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Web Video / The Hard Sell

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Documentary series created by Applemask (aka Matthew Harris) of Bob the Fish Productions looking at the history of TV advertising in Britain. Episodes usually focus on a specific type of product or service, but occasionally they look at one brand in particular (Not Brand X) or a selection of adverts from a specific commercial break (Have a Break)

Tropes used/discussed in the series:

  • Art Shift: The coffee episode shifts from black and white to full colour once Applemask gets the chance to drink his first coffee of the day.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cool Car: Applemask points out that car adverts' attempts to invoke this trope don't work on him:
    "To me, a car is just a box on wheels with some chairs in it and an internal combustion engine [that] probably runs on fairy dust."
  • Christmas Episode: Episodes looking at Christmas-related adverts pop up around the Christmas period, as you would expect.
  • Mushroom Samba: Applemask concludes that Mellow Birds must be "Amsterdam coffee" when it appears to send Joanna Lumley off into a pleasantly bucolic hallucination.
  • Not a Morning Person: Applemask, by his own admission in the coffee episode.
  • Shout-Out: There are plenty of these throughout the series:

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