The best advert ever made.
Is the 1983 Kinder Egg Advert the best advert ever made? I think so.
Picture the scene. It’s 1983. I am 15 years old and I’m watching the telly. An advert appears for the first time. Within 3 seconds I am sat forward in my chair – hands clasped in front of me as though I am watching the last moments of a Championship play-off cliff-hanger.
The people behind the advert are no strangers – for it is the same entrepreneurial and slightly misguided owners behind the Ferrero Rocher ‘Ambassadors Party’ ad. But this is for a brand called Kinder.
Having made their fortunes in Nutella and demonstrated a singular lack of self-awareness on their golden ‘nugget' ads, this was always going to be gold medal winning stuff for me.
My TV screen is filled with a fleshy man egg (the best description I have seen online) with child-like features and a helium voice. The egg man is describing the product benefits of a Kinder Surprise Egg in a way not dissimilar to the way I used to talk in the early stages of my experiments into binge drinking.
Why is this advert so remarkable? Simply this: Last week I was chatting to my son George (10) about our favourite adverts and this one immediately came to mind. 37 years later, the top of mind recall for this ad was a strong as the day after I first saw it. I even remembered the pigeon English narrative practically word for unintelligible word.
Top of mind recall is the holy grail of great adverts. It is that process of thinking about a product or service and immediately thinking of a brand. You say burger, I say Whopper. You say sports car, I say Ferrari. It is the metric by which all great advertising should be judged.
George watched the ad half a dozen times, laughing out loud and asking me “Was this really on the telly?” “Yes” I replied – until it was banned for frightening small children. This part of the tale I never really understood.
This wasn’t the only misfortune to befall Kinder – whose surprising eggs were banned from sale in the lucrative American market, because they contained their small part self-assembly toys inside the chocolate.
You can buy a .45 and hollow points in WalMart, but god forbid you should be able to lay your hands on a Kinder Egg...
Hats off to puppeteer Mike Quinn who created the egg man, although I’m sure he’ll remember 1983 more readily for his work on Return of the Jedi. Director Mike Portelly is sadly no longer with us. He was a leftfield choice for the project having been best known for his underwater sequences rather than his slightly disconcerting egg endeavours.
Anyway – I bought George a Kinder Egg which he gratefully consumed – we’re not sure where the toy ended up.
Me scrooble now.