And when the legendary BMP creative chief encountered Chas and Dave singing in a pub on the Isle Dogs, the upshot was one of the best loved TV commercials of all time.

Looking back, you have to ask how the Gertcha could possibly have failed given that Dave Trott wrote it, Webster art directed it and Hugh Hudson brought it to life.

To re-create the atmosphere of an old East End pub, the famous cinematographer Robert Krasker, who credits included The Third Man and El Cid, was persuaded out of retirement to produce the special visual one-take style.

So impactful was it that it sparked a revival of black and white photography in UK advertising.

It’s a remarkable testimony to the enduring appeal of he Gertcha spot that Courage put it back on air in 1992. The only change was the end-frame.

This ad was kindly donated by the Arrows Archive, which contains all TV ads nominated for the BTAA Awards since 1977. The archive is maintained by the History of Advertising Trust.

This article was first published on Campaign Work


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