29 Mar
Mars Bar Adverts Through The Years

Did you know that the Mars bar is over 90 years old? It was first made in Slough by Forrest Mars in 1932, with the three main ingredients being chocolate, nougat and caramel, as they still are today.

In this post, we're going to take a nostalgic trip back into the 20th century, featuring Mars bar adverts through the years, from the 1940 to the 1990s. How many will you remember?

Interestingly, the colours of the wrapper (black with red and gold text) have remained the same since its launch, although the logo is quite different these days, being smoother and more modern. The first noticeable change to the logo was in the 1990s, when it was given a right slant and underlined.

Sammy Shuteye and the Best Slice comic strip advert for Mars bar

This advert is from 1950

1940s and 50s

"Sustaining, Energising, Nourishing"

In the 1940s, Mars was promoted as being a healthy energy snack, using the slogan "Sustaining, Energising, Nourishing". Adverts were not as heavily regulated as they are now, and using these terms for a sugary snack would most certainly not be allowed today.

Sammy Shuteye

Another printed advert used in the 1940s and 50s featured a comic strip with the character Sammy Shuteye, and it came with the tagline "Mars has everything!". 

Stars love Mars - Mars are marvellous

A slogan that was used more frequently was "Mars Are Marvellous", during the 1940s and 50s. There were dozens of adverts containing this slogan, and a series of "Stars love Mars" ads featured popular film stars of the day.

Terry Thomas in a Mars Are Marvellous advert (1953)

For this "Stars Love Mars" printed ad, the British actor Terry Thomas is quoted as saying "Mars are marvellous-they fill the gap for me between meals". It came with the tagline "Your daily sweet treat - and only 5d".

Stars Love Mars advert with Bebe Daniels

This ad from 1953 features the American actress, singer and dancer Bebe Daniels.

1960s to 1990s

A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play

Many people who grew-up in the 1960s, 70s and 80s will remember the Mars Bar adverts with the catchy jingle "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play", which made its first appearance in 1959. In reality, it doesn't really help you do any of those things, although it may give you a short burst of sugary energy which quickly subsides and then leaves you with a headache!

Eating a Mars every day is most definitely not a healthy option, but back in the day, the slogan was used in dozens of TV and printed advertisements, and was last shown in 1995 on British television channels. 

In this TV advert from the 1960s, a real roof thatcher (and bell-ringer) is filmed at work. His name is Sid Grant, and he is the uncle of the two young girls, who he shares his Mars bar with. It was filmed is Bishops Cannings in Wiltshire. Sid passed away in 1991.

In 2008, bell-ringing made a return in a new Mars advert featuring monks and featured the slogan "Work, rest, play" but not the jingle. Instead, the hit song "Jump Around" by House of Pain was used.

The TV advert we've included here is from 1983, and is quite a basic one, being straight to the point. It shows someone unwrapping a bar and eating it, and a mouth-watering image of the chocolate being poured over the bar. 

Back in the 1980s, manufacturer's were competing to offer you their biggest bars, as you can see on the "Big Bar Value" displayed on the bar above. These days, it seems that they want to make the bars as small as possible. In fact, I'm pretty sure we'll soon be paying for just the wrapper!

Mars bar with slogan A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play. Black background

Must be Mars (1998)

After the "Work, rest and play" slogan was dropped after 1995, in 1998 a new TV advert aired in the UK which showed a man being swallowed by a sofa shaped like red lips.

Must Be Mars advert (1998) with Mars bar in wrapper

Note how the Mars logo in the 1998 advert is now slanting and underlined

In the 21st century, we now have Mars Ice Cream and the Mars Protein bar, catering to those seeking a taste of the classic with a twist.

We do hope you have enjoyed seeing all of these old Mars bar advertisements from the 20th century.

You may also like When did Marathon become Snickers?

Mars Are Marvellous A4 advert for Mars Bar from 1946, with illustration of a young boy
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