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Monday, 20 December, 1999, 18:37 GMT
Martian ad a Smash hit

Smash hit: The 1970s aliens won the ad industry's heart too

A TV commercial for mashed potato featuring a group of talking robotic Martians has been named advertisement of the year by a trade magazine.

"....then they smash them all to bits!" (Pictures from BMP DDB)
Advertising weekly Campaign named the 25-year-old Cadbury's Smash commercial its favourite in its top ten of the century.

The spots featured the creatures chortling as they heard how the "Earth people" peeled their own potatoes, "boiled them for 20 of their minutes," then "smashed them all to bits" - instead of using Smash instant mash.

Viewers were not insulted at being called "a most primitive people" by the metallic creations - sales soared and the Martians received so much fan mail the agency which made the commercials, now known as BMP DDB, had to prepare special literature to reply to them.

Now BMP DDB is celebrating the accolade by showing the original 1974 commercial in Channel 4's final advertising slot of the year at 2355 GMT on 31 December.

Campaign's Top 10
1 - Cadbury's Smash (1974)
2 - Benson & Hedges - Iguana (1978)
3 - Conservative Party - Labour Isn't Working (1978)
4 - Tango (1992)
5 - Fiat Strada (1979)
6 - Levi's (featuring Nick Kamen - 1985)
7 - Health Education Council - Pregnant Man (1969)
8 - Heineken - Refreshes the parts... (1974)
9 - War Office - Your Country Needs You (1914)
10 - Hamlet - Baldy Man (1986)
Campaign also commended other advertisements in its list, including Benson & Hedges' cinema ads for cigarettes, the Conservative Party's 1978 "Labour Isn't Working" campaign, and the wartime "Your Country Needs You" posters featuring Lord Kitchener in 1914.

The magazine also compiled a list of its worst ads, including Bernard Matthews' "bootiful" turkeys, and John Cleese's ill-fated Sainsbury's campaign, adding viewers definitely weren't spoiled by Ferrero Rocher's kitsch ambassador's reception.

Campaign also named its most influential commercial television programmes. These included classics such as Saturday Night At The London Palladium and Opportunity Knocks through to innovative youth programme Network 7, original ITV breakfast broadcaster TV-am and Sky Sports' Super Sunday football show.

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