Events like this, I mean. Or the programme that accompanied it. Or the adverts that helped pay for both.
The NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society) annual get-together was a big thing in the 70s and 80s, and 1981’s Cannes-themed jamboree was perhaps the biggest of the lot. The charity hired one of the massive halls at London’s Olympia and filled it with plastic palm trees, fairground rides, a casino, merchandise stalls, agency and media stands, a Capital Radio disco and at least eight bars. This was an advertising event, after all.
The adjacent hall had been booked by the Mind & Body show, a calm, joss-stick infused, whale-song soundtracked new-agey event. I’ve often wondered whether any attendees of either event ever walked in through the wrong door…
1981 was my first year in advertising. Little did I know then that today, some forty years later, I’d be sitting at home scanning in the pages of the NABS in Cannes programme before chucking it away and getting on with more important stuff. But you’ll be glad I did. Because, my god, the ads. The puns! The typography! The sexism! And don’t kid yourself you wouldn’t have been like that back then. You would have. Or else you’d have been next door sniffing incense and knitting yoghurt.
CDP’s ad is my favourite. Which is yours?