I discovered this advert on YouTube recently – it’s one of a series of local adverts produced in-house by Channel Television, the ITV company for the Channel Islands, for Benest’s of Millbrook (prounounced Ben-ays) and Fineprice (St Clements Coast Road) a chain of two family-owned supermarkets based in Jersey back in the 1970s and 1980s.
Unusually, this advert contains footage of the person who does the voiceover, Stewart Benest, who ran the business at that time. Normally he’d do the voiceovers entirely out of vision, except on this occasion. His unique “army major” presenting style was certainly memorable – I certainly can’t remember the last time I actually remembered any adverts for
beefburgers chipsteaks, and I think I’d better get down there quick smart and appreciate the tremendous protein value before he chases me down the road trying to sell me seven superlatives as well!
It was quite disturbing just how many of his adverts seemed to advertise Carlsberg Special Brew on offer, and this advert (second advert in the video) from 1989 announcing to the world that they would now open at lunchtimes would be quite bamboozling to today’s shopper.
The business was eventually sold by his son to his biggest competitor Channel Island Traders in 2003. Benest died in 2002 but the Millbrook store lives on under its new owners and still trades as Benest’s. Fineprice (St Clements Coast Road) is now a Marks & Spencer Simply Food store.
Channel TV made a documentary on the making of these adverts which you can view here.