70S AND 80S TV ADS FOR CHOCOLATE BARS
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
Topic TV Advert from 1976
I used to adore the taste of Topic chocolate bars. Was there a hazelnut in every bite? Well, as kids we used to go out of our way to try and find a section of the bar without a hazelnut in!
Topic is still being made by Mars and also contains nougat and caramel - amongst other things - and is similar to a Snickers. Of course, Snickers was called Marathon back in the eighties. Unfortunately, the 80s ad for Topic has been taken off Youtube, but I've replaced it with the one from 1976.
like today's "Go Compare!" TV Ad, there were some very irritating
adverts around back in the eighties. Take this one for example. "A
finger of fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat" has to be one
of the most annoying songs they could have chosen for a TV ad!
By the way, this is also a good opportunity to have a look back at some of the cars we were driving back then, or, at least, our parents were driving.
Yorkie Chocolate Bar
The clip in the playlist features the best-known British TV advert for Rowntree's Yorkie chocolate bar, dating from around 1976. The ads certainly helped to popularise Yorkie, although Dairy Milk would eventually win out as Britain's number one bar.
My Dad was a truck driver during the 70s and 80s, although he never ate a Yorkie bar because he was diabetic, and so he was certainly not your stereotypical truck driver!
Aero Chocolate - UK TV Advert (1979)
We're getting closer to the eighties now with this advert from 1979. Actually, I can't remember if this Aero advert was still running into the early 80s, but I hope some of you will remember this one, at least. This chocolate bar is still going strong, of course.
Fry's Turkish Delight
Photo by Daniel MogFord
Texan Chocolate Bar
Milky Way Ads from 1970's and 1989
Some of the 70s TV ads used to use the slogan "At work, rest and play", which was dropped to be used only in the Mars TV adverts "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play".
54321 Chocolate Bar
With sexy rabbits and freaky-looking talking eggs (in the kinder Surprise ads) I sometimes wondered whether these confectionary companies were trying to sell us chocolate or simply give us nightmares?
I haven't been able to find much info about these little chocolate bars, but forums suggest that the they are still available to buy, and someone mentioned they bought one in Waitrose. Anyway, I certainly remember the eighties TV ad with that annoying, loud-mouthed cartoon character shouting out "Trio!"
Now, these chocolate peppermint creams by Mackintosh's were absolutely gorgeous! In 1995 they were renamed Mint Munchies and in 2006 they were renamed again and they're now called After Eight Bitesize. However, I'm not sure if the recipe changed or whether they contained After Eight fondant before the name change? I just wish they would stop trying to confuse us all!
The TV advert in the playlist for the Penguin chocolate bar is from 1974. I often had one of these in my lunchbox to accompany my cheese spread sandwiches. Before Maggie Thatcher and the budget-slashing Tories came on the scene we also used to get a free mini bottle of milk, too!
Cabana's were absolutely delicious and included coconut, cherries and smooth caramel covered in a thick layer of milk chocolate - definitely on my top five list of favourite chocolate bars from the 80s. I suppose Cabana could be best described as an exotic version of the Bounty bar, although Bounty is still around today, of course.
Why did they stopped making these after less than four years in production? Well, the answer isn't clear, although when it first came onto the market in 1980, Bounty had already been on the market for around three decades. Trying to attract customers who were already eating a well-established chocolate bar with a coconut-based flavour was never going to be an easy task.
The cheap-looking TV ad can't have helped matters, and it was, quite obviously, created in a studio using cardboard plants and flowers. I suppose it would have been far too costly to travel to a real tropical jungle, but some more exotic scenery would have been more attractive, nonetheless.
I remember seeing these in vending machines back in the 70s, and my Mum always bought a plain one for herself and a milk one for me whenever we spotted them. There is no advert clip for these as I couldn't find one, but I added an ad featuring Twiggy promoting Fry's Chocolate Cream which I also liked, although, as with many chocolates with fondant centre's, it's not the type of snack for demolishing in one go.
What I find odd is that the red wrapper is for milk and the blue wrapper is for plain chocolate, as it is usually the other way on for most British confectionary. Bounty is just one example.
Sadly, I couldn't find a British TV ad for Picnic, but I really want to include one of my favourites on this page. This bar featured a delicious combination of peanuts, raisins, toffee and wafer, and I would sometimes find one of these in my school lunchbox back in the day.
The wrapper featured here is from the 1970s, although Picnic was actually launched in 1958. It can still be bought today, although, as with many chocolate bars these days, it weighs less than it did when I was a lad. The weight was reduced from 50 grams to 48.4 grams in 2009.
Who remembers the milky bar kid shouting out "The milky bar's are on me!" in those old TV ads? There are two ads featured in the playlist. My favourite is the western style one with it's catchy cowboy tune. The other has a space theme. I liked the fact that the lead character was a skinny, spectacle-wearing young boy who was probably the most-likely to be bullied at school. He first appeared on TV in 1961 and has, obviously, been played by many different actors since then. Milky Bar's are still going strong, although my teeth would no longer be able to cope with the sweetness of white chocolate!
"Everyone's a Fruit & Nutcase"
Shown above is a Cadbury's Fruit & Nut 1970s wrapper. This chocolate bar launched in 1926 and was renamed Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut in 2003. In the 70s, an ad campaign was launched featuring Frank Muir singing "everyone's a Fruit & Nut case" to Tchaikovsky's Dance des Mirlitons.
I thought I'd end the page with this photo of vintage chocolate bars from the 1970s. I didn't even realise that Cadbury's produced a plain flake, but I certainly remember the rest of them and the Milk Tray bar was a particular favourite of mine. Check out those prices!
More 70s and 80s Wrappers
Fry's Peppermint Cream 1980s wrapper
McVitie's United Bar from the 80s
This Cadbury's Monster Bar Dairy Milk Chocolate wrapper is from the 70s. 12 different wrappers were printed in two series of six. The monsters above come from the first series and include The Green Grokrumple, The Very Big Brontosaurus and The Dinosaur who had Dreams. I loved the illustrations on these which were quite imaginative and very appealing to kids. Hopefully, I may be able to find photos of all 12 wrappers, eventually.
Galaxy Noddy full cream milk chocolate bar. There were at least a couple of wrapper designs around in the 1970s, although I have only managed to discover this one, so far. I believe there was also a pink wrapper featuring Mr. Plod the policeman.
Mars Peanut Treets Family Pack 1970s
Terry's Milk Chocolate bar from when we used to carry around halfpenny's.
1980s Cadbury's Truffle with orange liqueur flavour
Cadbury's Whole Nut 80s wrapper
1970s Galaxy wrapper - 1/2 a pound of full cream chocolate!
1980s Galaxy with it's motto "Gives you a share of country goodness".
Jacob's Wafer Club 1980s wrapper
Jacob's Fruit Club 1980s wrapper
Jacob's Milk Club 1980s wrapper
Jacob's Plain Club biscuit 80s wrapper
Cadbury's Crunchie wrapper from the 80s