Film ID: YFA 2383 Video of YFA 2383 After Eight Adverts 1963-1984 AFTER EIGHT ADVERTS 1963-1984 Visitor TabsDescription After Eight Thin Mints, or After Eights, are a confectionery product described as "mint enrobed in dark chocolate." They were created in 1962 by Rowntree & Company Limited and have been made in the factory in Castleford, West Yorkshire since 1970. This reel is made up of a series of adverts for this product after its launch. The adverts include "well-dressed women of a higher social class, who were excellent at organising dinner parties, which always offered the After Eight Mints." Dinner Party – Plain unashamed luxury and yours for the asking. (1963) B&W Hostess – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1965) B&W Terrace – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1965) B&W Country House – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1965) B&W Guitar – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1966) B&W Villa – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1966) B&W Table – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1967) B&W Farmhouse Kitchen – Luxury, unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1967) B&W Christmas Dinner – We have been known to run out of it before Boxing Day. (1967) B&W It’s the men – They eat more After Eights than any girl. (1968) B&W Not with Port – They pass the port, why shouldn’t we pass the After Eights. (1968) B&W Unmentionable – In a grey world we salute you. (1968) B&W Financial Crises – Circulate the wafer think After Eight mints and bring back the roses to your cheeks. (1968) B&W My Grandfather – The old man liked style. (1969) B&W Everyman – Be the master in your own house. (1969) Colour Picnic – A picnic isn’t a picnic without After Eights. (1969) B&W - Featuring Jean Marsh Dr. Johnson – You never know, After Eights might have changed his mind. (1969) B&W Bridge – After Eights always turn up trumps. (1970) Colour Empty Chair – After Eights for everyone. (1970) Colour - Featuring Gabriella drake, Donald Pickering Product – After Eights the best company there is. (1971) Colour Perfect man – Dear George, I wouldn’t swap him for all the After Eights in Chelsea. (1971) Colour Young Girls – One After Eight each by the look of things. (1971) Colour Wedding – Drown your sorrows in another After Eight. (1971) Colour Young Girls (New Pack) – One After Eight each by the look of things. (1971) Colour Wedding (New Pack) – Drown your sorrows in another After Eight. (1971) Colour Christening – Lots of men simply adore After Eights. (1971-1972) Colour Ball – Hello After Eight. (1971-1972) Colour - Featuring Joanna Davis Green Baize – Dear After Eight, you really leave nothing to chance. (1973) Colour Nelson’s Touch – Pure unashamed luxury. (1973) Colour Diplomatic Bag – Pure unashamed luxury sent all the way from England in the diplomatic bag. (1975) Colour Waterloo – Just eat the Duke of Wellington. (1975) Colour Scrabble – There’s always After Eight which is a great consolation in more ways than one. (1976) Character Study – I wonder what they think about me. (1977) Colour The Butler Did It – I do all I can to keep those traditions alive. (1979) Colour Times Change – Times may change, but standards must be maintained. (1981) Colour Before Dinner – There always seems to be just one missing. (1981) Colour - Featuring Patricia Hodge Ring – Pure unashamed luxury. (1982) Colour Mint Condition – Pure unashamed luxury. (1982) Colour - Featuring Patricia Hodge Informal – Pure unashamed luxury. (1982) Colour Singular Mint – Pure unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1984) Colour Singular Mint – Pure unashamed luxury. After Eight wafer thin mints. (1984) Colour Clock Forward – While you’re putting the After Eight back tonight, don’t forget to put the clocks forward. (1984) Colour Clock Forward – While you’re putting the After Eight back tonight, don’t forget to put the clocks forward. – No Voiceover (1984) Colour Context This is one of a large collection of films made by Rowntree’s of York (now Nestlé). Most of the films came via the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, based at the University of York. Other films have come from different sources, such as Ken Clough, a former engineering designer for Rowntree who filmed many of their manufacturing processes. The vast bulk of the films are adverts for their confectionary products: including Rolo, Black Magic, Toffee Crisp, Smarties, Milky Bar, KitKat, Dairy box and many other brands made between 1929 and 1990. The earliest one of the adverts is Mr York of York, Yorks, the first animated advertisement to be made, in 1929, with synchronised sound - also online. A general overview of Rowntree’s and advertising can be found in the Contexts for Mr York of York, Yorks (1929) and Tokens (1962-63). After Eight has been advertised on TV since 1963. The logo, which appears in the early television adverts, was originally based on a silver antique baroque clock. It quite quickly became established as the leading brand of mint chocolate, today accounting for one out of every two mint chocolates consumed (IRI UK value sales data; 52 w/e 7th November 2009). The first major launch by Rowntree in the 1960s, appearing in 1962, After Eight (originally with the additional title ‘thin mints’) fit in well with the relative affluence of the post-war boom. With more children from working class backgrounds getting to university, there was more aspiration for a more middle class lifestyle. By the same token, the middle class had always sought to differentiate themselves from those considered to be lower class. Hence the rich sophisticated lifestyle shown in the adverts, with posh dinner parties, would have a wide appeal. This dinner party connection has been pushed in adverts ever since. This class differentiation was sent up by the Two Ronnies in their famous 1960s comedy sketch on class with John Cleese; and the associated aspirations were equally parodied by Mike Lee’s play Abigail's Party a decade later. An advertising poster from around the same period has an elegant looking woman holding a drink, with the caption: “a woman's place is in the home, eating After Eight and looking beautiful". It is little wonder that feminism took off in the 1960s. In the 1920s and 30s Rowntree branched out into the ‘old’ empire: Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa – with mixed results. Rowntree's were already ahead of Cadbury-Fry in their investment in research and development, and by 1955 Rowntree’s 19,000 employees was just short of the 20,000 employed by their giant competitors. In the 1950s Rowntree’s focused on expanding its market in the US, using KitKat as a spearhead, and working with US enterprises such as the Chunky Chocolate Corporation. It looked to markets in the Far and Middle East and Latin America as well as Western Europe. In the 1960s, with a static market in the UK, they moved more into Europe, where they had already established a presence in Germany, under the direction of George Dickinson. Rowntree were hindered by tariffs in Europe, but their desire to be a part of free market agreements was hindered when the French President, Charles De Gaulle, blocked British membership of the EEC in 1963. Many of the key products were being made in Germany by the mid 1960s. In 1969, when Rowntree’s merged with Mackintosh, 36% of its sales were in markets outside the UK, becoming 49% by 1976. They were always looking to take over other companies: in the US they bought up various smaller snack enterprises. The 1980s, when the Thatcher and Reagan free market policy was in full swing, saw a boom in takeovers and mergers – the rise of corporatism. In 1985 sales of KitKat reached a record 5 million eaten every day, and there was a 6.4% increase in profits to a pre-tax level of £79.3m. It isn’t surprising then that Jacob-Suchard (already owning Terry’s) made a bid for Rowntree’s in April 1988. The bid was rejected, but it led to another bid just two months later from another Swiss giant confectioner, Nestlé, which was accepted; paying more than double the value of the shares at the time. Although not all were happy with the takeover: some of the small shareholders, holding 10% of all shares, had worked for Rowntree’s all their working life and opposed the deal. Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage firm, was founded by Henri Nestlé, a Swiss pharmacist, who established the Nestlé brand in 1866 with the hope of benefiting society – motives not too dissimilar to Joseph Rowntree Snr. He produced the first milk-cereal food for children. As well as expanding into many other product lines, Nestlé's have continued with dietetic foods for children, especially breast milk substitute – over which there has been a great deal of controversy. (It isn’t easy to find a ‘neutral’ overview on this issue, although the Wikipedia entry covers both sides. Otherwise the Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA) has information on its website Ethical Consumer.) At present the Nestlé site in York is being redeveloped, creating an estimated nearly 600 new jobs with new homes, leisure facilities, offices and shops, with the aim of safeguarding the future of its remaining 1,800 employees – see also the Context for Rowntree’s Sports Day (c.1947) References Paul Crystal, Chocolate: the British Chocolate Industry, Shire, 2011. Paul Crystal and Joe Dickinson, A History of Chocolate in York, Remember When (Pen & Sword Books), 2012. Robert Fitzgerald, Rowntree and the Marketing Revolution 1862-1969, Cambridge University Press, 2006. Joe Murphy, The History of Rowntree’s in Old Photographs, York Publishing Services, 2007.