June 29 2011: Elusive, A Fragrance Ballad With The Voice Of Patrick Allen (Avon Cosmetics Flexidisc, 1960s)
Following yesterday’s pharmaceutical marketing record, here’s another advertising disc of an entirely different kind: this time, instead of aiming at doctors, as Leo Pharmaceuticals were doing, we have Avon Cosmetics sending out a flexidisc to retailers and representatives with a haunting song (produced by the legendary British library music concern Studio G) overlaid with a compelling but slightly sinister sales pitch by Patrick Allen. Why is this sinister? Perhaps in its own right, but also for the passing familiarity of Allen’s voice from his many other jobs, notably the government’s notorious 1970s series of Protect and Survive civil defence films, which offered instruction about what to do in the event of nuclear attack. While more benevolent in its intentions, then, something of that history attaches to the propaganda of the sales pitch here, which appears mid-way through the lullaby style song, moving in just as we’re nicely relaxed by the dream-like cadences and ready to be susceptible to Allen’s soothing tones. It’s a beautifully constructed (and in its own way, simply beautiful) piece of sales propaganda, and the full version can be heard around 9.22 into the film here: Elusive: A Fragrance Ballad.