1980s Space Fings, Crazy Fings, and some very British comic ads

If you were around in Britain in the 1980s you might well remember some of the following adverts for comics, sweets, bubble gum, Hot Wheels, MOTU, Weetabix, Grange Hill, and, erm… Understanding Electricity. Actually, if anyone recognises the artist from the Understanding Electricity ad at the end of the post, please let me know. The style is familiar, but so far I can’t find any info.

Enjoy this blast from the past 🙂

Trebor Space Fings. 1981. UK.

Trebor Crazy Fings free stickers. 1981. UK.

‘5 for Fun’. Comics. 1981. UK.

Western Magazine. 1980. UK.

Hot Wheels. 1981. UK.

Continue reading

Ad campaigns of the 1990s – Milk, GAP, JNCO, and a little quiz…

“Milk. Where’s your mustache?”

Slogan from the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. Later, “Got milk?” and “Milk. What a surprise!” This clever ad campaign had a fair few celebrities and stars signed up: Conan O’Brien, David Copperfield, Dennis Rodman, Melanie Griffith, Isabella Rossellini, Lauren Bacall, Van Halen, KISS, Britney Spears, Spike Lee, and a whole lot more. I’m very pleased to report I got Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tony Hawk!


IYDKYDG … 

IYDKYDG. 1999.

Woah, what the blink is this? “IYDKYDG” ??

Quiz: see if you can you identify this 1999 “IYDKYDG” campaign and the product being promoted from the curious print ads. Clue: it’s a major brand. Award yourself 100 vintage points for the correct answer! Answers at bottom of post.

Is the product…

  1. sports clothing
  2. hi-fi equipment
  3. soft drinks
  4. mobile phones

IYDKYDG. 1999.

IYDKYDG. 1999.


Mind the GAP

Clothing brand GAP was founded in California in 1969 by Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher. Gap originally targeted the younger generation when it opened, with its name referring to the “generation gap” of the time (merci, our good mates Wiskeypedia).

Below is a selection of late 1990s GAP adverts.

GAP Technofied. 1999.


JNCO

JNCO Autopilot. 1998.

JNCO (Judge None Choose One) is a California-based clothing company founded in 1985 by Moroccan-born, French-raised brothers Jacques Yaakov Revah and Haim Milo Revah. The brand was popular in the 1990s for its ultra-baggy denim jeans featuring oversize pockets with street-style art, and with a logo designed by local LA graffiti artist Joseph Montalvo, aka Nuke. JNCO’s street look was popular with skateboarding and BMX, as seen on some of the featured adverts below.

JNCO 50 inch bottoms. 1998.

JNCO Futures footwear. 1998.


That’s all for now 90s lovers! Thanks for wearing oversize jeans and drinking milk with us 🙂

Answer to quiz: 

The featured product is soft drinks by Coca-Cola. IYDKYDG stands for: If You Don’t Know You Don’t Go. This was one of Coke’s most bizarre and intriguing ad campaigns over the years.

A newspaper life – pop culture ads from the defunct French Metronews

Metronews. Astérix. 24 Oct. 2013.

A TVTA special

One of the first jobs I did when I moved to France was working as a newspaper and advertising distributor. The newspaper in question was Metronews, which was launched 18 February 2002 as Metro then renamed Metronews in 2013 until it ceased print publication and moved online in 2015.

Metronews was hand-distributed on weekday mornings to commuters and students, and deposited in self-service racks in and outside of public buildings and city transport networks. The title was part of Metro International – a Swedish global media company since 1995 based in Luxembourg that publishes the range of Metro newspapers around the world. 

Metronews was a freesheet newspaper, and it gained the bulk of its revenues from advertising, which ultimately led to its 2015 demise due to the growing trend of advertisers and readers migrating to online services. As a consequence of the print title ending, I, and the rest of my distribution team, lost our jobs and were offered free government re-training packages.

I remember my last morning as a distributor; Friday, July the third, 2015, the day the print title ended, handing out that final ever edition with mixed emotions: it would be a relief not to have to work in the noise and bustle of one of France’s big cities full of traffic fumes and freezing wind in the winter, and to not have to wear the green T-shirt and baseball cap uniform!… but I was sure going to miss some of my daily acquaintances, the early morning chats and improving my French language skills. Plus, as a writer, there was always plenty of inspiration to be found by observing human nature and the dynamics of people when spending significant time in a big city.

TVTA never misses an opportunity to archive!

Being as my blog has always been about pop culture advertising, it was only natural during my time with Metronews I saved some of the issues – including that last ever edition I mentioned… funny to think that each of the covers you are about to see I personally handed out at one time, thinking to myself: hmm, I must remember to save one of these to post up on my blog one day…

Metronews. Grand Theft Auto V. 17 Sep. 2013.

Metronews Star Wars Rebels. 2014.

Metronews. Star Wars Rebels. 30 Sept 2014.

Continue reading

Office Cat Tales: the back of the sofa and behind the fridge

Collage. Cat brooch from a late 1970s UK toy vending machine.

“O woe, bleak January, bringer of lean times to our editing house. Your wintry rap upon the door of our office does chill our fingers, paws and bones to the bit. The Vintage Toy Advertiser archives… ah, too grim a place to visit upon days such as these… with its hibernating vampires dangling from rafters, and frozen monsters awakening to thaw their claws and teeth in corners where sit our old photocopier and broken down time machines covered in dust. Hark! No post! No post! Our deliveries for new ads and catalogues held up by raging battles above rooftops, between dragons and banshees and mercenary raptor-bots. Grim times for office cats and editors, indeed!” 

“What an exciting story,” said Wooof. “Please tell more!”

“Crivens, cat!” I retorted. “This is no tale, this is but a reality! We have no ads nor catalogues to scan… I fear our vintage readers will go hungry this winter. As shall we!”

“Tooting scarpers!” said the cat. “There’s no need to paint such a stark picture. Do you want me to search down the back of the sofa and behind the fridge and such places? There are always a few stray ads to be found.”

“Good thinking,” said I. “I’ll go warm up the scanner.”

“Meow!”

Continue reading

Saturday night at the movies


It’s time once again for some movie treats!

TVTA is pleased to present a selection of cinema and home media print ads and posters covering the years 1982 to 2019.

Enjoy your movie 🙂


2001: A Space Odyssey. Japanese chirashi poster.

Continue reading

Latest ads – simple toys, simple times

Les Poupées de Lisette. France. 1960.

Congost toys. Spain. 1977.

Primo washing powder toys. France. 1960.

Things were simpler back then. A more innocent time?

TVTA takes a quick peek at some 1940s – 1980s print adverts from Spain, Denmark, France, the US, and the UK, featuring simple toys and ideas.

Continue reading