The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Some Advertising Forms Memories That Never Leave You …

I remember when the ice cream above first came out.

It was 1982 and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

For a start it was sold as a lump of ice cream.

Oh no, Viennetta was a ‘dessert-cake’ … a blend of sophistication and excellence, crafted by experts for the most special of occasions.

I wanted to try it soooooo badly, but I remember having to wait an age before I could … but as it was light years from any other ice cream I’d ever had, when I finally got it in my gob, it absolutely lived up to the anticipation.

38 years later, and I know this ‘sophisticated dessert cake’ is only £1 at the local Co-op – which means it’s about as sophisticated as an episode of Tipping Point – however it still feels like I’m having a very, very special ice-cream experience whenever I have one. Which isn’t often because somehow, I still think it is only for rare occasions of celebration.

What’s interesting is that when I had it, I posted a photo on instagram and the response was of equal adoration.

And then people went into celebrating other low-rent, mainstream shite we thought was the height of sophistication.

Like After Eight Mints.

Or Ice Magic … the sauce you poured on to your shitty Asda vanilla ice cream [or Neopolitan, if your Mum and Dad were feeling extravagant] that then TRANSFORMED INTO A SOLID LAYER OF CHOCOLATE TO ELEVATE YOUR SHITTY ICE CREAM EXPERIENCE.


But of all the comments I got, my fave was from Kev Chesters with this …

And while I loved it for a whole host of reasons, the main one was his order of using a teaspoon.

Not a dessert spoon.

Not a table spoon. [Though this might be the same as a dessert spoon]

But a teaspoon.

Because regardless how old you are.

Regardless how many Viennetta’s you could buy and eat.

A teaspoon was the psychological way of making your favourite desserts last longer.

Smaller spoon.

Smaller amounts of food on it.

More spoonfuls to enjoy.

I still do it and it made my day to know Kev did too.

Which all should act as a reminder that advertising is an incredibly powerful force … especially when it’s targeting people who know no better but dream of being more than they think they will end up being.

Thank you Viennetta. For the memories, the experience and the taste.

20 Comments so far
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Don’t be too hard on yourself Rob, £1 in Nottingham means you are sophisticated.

Comment by Bazza

After 8. Ice magic. Viennetta. Oh Robert, how will I sleep now you have ignited such cravings in me? If truth be told, I still eat my favourite desserts with a tea spoon. My mother never understood it but my kids do.

Comment by George

Smaller the spoon, the more mouthfuls you get to enjoy.

Comment by Pete

£1 for such a glorious dessert may be the reason we eventually move back to the UK.

Comment by George

Is it that good?

Comment by Bazza

You don’t know what you’ve been missing.

Comment by George

Today I will be purchasing a Viennetta, a packet of After Eight, some neapolitan ice cream and, if it is still available, some Ice Magic.

My cardiologist is not amused Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

I am sure ice magic once likely chemicals that have now been identified as harmful to health. But when it can transform ice cream in such a way, I for one could live with that.

Comment by George

Thanks for making me get up and go downstairs to eat ice cream Rob.

Comment by Pete


Comment by George

Happy indigestion.

Comment by Rob


Comment by John

Anybody doubting the role of emotion in successful marketing just needs to read this post.

Comment by John

Absolutely. That people still doubt that blows my mind.

Comment by Rob

people dont doubt it. only fucking kpi blinkered marketing, research and finance twats do. they like to think theyre bringing professionalism to the industry and theyre the fuckers killing it.

Comment by andy@cynic

your taste in shit food is your best taste.

Comment by andy@cynic

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It’s funny, I remember the exact same thing. As a kid watching the Vienetta advert I was transfixed.
It’s called Viennetta ffs – incredible name. Even if you don’t know it’s the capital of imperious Austria it sounds posh and exotic.
On occasion my mum would buy one and it would be split between 5.

Great marketing. I mean the chocolate is crappy, the ice cream isn’t anything special but somehow it looks great and retains a sense of prestige even at £1 (which I spent only a month ago and yes, ate with a teaspoon!).

Comment by LionAroundCopywriting

[…] And while no one ever really believed they were the chocolate favoured by diplomats, royalty and Ambassadors … it was a strategy that worked for many – from After Eights to Viennetta. […]

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