Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Staff of Life: A Bread Commercial About History

Posted By on Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge hovis_logo.jpg

In the 1980s, a young filmmaker named Ridley Scott made a beautiful, nostalgic and slightly hokey commercial for Hovis, a national brand of bread in Britain. It documented the most-beloved principles and icons of the Green and Pleasant Isle: winding streets and thatched cottages, wholesome food and hard work, respect for elders, a simpler time, and child labor. In one survey, Brits voted it the kingdom's best-ever advertisement.

Hovis recently commissioned a new commercial, a high-budget production that tells the 1-minute history of 20th century England. There are esoteric bits, like the 1966 FIFA soccer victory that they're STILL talking about. Most of it you'll get as you watch it over and over: the Titanic, suffrage, WWI, between the wars, WWII and the Blitz, the coronation, the 1966 England soccer victory over Germany, mini skirts, immigration by former colonials, miner strikes, millennium.

There's a limit to what the filmmaker could include, but they could have shortened the suffrage and WWI segment and included at least one of the founding fathers of rock: the Who, Stones, Beatles, Zeppelin, or Pink Floyd. Where was James Bond? Where was Charles and Diana's wedding?

Go watch the commercial and tell Bites what you see that was left out, or might have been done differently.


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