Tuesday, 29 July 2014

1970s "Inspirational posters"

In 1970s comic books and newspapers one could usually find advertisements offering posters, iron-on transfers, sew-on patches and T-shirts arranged by theme or subject matter: movie and TV stars, cartoon characters, pop stars, infant felons, etc.

Inspirational or motivational posters were also very popular, particularly among people who had few thoughts of their own and believed that pithy phrases containing as few syllables as possible somehow furnished them with something akin to a personality.

Scarfolk Council monitored the content of all posters to ensure that only quotes with moral integrity found their way onto the walls of citizens. To this end, the council turned to the tried-and-tested morality of spiritual and religious texts such as the Bible.

Here is a small selection of these posters from the council archive.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

"Severed Up" Psychic Advertising (1978)

In the late 1970s the police were struggling to solve several brutal crimes.

They turned to two Scarfolk psychics, Terry and Jasmine Oiltoad, a married couple who also ran a thriving advertising agency with a unique, supernatural selling point: Terry and Jasmine could psychically channel the victims of crimes, but only, strangely, if product placement was incorporated into their trances.

Deep in a clairvoyant daze, they would strategise national marketing campaigns, design advertising mock-ups for print, write product slogans, and even design storyboards for TV commercials. Psychic clues would somehow filter through Terry and Jasmine's subconscious into the promotional material.

Only when the campaigns were officially launched could Terry and Jasmine snap out of their trances and furnish the police with tangible details, such as the precise location of a murder or kidnap victim.

The advertisements themselves were littered with cryptic clues, as can be seen from the magazine ad below for Severed Up soft drinks. The razor logo and copy in this psychic-advertisement eventually led to the apprehension of a criminal known as the "Fizzy Razorblade Killer," though her real name was Helen Cradle, a 7 year old pupil from Scarfolk Infant School, who was also a known embezzler and quite good at geography and maths.

Psychic advertising was outlawed in 1979 when three major corporations were found to have ordered several murders in an effort to be included in popular psychic advertising campaigns.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

"Gaol!" Weekly (1970-79)

Sports were banned in Scarfolk (see Discovering Scarfolk page 41 for further details). However, a legal loophole permitted the playing of ancient games, as long as they were an integral part of a religious ritual.

Mayan football and other sacrifice-based Mesoamerican ballgames, which often employed human heads or skulls instead of balls, became all the rage. Not only were these early games fun and exciting, but they also gave citizens the opportunity to use up any surplus of tourists that had become ensnared in traps during the summer season.

"Gaol!" weekly was the number-one selling football publication at the time and each issue included a pull-out poster of a hat or toupee once worn by the longest serving 'headballs', the most popular of which was Mr. Kenneth Trampel of Ramsgate, Kent, who was a veteran of 22 games until his left ear fell off.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Family Planning & Recycling (1972-1979)

An adult's social status in 1970s Scarfolk was in part determined by the worth of its offspring. However, until 1972 there was no central mechanism in place to define and classify a child's usefulness (or lack thereof).

Scarfolk Council was the first in the UK to implement the MVS (Minor Value System), which not only assessed the qualities and flaws of each child, but also ranked them in order of financial worth.

Though a very small percentage of parents could retire on the proceeds from the private sale of their offspring, many were disappointed to learn that their children were not as profitable as they had hoped. In 1975, 42% of Scarfolk's young were found to be less valuable than an inflatable garden paddling pool and 8.5% were only as valuable as a can of tuna.

To stop the abandonment of unwanted children at motorway service stations, the government created a scheme that enabled parents to sell their unsatisfactory progeny to the council at a fixed price. Parents welcomed the scheme and hundreds of children disappeared from Scarfolk homes overnight.

Coincidentally, the price of pet food plummeted and the safety of pharmaceutical products increased.