Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Whatever happened to BN biscuits?


If you were alive in the late 90s, over the age of five and not living under a rock it's impossible that you won't remember BN biscuits. Aside from the fact that they were really quite tasty, the UK adverts with their o-so-memorable jingle, 'BN BN, do doo do do do. BN BN, do do do do...' was enough to etch BN biscuits into your brain, never to be forgotten.

For what seemed like ages but was actually a limited time in the late 90s and early 00s, BN biscuits which are originally from France were hot stuff. It seemed their playful smiley face revealing the rich chocolate filling sandwiched between the two biscuit layers was a winning combination. They were cleverly marketed at kids with the smiley face and catchy theme tune and all, which was no doubt recited around the nations playgrounds at lunchtime (don't you just love it when greedy marketers con kids into eating junk food), not to mention adults alike who probably recited the theme tune in offices around the nation. All this made people remember to pick some up from the supermarket and put them in theirs and their kids lunchboxes for the next day. Result.

The good thing about them is that they did actually taste really nice, so we'll forgive them all the hype.

              BN packaging looking all cute
              and happy and buyable.
Whilst I loved them at the time, I'll be honest, they hadn't crossed my mind until recently. Then to my great disappointment I found out they're no longer stocked in the UK. That's right, NOWHERE in the UK. They haven't been since sometime in the early 00s when they disappeared COMPLETELY. And it's a bit of a mystery why.

There's a couple of theories, one being the interesting although strange urban legend claiming they were banned because one batch of biscuits contained cocaine. (Ha, don't you just love stupid urban legends?) A more likely theory is that they probably just didn't sell enough. This seems odd considering how popular they were though, so I guess the discontinuation of the BN biscuit will have to go down as one of the mysteries of the universe.

The good news is they're still sold in some parts of Europe, particularly in their homeland France where they're super popular. They can also be bought over the internet and shipped over. So if you're desperate there are ways. Expensive ways, but still ways.

In fact, people ARE desperate enough that many campaigns have been launched to bring them back to the UK. None of which have worked, but then again Wispa was bought back after all those years so you never know... 

I'll leave you with a clip from The Office (that amazing early 00s TV show featuring Ricky Gervais), in which Gareth, David Brent and some other bloke sing 'Mah Na Mah Na', the original song inspiration for the BN biscuit advert theme. It's good.

To find out what happened to another 90s snack time classic check out my Sunny Delight post.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Celebrities before they were famous... and starring in 90s adverts

(Before we get to the main article, here's a fun fact: if you type 'kid changes colour from sunny delight' into google, the fifth result is my Sunny Delight post. How cool is that.)


Before they get famous many celebrities star in adverts before they get their break. All of these stars did just that, and good on them for it. Maybe if they hadn't they might not have got to go on to bigger and better things. Here's some 90s adverts starring celebrities before they got famous...

Joseph Gordon Levitt- Pop Tarts (1991)

Before he was getting his heart broken in 500 Days of Summer or fighting evil in the next Batman film (I don't actually know if that's what he does, but you get the idea), or even being an alien in 3rd Rock From the Sun, Joseph Gordon Levitt was a cute little kid and adverting pop tarts.

Kristen Stewart- Porsche (1999)

Kristen Stewart rides a Porsche to school. That girl gets all the fun.

Keanu Reeves- Kellogg's Corn Flakes (1987)

This is an 80s advert but it's way too funny not to include. Check out Keanu's never failing top notch acting.

Anne Hathaway- Better Homes and Gardens (1997)

One of Anne's first television performances at the age of fourteen or fifteen. Wow, she doesn't seem to have had an awkward early teen stage and looks as beautiful and fresh faced as ever.

Ben Affleck- Burger King (1989) (almost 90s)

This reminds me of Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Top marks go to Ben Affleck for doing his best impression of a sleazy teenager.

Mila Kunis- Telephone Tammy (1994)

Mila Kunis was sooo pretty even then. Doll's pretty creepy though.

Steve Carell- Brown's Chicken (1989)

I don't think Steve Carell ever ages. He looks exactly the same now as he did in this advert. Maybe there's something in that Brown's Chicken...

Brad Pitt- Pringles (1989)

This is from 1989, but I don't care. It also wins as best 90s advert (not that there was a particular order anyway), even though it's not from the 90s. This is simply because it has Brad Pitt in. And he looks good. Very good. He's also the best actor in it, but that goes without saying because we all know how great he is.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

90s female fashion icons

The whole 80s retro fashion revival thing that's been in for a while is cute. Leggings, ruffle skirts, skinny jeans, clinched in waists, big hair. All cute. Well, not all cute, take neon brights for example, but you get the idea. However, give it a couple more years and it will be yesterdays news, resigned to the back of our closets and charity shops around the nation. And as fashion comes in cycles, it's quite likely that by then the 90s might be a popular choice for fashion designers to look to for inspiration. At this point in time, I haven't yet decided whether this is a good thing or not. Do designers really need to drag the 90s back into our everyday lives like they have with the 80s? Can't they just make something else up, or look for inspiration from some classy, long ago decade?

I wasn't really old enough to fully register 90s fashions seeing as I was a kid and all, but with a little bit of research I've identified some 90s chicks who looked pretty cool.

Rachel from Friends

She's mostly on the list here for her infamous 'Rachel' haircut which I hear was extensively copied by girls everywhere back in the mid 90s. She was also always effortlessly sleek and stylish sticking to neutral colours and classic styles.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina was always wearing the latest fashions and really knew how to accessorise. This really isn't as scary as bringing the 80s back.

Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell

Way back in the early 90s Kelly was the coolest girl in school with the best wardrobe.

Cher from Clueless

Cher seemed to own every piece of clothing under the sun and had a great knack of putting together an outfit.

Carrie from Sex and the City

Carrie Bradshaw! There was no way I was gonna leave her out. This girl lived and breathed fashion and wore many a memorable outfit, such as the Christian Dior newspaper dress pictured above that was so fabulous it got reused for Sex and the City 2.

OK, so these girls dressed well back in the day, but do we really want to go around looking like this (see below)? No.