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The Irish Adverts Project

The Irish Adverts Project

The IFI Irish Film Archive, supported by a grant from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Archiving Funding Scheme, has catalogued, digitised, restored and preserved a large collection of 35mm film television advertisements made in the 1960, ‘70s and ‘80s. These commercials were made for broadcast on Irish television by a number of prolific Irish advertising agencies including Wilson Hartnell, Birchall, Hunter and Arks, for a variety of corporations (both Irish and international).

The collection of nearly 8000 rolls of film had been held in damp warehouses for decades and, as a result of poor storage conditions, it suffered physical deterioration and contracted a mould infestation before it was transferred to the IFI Irish Film Archive in the mid-1990s. The Archive team has salvaged this material, through a combination of painstaking processes including frame by frame assessment, extensive physical and chemical conservation and finally scanning and digital restoration. The collection has also been catalogued and preserved according to international best practice, thus safeguarding it for the future and making it widely accessible for the first time.

This project has resulted in the creation of a substantial Irish TV advertising archive that is a rich treasure trove of national memory and cultural artefacts.  These films may be only seconds long but together they provide a unique window into Irish society and consumer habits over a 3 decade period. They tell us much about the community they were made for, as well as the era they were made in; reflecting the social mores, standards, dress sense, attitudes to gender and race of the Ireland for which they were created. They are fascinating on many levels and can be enjoyed from a nostalgic, historical, social or cultural perspective.

Valley Ice Cream: Big Red
Kiskadee: Jungle
Bovril Stock Cubes: Terry Wogan
Irish Matches: Weird
Dublin: Feed a Bin
Odlum’s: Heaven Only Knows
Yoplait: Mrs Dolan
Captain Crisps
Ronson Escort 2000
Phoenix: Man’s Best Friend
Spar: So Near So Spar
JWT Holidays: 1971 Italy
Club Milk: Bishop
Bovril Stock Cubes: Red Meat
Siúcra: Brown Sugar Coffee
Ballyfree Eggs: Fresh Daily
Jacob’s: Club Shortcake
HB: Great Race
Odlum’s: Cream Flour
Captain Crisps
Kiskadee: Jungle
Phoenix: Man’s Best Friend
Phoenix: Malachi
Musgrave Tea: Matchmaker
Mi-Wadi: Orange Tree
Carling Black Label: Carling Song
Bass Ale: The Dubliners
PG Tips: Auntie Maud
Ronson Escort 2000
Dulux: Matchmaker
Quix: Washing Up
Curragh Carpets: New House
Maguire and Paterson Matches: Dancing
Maguire and Paterson Matches: La Caramatcha
Sandeman: Fine Ruby Port
Kosangas: Cooker
Irish Matches: Weird
Ronson Escort 2000
Spar: So Near So Spar
Winstons: New Look
Milk of Magnesia: Boat
Milk of Magnesia: Tablets
Spar: Frozen Prices
Dulux: Matchmaker
Dublin: Feed a Bin
JWT Holidays: 1971 Italy
JWT Holidays: Sun in 1981
CIE: Miles Cheaper
Winstons: New Look
JWT Holidays: 1972 Destinations
JWT Holidays: 1973 Destinations
JWT Holidays: 1981 Destinations

The Irish Adverts Project was made possible by the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Archiving Funding Scheme.