Europe

Irish television adverts preserved, digitised and viewable

Man drinking Spike Image copyright Irish Film Institute
Image caption Fancy a Spike? Not all of the brands in the Irish Film Institute's archive survive today

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) has unveiled a collection of restored television adverts from the 1960s to the 1980s.

The IFI described the adverts as "a rich treasure trove of national memory and cultural artefacts".

The project, which involved the preservation and digitisation of the adverts, took 18 months to complete at a cost of 362,000 Euro (£307,000).

Image copyright Irish Film Institute
Image caption Before and after, the archive has to be carefully restored before being digitised

Over 200 adverts are available to view on the institute's website.

The collection, numbering nearly 8,000 rolls of film, had suffered physical deterioration and contracted a mould infestation after been held in damp warehouses for decades before being transferred to the IFI's archive in the mid-1990s.

Image copyright Irish Film Institute
Image caption Blast from the past, when's the last time you saw a 'Super Ser'?

The IFI's archive team "salvaged this material, through a combination of painstaking processes including frame-by-frame assessment, extensive physical and chemical conservation, followed by scanning and digital restoration".

Image copyright Irish Film Institute
Image caption A picture of bliss, an advertisement for baking company Oldums

IFI director Ross Keane said: "This project has been a huge undertaking for the organisation, and we are particularly pleased to be able to share the results with the public through our new IFI Player."

Image copyright Irish Film Institute
Image caption Some of the advertisements needed to be carefully preserved after having suffered significant damage in storage

Michael O'Keeffe, CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), which supported the project financially, added: "The preservation aspects of the project, together with the historical and cultural value of the advertising material, are commendable.

"It epitomises the aims of the BAI's archiving scheme by contributing to the preservation of Ireland's broadcasting heritage, and record of Irish culture.'