If I invited you round for tea would you be shocked to share the pot with a bunch of monkeys and see me dipping squashed flies into my cup?
Brooke Bond ran a series of televisions ads for its PG Tips brand of tea, in the late 1950s through early 1970s, which featured ‘talking’ chimpanzees, see or
So, when I entered my friend’s office, I blurted out “Chimpanzees!” when I saw a box of PG Tips on her table–the two things are forever linked in my mind after years of seeing the TV ads. Her eyes popped wide open. I explained the history and pulled up a video for her to watch. She bellowed with laughter. “Do you eat Garibaldis?” she then asked. I coyly replied “I have been known to.” That coyness came from my not having had many Garibaldis offered to me, and having a vague recollection of not really grabbing at biscuits filled with raisins. “Good. I’ve made some, so will bring you a few.” Garibaldi biscuits have long been an English tea time favourite, and could be easily confused with pieces of cake covered with squashed flies. However, my friend, an American with a highly developed taste for food things English, had found Garibaldis on sale in the US, and when they did not seem to be available any longer, had looked up a recipe to try to stay on this special diet. I’m really looking forward to dunking some of the home-made goodies into a steaming hot cuppa–PG Tips, of course.
Later that evening, I bumped into a former colleague who is English. I recounted part of the day, and we got into a conversation about how things get associated in your mind and some memorable English advertising catchphrases. “Have a break!” he said. “Have a Kit-Kat!” I replied. “PAL,” he said. “Prolongs active life,” I replied. We laughed. We apologised to a German friend who was walking with us.
A week after the Super Bowl and the ads that were aired, I wonder how many of them would be memorable many decades from now. “Chill, Winstan!”