Brand of the Year

Hovis, 1974

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It was all about nostalgia. As England and Ireland were rocked by IRA bombs, brands offered some light relief. We were reassured by a young boy on a bike delivering bread up a steep cobbled hill and a saggy, old cloth cat called Bagpuss.

Hovis’s evocative “Boy on a Bike” ad, accompanied by Dvorak’s New World Symphony, became an instant classic. Using the strapline, “Hovis is as good for you today, as it’s always been,” it was directed by Ridley Scott, who went on to make films including Gladiator, Alien and Thelma and Louise.

Meanwhile, package holidays became affordable for ordinary families with Spain as the new fashionable destination. A Dutch beer called Heineken launched a new TV ad campaign with the enduring strapline – “Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.”

We were entertained by Porridge jailbirds Norman (Ronnie Barker) and Lennie (Richard Beckinsale). We were told to be patient by Cockburn’s Vintage Port, “better late than never!” and Birds Eye persuaded us that, “somehow other beef burgers don’t taste the same.”

Then, Art Fry, a 3M scientist, had a vision while singing with his church choir. He was sick of losing his place in the score and dreamt of a bookmark that was just a little bit sticky. Finally, a genuine need for the slightly sticky adhesive invented six years previously and 3M’s Post-it notes were born.

Snapshot 1974
Brand Value – $183m
Brand Value – Methodology
Books: Fear of Flying by Erica Jong; Travesties by Tom Stoppard
Events: President Nixon resigns over Watergate; England and Ireland are ravaged by IRA bombs
Films: The Return of the Pink Panther; Blazing Saddles
Music: The Wombles of Wimbledon Common topped the charts