Bartles & Jaymes

As readers of our blog, you might have guessed by now that we're big fans of the good old-fashioned craft values of advertising.  It's also no secret that we're big fans of unashamedly putting a product centre stage loud and proud in any piece of creative work.

Here's some brutally simple but highly engaging and charming commercials from the U.S.A. that Hal Riney did for Bartles & Jaymes from a bygone age where great casting, great acting, great writing and great direction all made for a great campaign.

Seeing these again it struck me just how rare it is to see a campaign that is as consistently good as this these days.  And actually how rare it is to see campaigns that build over time.  The tendency amongst agencies is to always chase the new and reinvent the wheel every time.  Hence brands seem to be on treadmill on churning out a series of different executions rather than trying to invest in something that works over the medium to long term.

There are probably many reasons why this is the case [and that's the subject of another post] but I think the one contributing factor is that it's seen as unfashionable and uncool to write ads where the product is absolutely the undisputed hero.  Or where you are open about the fact that you are flogging something to an audience.

These ads are over 25 years old but I'm convinced that if they ran today they would still cut through any commercial break and be equally effective.

"And thank you very much for your support" as Mr Bartles said at the end of every ad.  Or was that Mr Jaymes?


  1. "Use it is a topping for ice", is just beautiful.

  2. i briefly worked for Hal Riney. He loved casting real people in his ads. as he did here. he used to say "it's easier to teach real people to act than it is to teach actors to be real people".

  3. I was in the States as a postgraduate student when these ran. In an age of Miami Vice and MTV influenced ads with neon colours and fast, fast edits, the gentle pace of these stood out like the proverbial donkey's. Great stuff


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