"Penneys: Spring into Summer," an Irish advertisement from the 1970s, is now available to stream for free via the Irish Film Institute's IFI Archive Player. 

Roughly 50 years old, this advertisement for Penneys summer range follows along as a girl flicks through images of clothes, admiring the different outfits on sale.

"Penneys: Spring into Summer" is part of the IFI's Irish Adverts Project.

The Irish Film Institute's Irish Adverts Project

The IFI Irish Film Archive, supported by a grant from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Archiving Funding Scheme, has catalogued, digitised, restored and preserved a large collection of 35mm film television advertisements made in the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. These commercials were made for broadcast on Irish television by a number of prolific Irish advertising agencies including Wilson Hartnell, Birchall, Hunter and Arks, for a variety of corporations (both Irish and international).

The collection of nearly 8000 rolls of film had been held in damp warehouses for decades and, as a result of poor storage conditions, it suffered physical deterioration and contracted a mould infestation before it was transferred to the IFI Irish Film Archive in the mid-1990s. The Archive team has salvaged this material, through a combination of painstaking processes including frame-by-frame assessment, extensive physical and chemical conservation, and finally scanning and digital restoration. The collection has also been catalogued and preserved according to international best practice, thus safeguarding it for the future and making it widely accessible for the first time.

This project has resulted in the creation of a substantial Irish TV advertising archive that is a rich treasure trove of national memory and cultural artefacts.

These films may be only seconds long but together they provide a unique window into Irish society and consumer habits over a three-decade period. They tell us much about the community they were made for, as well as the era they were made in; reflecting the social mores, standards, dress sense, attitudes to gender and race of the Ireland for which they were created.

They are fascinating on many levels and can be enjoyed from a nostalgic, historical, social, or cultural perspective.

"Penneys: Spring into Summer" is published here thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), who IrishCentral has partnered up with throughout 2023 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

To watch more historic Irish footage, visit the IFI Archive Player, the Irish Film Institute’s virtual viewing room that provides audiences around the globe free, instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last century is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature films, and much more. You can also download the IFI Archive Player App for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

IrishCentral has partnered up with the IFI throughout 2023 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collections entail. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.