The Smurfs (found animated National Benzole commercial series; 1978)
A 1978 magazine showing stills from one of the commercials.
Date found: 08 Nov 2013
Found by: BP
In 1978, the UK gas company National Benzole launched a line of Smurfs figurines. In order to promote these and their own gas stations, NB created a series of animated commercials featuring Smurfs which began airing on May 20th, 1978. These commercials featured various Smurfs working at a National Benzole station, filling up and fixing cars. In the background, an instrumental version of Dutch singer Vader Abraham's "Smurf Song" (Het Smurfenlied) which came out the previous year to promote the release of "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute".
These commercials were notable for having a very different animation style compared to the more well-known Hanna-Barbera cartoon series from 1981. After the campaign ended, the "Smurf Song" along with the slogan would be reused for Australian commercials for BP in the mid-1980s. However, the BP commercials features Papa Smurf taking care of the gas station, while the National Benzole, commercials feature National Smurf, a character created exclusively for the commercials.
On November 8th, 2013, the official BP YouTube channel uploaded one of the commercials, which shows the smurfs successfully repairing a car. In addition, at an unknown time, seven other commercials (plus the one previously mentioned) were uploaded to the BP Video Library. These include a race where the smurfs act as a speedy pit crew, a shortened version of the previously mentioned car repair commercial, the Smurfs singing about tending the NB station, four short commercials depicting the Smurfs tending the station and promising a service with a smurf, and one short one depicting the Smurfs as an army, efficiently filling many cars with gas. As far as it is known, these are all the commercials.
- Les Aventures des Schtroumpfs (partially found Belgian animated film; 1965)
- La Schtroumpfette (lost Belgian animated TV special based on "The Smurfs" comic; 1969)
- The Smurfs Australian BP commercial (lost advertising material; 1980s)
- A website with information on the National Benzole Smurf ads and merchandise. Retrieved 20 Mar '21