HAT uncovers a personal treasure trove of 1960s commercials

We were recently contacted by Ingrid Sylvester who asked us to carry out some research for her in order to locate a collection of commercials she featured in during the 1960s. We were successful in finding the ads and Ingrid kindly wrote a piece about her work on the commercials and why she wanted to find them again:

In September 1957 I started as a pupil at Arts Educational School in London, I was to be 12 years old at the end of the month.

Within weeks I was auditioning in a caravan on the building site of what was to be BBC Televisions White City Centre. It was for a part in a children's seven week serial called 'The Silver Sword'. It was about 3 children being separated from their parents during the last war and their journey across Poland to Switzerland where their parents were being cared for by the Red Cross. I got the part; I was to play the youngest child Bronia Balicki.

From this point on I continued doing quite an impressive amount of work for the BBC and, eventually commercial television. With commercial television came adverts!

The first advert that I did was for Stork Margarine in about 1963.

Ingrid (centre) in the 1963 Stork commercial

I continued with television work, stills advertising, modelling and of course adverts, they paid really well and you got repeat payments too!

In 19?? I auditioned for a Kellogg's Cornflake commercial. It was to be a series of commercials named 'Good Morning ..............', based around a family - Mum, Dad and four children, two boys and two girls, I was auditioning for Maureen the eldest daughter. Each advert was to feature a member of the family or a family activity. Similar to the Oxo ads but nowhere near as well known.

We made about 25 adverts over approximately 3 years. We were all under contract and couldn't do any other adverts that promoted food or rival product. The house that we used was in a leafy suburb, I can't remember where and, like us, it was retained under contract so that we returned to the same venue each year. We had some amazing directors Lindsay Anderson, Carol Reisz and John Krish.*

We became a close knit little unit. I was sorry when they finished, I had hoped that, with me getting engaged in the last advert, we were heading for a new series. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Ingrid in a 1967 Kellogg's Cornflakes commercial

Because most of my TV work was late 50's and into the 60's there is very little that has been stored, preserved. I have an abundance of still photos and press cuttings but it's not quite the same.

I have two 'children' and two grandchildren (so far!). I wish to share with them some of my 'story'so I contacted J.Walter Thompson (the advertising agents for Kellogg's Cornflakes) to see whether they could compile a DVD for me. Unfortunately they don't keep an archive but a lady, Jo, at JWT gave me a contact name and number at the History of Advertising Trust. I contacted the gentleman, Alistair Moir and he put me touch with David Thomas.

Well, after various emails David managed to find about 20 Kellogg's commercials! Amazing, I was thrilled. Imagine my delight when, after a delve into the past, David also managed to find my first ever advert for Stork followed quite swiftly by an advert for Lifebuoy soap.

The 1966 Lifebuoy Soap commercial featuring Ingrid

I am so grateful to David and the team at HAT. I shall now have a DVD with 19 adverts on that I can play to my family.

Of course, nowadays, it's so easy to record programmes and adverts it's quite hard to appreciate the fact that, before, once they had been aired that was it! A great many programmes were recorded but have since been scrapped because storage was becoming a major problem.

Without the dedication of the team at HAT my family wouldn't be in the position of viewing Mum/Nana doing what she used to do as a job. I'm sure there will be plenty of laughs, it will all be so dated but what a wonderful archive I can now pass on, my heartfelt thanks to David and all at HAT.

Thanks very much to Ingrid for writing about her experiences for us, it is great for us to hear about the personal stories behind the advertising we hold here and it's even better when we can help people find what they need.

If you would like us to search for any commercials you or a member of your family appeared in please do contact us - hatads.org.uk/contact-us or email enquiries@hatads.org.uk

A selection of the Kellogg's commercials featuring Ingrid can be viewed on our catalogue:

1967 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Maureen

1967 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Neighbour

1967 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Brian

c1967 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Sunday

c1967 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Young Lady

c1967 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Learner

c1969 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Telephone

1970 Kellogg's Corn Flakes - Good Morning Trevor

December 2017

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