Happiness is…

Thursday 5 February 2015, 5.00am HKT


4am local time, 14°C (57°F), nice and cool and dry and wonderful

ANYONE who’s as old as I am will (or should) remember this line from the 1970s and ’80s:

“Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet.”

That was one of the best remembered British advertising campaigns on TV, radio, cinema, print and billboards. It was also the longest-running ad campaign in the UK and lasted until all tobacco advertising was banned on British TV in 1991.

(via Privar a la cultura “auténtica” de su función crítica)

Long before the tobacco ad ban even came into force, Hamlet already had some of the best commercials in the world. The entire campaign and the slogan were created by the now-defunct Collett Dickenson Pearce (CDP) agency in 1966.

Founded in 1960, London-based CPD produced some of the most creative, thought-provoking and humorous ads seen by the British public — and slogans that entered the British national consciousness:—

“Land Rover. The best 4 by 4 by far.”

“Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.”

The agency’s rollcall of classic campaigns included Harvey’s Bristol Cream, Bird’s Eye, Parker pens, Fiat, Ford, Acrilan, Pretty Polly stockings, and Benson & Hedges.

Channel 4's Hamlet cigar spoof indent, 1982

These adverts were often spoofed or mocked — most notably on The Kenny Everett Television Show (1981–87, BBC).

In 1982, Channel 4 carried a memorable spoofing indent of the Hamlet commercial — coloured blocks forming the number 5, then a jumbled mess, then turned into a face, and then smokes a cigar and smiles.

The Hamlet commercials used a jazz rendition (by Jacques Loussier’s trio) of Bach’s Air on the G String,” which is still frequently associated with the brand.

Some more videos: Popular Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet Videos.

(via Guy Moore – Archive)

Guy Moore, an adman involved with various iconic British adverts for over 30 years, was asked to see if his agency could make “Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet” work on posters.

(By the way, the spangly (sparkly) finger was the original lottery symbol of “It could be you.”)

(via Cancion del Dia: Happiness Is A Warm Gun)

Other than that blast from the past, I’d say “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” — a 1968 song by The Beatles.

Must stop the nostalgic blasts there, I’m afraid.

Happiness is my right arm getting slightly better.

he-man motu action figure replacement arm 1982 mattel series 1 3773459

He-Man Motu action figure replacement arm, 1982, Mattel Series 1
(via Ron’s Rescued Treasures)


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2 Responses to “Happiness is…”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    Glad you found my arm there; I thought it was gone forever. Glad you found yours working a bit better, too. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

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