Media > Film > Display to Sell

iDisplay to Sell

TV documentary commissioned by Fourway Productions Ltd, 1964.

Duration: 13¼ minutes

Music duration: 7 minutes
Music by Carey Blyton
Scoring: Harpsichord
Performance: Valda Aveling

Script by Tom Scott Robson
Voices: Elizabeth Zinn
and Peter Lee

Edited by Peter Gold
Directed and Produced by Tom Scott Robson,
Fourway Productions Ltd

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Display to Sell

The instructional film Display to Sell was written, produced and directed by Tom Scott Robson, who went on to produce and direct Low Water, for which Carey Blyton also wrote the music, a couple of years later.

Display to Sell serves to explain the basics of advertising through the exploitation of the shop window to attract both dedicated and casual shoppers. The film explains that this advertising technique is based on three principles:

  1. Attract attention by catching the eye, using colour and movement combined;
  2. Maintain interest by arousing curiosity, and create a desire to inspect the goods;
  3. Create a desire to possess, by showing the product in the context of universally desirable things.

Carey Blyton wrote a short suite of four tracks for the film (all for harpsichord solo, played by Valda Aveling). Inexplicably enough, when first heard in the film the music is being played backwards! Just after the initial titles, along with an explanatory voiceover (played comprehensibly, in the right direction), Carey’s music can be heard in reverse. The sound of the reversed harpsichord is curious, rather like a wheezy harmonium; but it’s perhaps a tribute to Carey’s coincidentally rather symmetrically-themed score that it still manages to sound vaguely like music, and thus presumably allowed a pretty fundamental gaffe to go unnoticed!

Display to Sell: the original ‘forwards version’ of the theme that’s initially played backwards in the early section of the video.

Please note that the original soundtrack of Display to Sell is available on the CD Carey Blyton: Film & Television Music (4/4), which may be purchased from this site.