second, at the time we all worked at an agency that was then called D’Arcy MacManus Masius, which was universally perceived in the industry to produce very dull advertising.Â We all resented this, andÂ tried hard to maintain the belief that we actually produced rather good advertising that was under-estimated by our peers.Â But in fact, try as we might to keep our spirits up, we were demoralised by the low opinion of the said peers, and secretly believed that they were right and that we did produce very dull advertising.
So I’m appalled that Don’s, or Judy’s, or Malcolm and Paul’s, Bisto commercial is nowÂ thought old enough to be a classic:Â but I’m delighted in equal measure to discover that it’s now thought good enough to be a classic.Â Perhaps some of my own commercials from that period – for groceries like Ski and Princes Spreads, for beers like LowenbrauÂ and Skol and for ghastly Talbot Sambas, Horizons and Alpines – will soon be thought to be classics too.Â ï¿½