Take a ride in my Time Machine.

Today’s post can take you back in time. No kidding. It is a time-travelling vehicle to take you back to what some might describe as a more innocent time. I’m not convinced it was necessarily innocent but the commercials back then were more fun than the majority of today’s slick and strategic offerings, and I know these ads had the power to stick in the mind.

Don’t worry about feeding the cat while you’re gone, we won’t be long.

(This love of commercials may seem an odd one, by the way, but I’m not alone in my affliction. Visit fellow TV nostalgia buff Matthew Curry for a selection of commercials from the US.)

Accurist: John Cleese and the endless possibilities of a wristwatch.

BT: Maureen Lipman as everybody’s favourite Jewish grandmother, Beatie.

Yellow Pages: Just one of the very memorable yellow pages ads; this one on the dangers of leaving your teenagers home alone.

Honey Puffs: With Henry McGee, better known as Benny Hill’s straight man.

Metz: Terrified many a viewer in the 1980s. Could this be the inspiration for Doctor Who’s Whispermen?

R Whites: Long before the harlem shake this sent many kids gyrating about the school playground.

Heineken: Bryan Pringle and the lovely Sylvestra Le Touzel in a scene nabbed from My Fair Lady.

Kia Ora: A well-loved classic.

Kinder Surprise: Cue the chorus of cries as toddlers and innocents witness the horror.

St Ives: Stop gap animations like they used to be.

If this has sparked memories of any old favourites you can’t quite remember you can find a plethora of UK adverts here:


Published by Jill London

Hi, I’m Jill, a writer and teacher living in the UK, usually behind a desk but sometimes on a sofa with a book or a film. I began writing at around age three, legibly by five, although I didn’t write any stories until I was older. Aged eleven, I began writing children’s fiction, mostly middle-grade fantasy and I’m still doing it to this day. I have had stories published online and in My Weekly magazine. The best bit about writing is when ideas pop into your head (from the writing fairy presumably?) and everything starts clipping together like a jigsaw puzzle. The worst bit? When you start to get the feeling there's a piece missing from the box...

27 thoughts on “Take a ride in my Time Machine.

      1. I think the last one is my favorite. I love animated food for some reason… After I got finished watching one of the other commercials (the John Cleese one, I think) several other options popped up in the window. One of them was a commercial for Smith’s Crisps. It had singing potatoes in it. That was a blast. 🙂


      2. I did consider including that one funnily enough. It’s good to know you enjoyed it too! (You might like the Country Life butter and Ribena ads.)


  1. Wow these did take me back. Made me think of others-those robot Smash mash things, the PG Tips chimps. Shake n Vac etc. And as a teenage lad not forgetting Bounty! Noticed now I’ve got older how much young-really young- kids love the advertisements. It’s the fast moving imagery, music etc. Adverts come on, kids stop dead. Come Christmas time, those toy market men know exactly what they are doing.


    1. You’re not wrong there! Mummy, Daddy can I have __? has got to be one of the most expensive phrases in the English Language 😉
      I think the catchiness of those old ads was the funny thing. How many folk out there can still reel off the words to ‘Do the Shake and Vac’ I wonder! It reminds me of Demolition Man 🙂


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