HAT launches living history project - Inspiring Minds from the industry share unique memories of the work behind some of our most famous ads

Launched on 26th September 2018 and supported by the National Lottery, a new project by the History of Advertising Trust, the archive of brand communication, reveals the stories of some of the most creative Adland legends from the Golden Age of British advertising.

‘Inspiring Minds’ takes us back to the early days of TV ads when the industry was feeling its way with this new medium. We discover the stories from the industry that led to our most celebrated adverts and launched the careers of some of the greatest British film makers. 

‘Inspiring Minds’ consists of filmed interviews with some of advertising’s most influential figures of the last half century, talking about their lives and work, as well as exploring how they see the future of advertising in a digital age. This project provides a permanent legacy for future generations, and was made possible by a £8,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “We’re delighted that National Lottery players’ money can support HAT to save the stories of the people behind some of the most iconic and recognisable adverts of the last 50 years. This project gives us an invaluable insight into the development of household brands and campaigns and record how the industry has changed over the years.”

‘Inspiring Minds’ Project Manager, Jane Jarvis, has been researching, filming and editing the conversations with industry legends - Sir Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson, Dave Trott, Jeremy Sinclair CBE, Judie Lannon, Martin Boase and Sir Frank Lowe. 

In the interviews, we discover how Sir Alan Parker went from mailroom boy at an advertising agency to the award winning writer and director of feature films including Bugsy Malone and Midnight Express. Dave Trott shares his thinking behind the ‘Lipsmackinthirstquenchin’ Pepsi slogan and Sir Frank Lowe talks about the production of the iconic Benson & Hedges campaigns for cigarette advertising when regulations stipulated ‘no cigarettes to be shown’.

There are tales of creativity and passion and of the desire to elevate television commercials from being irritating to becoming miniature stories, which the viewer looked forward to and talked about. There is political power too – Jeremy Sinclair, known as the ‘quiet man’ of advertising, was behind Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Labour isn’t working’ campaign that resulted in the Conservative’s taking power in 1979. 

Sir Alan Parker recognises the impact of advertising on our lives and the value of the archives, "Once you move on to do other things, you think the commercials are not that important, but the wonderful thing about modern technology is that now everybody can see them. It's educational and it's just brilliant, because, in the end it's our social history that you’re seeing there, it's who we were."

Jane explains, “This project is living history in action and not only is it very entertaining, but it will also be immensely valuable for generations to come. It is a great privilege to have met some of the industry’s greatest talents and record their memories. For many of us, the ads have had a lasting impact on our lives with memorable slogans, jingles and images that chart important changes over the decades. These interviews will no doubt help to inspire an industry of the future.”

Follow the project here: hatads.org.uk/inspiring-minds

The History of Advertising Podcast has launched

We have launched our first ever podcast, which reveals the stories behind some of the nation’s most celebrated ads through a series of interviews with creative legends from the golden age of British advertising.

Featuring interviews with the likes of Dave Trott, Sir Alan Parker (director of Bugsy Malone) and Hugh Hudson (director of Chariots of Fire), Sir Frank Lowe and Judie Lannon, ‘The History of Advertising Podcast’ looks back at some of the most revelatory ads from the past fifty years, whilst also giving listeners an insight into the nation’s social history and how consumer attitudes have changed over time.
In the episodes, listeners will learn from Jeremy Sinclair, the ‘quiet man’ of British advertising, about the role which the ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ campaign played in Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power. Listeners will also get to hear how advertising restrictions affected the industry, and how definitive campaigns like Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps’, and After Eight’s ‘Dinner Party’ were created.
Hosted and co-produced by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, the podcast is launching with a 10-part series of 10-minute episodes. The first episodes are already available to download, whilst listeners can hear new episodes launching every Wednesday morning from 0600 GMT on iTunes. The podcast is co-produced by HAT’s oral history project manager Jane Jarvis, who has researched and filmed the conversations with these industry legends.
Dave Trott, creative director, copywriter, author and contributor to the podcast says: “How can we expect to learn anything, unless we study and discuss the history of it? Maths, engineering, philosophy, politics, art, design, fashion, sport, war, business. Don’t we need to learn from previous mistakes and successes before we start? This podcast series is living history: a unique opportunity to learn how the great advertising was done by the people who did it. Don’t learn it second-hand, get it first-hand.”
Jane Jarvis, oral history project manager at the History of Advertising Trust, adds: “This podcast offers an invaluable perspective on how consumer attitudes have shifted over time. It’s been fascinating to learn about how the industry has evolved and adapted over the past fifty years, and this podcast offers a real insight into creative minds, and how some of our biggest household brands would not have got to where they are today without the right ad at the right time.”
The podcasts have been made possible through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and will provide a permanent legacy for future generations. It is a continuation of the ‘Inspiring Minds’ video project, which was launched by the History of Advertising Trust last year.

To listen to the podcast, please click here.

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