Tudor Crisps Adverts – Adverts I Love

Tudor Crisps advert terry

What would you do for a bag of Tu-dah? As those of us old to remember these Tudor Crisps adverts from the 70s and 80s know only too well – they are worth climbing a mountain for.

Tudor Crisps were, of course, a north-east brand – if you hadn’t guessed from these extremely canny ads featuring crisp-obsessed likely lad Terry – that featured unlikely flavours such as Spring Onion, Pickled Onion and Tomato Sauce.

AdTurds – who still savours flavour – still has fond memories of the Spring Onion Tudors. They were later joined by ‘something a bit special’ in the shape of the ridged Tudor specials, featuring even less likely combos such as Roast Beef & Pickle, Gammon & Pineapple and Sour Cream & Chives.

I’m not sure whether to believe the Wikipedia entry on Tudor Crisps, but other flavours apparently included some foul offerings as Fried Onion, Fried Tomato & Bacon, Hot Dog & Mustard and even Kipper. Kipper-flavoured crisps. Fucking hell.

Tudor Crisps advert

All the ads feature Terry, first as a wily paperboy conning a younger mate to deliver his papers to the Dunston Rocket, an incredible 29-storey brutalist tower block, now sadly demolished, in Newcastle. In exchange of a “bag ‘o Tu-dah” of course.

Next Terry returns as a fully-grown, though still snack-crazed, man to see his old boss and learn about the new flavours offered by Tudor Crisps. Having scoffed his way through a bag of the specials, Terry reveals he’s not exactly making his way in the world – instead he’s a chauffeur. There’s more than a whiff of Clement & Le Fenais to these ads – and that impression is confirmed when we hear who’s doing the voiceovers at the end.

Next up on Terry’s crisp-orientated rampage around his old haunts is a young floppy-haired student, who gets exactly what he deserves for not displaying the local lingo by having Terry scoff all his crisps and leave him high and dry on the A1 hard shoulder. What a bastard.

Tudor Crisps advert terry

Still, it’s hard to stay angry at Terry and soon he has a hot date. It seems some pyar canny Geordie rumpy-pumpy is likely to take place in the back of Terry’s Rolls. And what could be better than a shag in a limo with the Tyne bridge lit up in the background?

I’ll tell you what could be better – a bag of Tudor Crisps Tomato Sauce flavour. Sharon is, understandably, disappointed at first, probably expecting something involving sausage at least. But she soon relents – and her moans of passion soon give way to the unmistakeable sound of Terry’s salty morsels being enthusiastically masticated.

The message? Well, clearly the love of Tudor Crisps can lead to sociopathic behaviour – and even to passing up clear offers of penetrative sex. To be fair, they must be some bloody good snacks.

Tudor Crisps advert allan mechen

The Geordie references? Count ’em. First there’s the all-toon cast, including Allen Mechen (spotted in such Tyneside classics as Spender and later as a Geordie baddie in Brookside) as Adult Terry. Then the homely voiceover of James Bolam, aka Terry Collier of The Likely Lads (and sequel Whatever Happened To…). The numerous shots of Newcastle landmarks of course. And finally the soundtrack to these Tudor Crisps adverts – The Blaydon Races, a song probably incomprehensible to anyone born outside a 50-mile radius of Gateshead.

Sadly Tudor went the way of all things in the early 90s, lost in the product mix of Walkers. In a final indignity the Tudors blue Salt & Vinegar and green Cheese & Onion bags were made to bow down to the Walkers cognitively-dissonant reverse branding. A bit like Henry VIII making Catholic bishops recant their religion, only with crisp packets.

Anyway, here’s the full gamut of Tudor Crisps adverts. Watch them – and I challenge you not to feel like it’s nearing teatime on a Friday afternoon in between Batfink and Rainbow.

Watch all the Tudor Crisps adverts

Head Games: Arnold Schwarzenegger PPI Advert

Government information films have come a long way eh? Rather than employ a continuity announcer with a familiar voice to impart instructions over some footage of someone frowning at a piece of paper we now have this: a disembodied Arnold Schwarzenegger head rolling around on a pair of tracks barking at people to decide whether to submit in a PPI claim, like Total Recall crossed with 1984 in an episode of Robot Wars.

But that’s not even the weirdest thing about this advert for the Financial Conduct Authority, a quasi-governmental body (as opposed to a quasi-bodied Governor) that oversees wrongdoing in the finance industry.

Quite what a bunch of side-parted middle-aged white men in suits did when they saw this advert is an intriguing question – and probably involves an emergency pair of navy blue Marks & Spencer’s suit trousers. But I digress. The most frightening thing about this is the soundtrack, quite clearly commissioned at great expense from Ennio Morricone.

Aphex Twin’s entire body of work isn’t as alarming as the menacing early 80s synths evident here that everyone recognises as shorthand for something very unpleasant erupting from your every orifice simultaneously. Here we’re mentally prepared for the sort of jarring explosion of violence that would see bodies splattered all over the walls in the flicks the soundtrack evokes.

On top of this aural nightmarescape we have Schwarzenegger himself barking furious instructions at us: ‘make a decision!’; ‘come on, come on!’ and ‘do it nooooow!’. The combination is instantly unnerving – a shot of adrenaline on top of a Jagerbomb. Arnie has got your attention.

But there’s more. It’s funny. It’s so wildly odd that it can’t help be funny – and it’s played for laughs. Instead of blowing everyone away – even while delivering bad-guy despatching one-liners – Arnold chides them for failing to decide whether they’re going to make a claim for missold payment protection insurance. The effect is like someone punching you in the face while tickling you.

Arnie PPI deadline

“Bye-bye to the PPI,” sings Carnold in his ludicrous East European accent that sounds like his entire lower jaw is made from rubber bands. Then an authority figure in the shape of a stern-looking blonde, sitting incongruously behind a big desk and treating the whole situation as she might a Tuesday afternoon in the dole office

What sense can we make of this, once we get past the genuinely disturbing dissonance of the whole affair? Well, I applaud the fact that it exists. It was paid for by the 18 firms who represent over 90% of all PPI complaints over the last decade or so and I’d like to think the people heading those banks will be blowing lumps of swanburger across their TV sets when they see this FCA ad.

This is, of course, yet another example of the nostalgia mining we’ve seen in recent ads, including the Halifax Top Cat adverts, EpicSkeletor advert – and more evidence that your childhood is up for grabs in the world of advertising boardrooms.

But in those adverts it’s wrong-headed, smug and inept. It’s just X (ironic thing) + Y (horrible financial thing) = advert. This Arnie advert is so incredibly odd I can’t help but to admire it. What works here is the people in the shop look genuinely alarmed and disturbed, rather like the civvies in a series of excellent PaddyPower adverts from a few years back, who looked terrified when the likes of Des Walker and Bruce Grobbelaar turned up unexpectedly in their houses and start being weird.

In the utterly shite Skeletor advert for MoneySupermarket everyone’s in on the very naff joke; in the terrible Top Cat / Scooby Doo Halifax adverts no-one ponders why cartoon characters want a mortgage or a current account or whatever the fuck they’re going to the bank for. What are they good for? A yawn, a shrug or vague irritation.

But the Schwarzenegger PPI advert has the courage of its convictions. All the participants are actually frightened – and being angrily berated by an animatronic Governator. And so are we.

Yes there are adverts out there designed to irritate and annoy us – this website is devoted to them. But to have the balls to deliberately shit up your audience and shout in their faces? Bravo, FCA, bravo. I take my hat – if not my head – off to you.