Huntley’s Favourite Adverts

Huntley’s Favourite Adverts

Huntley Film Archives has a huge range of adverts dating from the earliest days of cinema. They’re such a great snapshot of tastes and design from the past, some of which seem ridiculous to our contemporary eyes. What will people in the future think of the commercials we make now? So, I thought it would be fun to go around the office and find out everyone’s favourites from the Huntley collection. Do you remember a particular advert from your childhood that’s stuck in your mind?

Kenwood food mixer

My favourite, this 1960s Kenwood Chef advert. It’s colour and music just make it so peppy! What I love is its simplicity. It’s all about the versatility of the product, and that’s all you need to see demonstrated. No silly people running around or visual metaphors for what it’s selling. It’s a blender, this is what it can do, simple. Add in a pan over some attractive (c. 1960!) food and it’s a winner. This ad is so popular, an extract was even used in the feature film ‘Paddington 2’!


Wow, when was the last time you sat through a 20 minute advert, let alone one about carpets? Well I guess now you just have, or will…Aside from the somewhat redundant idea of having narrated mimes go through the process of picking a carpet, I do always enjoy watching weaving machinery in action.

Life of the Party with Hartley’s Jelly

One of the earlier examples in our favourites list is this Hartley’s Jelly advert. Who knew jelly could be so glamorous? To think, all those parties I went to when I was young, the awkward shyness of youth could have been a mere thing of the past, if only I’d thought to bring jelly instead of drink. On the upside, I’ve learnt a dance with wooden spoons I can do next time I’m in the kitchen.


Can anyone tell us what exactly Millbay is or was? We’re genuinely a bit baffled as to what this advert is promoting, as we can’t find any reference to it in our research. As it’s so focused on clothing care, we’re wondering if it’s related to the Plymouth Millbay laundry? If so, it’s an impressively sophisticated ad for a local brand. If you love to watch fashionable couples frolicking in 1960s gear, this will be right up your street.

Jeno’s Pizza Rolls to the music of the William Tell Overture

…I have no words…just watch…and listen

Camay Soap

This 1950s soap advert was chosen because in a strange way it has an Alice In Wonderland quality about it – it could simply be the singing flowers at the beginning, but actually, is the Camay lady more reminiscent of the Caterpillar surrounded by its fragrant pipe smoke? The transfixing fragrance has frankly disturbing effects.

If you’re mad about retro ads then take a look at our online gallery. Just click on the kitsch pic!