The Commercials

ABBA performing the National jingle

1. Location: Ballroom of the Grand Hotel, Stockholm.

ABBA are miming to the recording of the National jingle. Agnetha and Frida are wearing their "cat suit" tops with white pants; Björn playing guitar and Benny playing piano are wearing their "kimono" costumes. They perform the whole song, without any voiceovers.

ABBA riding bicycles

2. Location: Grounds of the Royal Summer Palace; Benny & Frida’s apartment.

The commercial opens with Björn and Agnetha, Benny and Frida riding through the Summer Palace grounds on bicycles. Next we see ABBA using various National products: Frida taking a photograph of Agnetha riding a bicycle; Agnetha listening to music through headphones; Frida and Benny talking on two-way radios; Benny using a portable cassette player/recorder.

As the chorus starts, ABBA are walking down a path, miming to the jingle as Björn and Benny play guitars. Cut to Benny and Frida’s apartment, where Agnetha puts a (Polar label, presumably ABBA) record on a record player; Benny is vacuuming the floor and Frida lifts her feet out of the way; Frida is in the kitchen using a juicer. Back to the Summer Palace grounds, where Benny is using a toaster; Agnetha is attaching a flash unit to a camera; Agnetha is playing with a battery-operated remote controlled toy donkey. Then Agnetha starts to say the slogan "Remember this whenever you hear their name" and Björn finishes "National is just slightly ahead of our time". The final shot has ABBA surrounded by a lavish picnic spread, miming to the last lines of the jingle.

Voiceover says:

(during verse)
ABBA is right.
National create and develop many things for better living.
Like batteries and flashguns to capture memories
Like a complete range of excellent sound equipment
for news and views, music and good fun
National can go with you everywhere
anytime you want to go.

(during chorus)
National can play your favourite ABBA records
Help keep your house in order
Or get your day started right
Whatever you’re looking for
Look to a National product
Sound equipment, home appliances and television.

ABBA at the piano

3. Location: Grand Hotel Ballroom; Benny & Frida’s apartment; Summer Palace grounds.

The commercial opens with Agnetha and Frida miming the jingle in the Grand Hotel ballroom, this time wearing their "kimono" costumes. Cut to the apartment, where Björn is packing items in a suitcase: his passport, a calculator, electric shaver, batteries. Cut to the Summer Palace grounds, where Agnetha is playing with a battery-operated remote controlled toy donkey, and Frida is making "kissy-faces" to Benny via two-way radios.

As the chorus starts, we see Agnetha and Frida in the Grand Hotel ballroom, miming to the jingle. This is interspersed with shots from Benny & Frida’s apartment: Benny vacuuming the floor as Frida lifts her feet; Benny at the piano, starting up a portable cassette recorder as Frida brings him orange juice and Benny kisses her on the hand; Benny in the kitchen making toast. The final shot has ABBA again in the Ballroom, all wearing their "kimono" costumes as they sing the last line of the jingle.

Voiceover:
(during verse)
National is more than calculators that add up, or a shave away from home
National is more than batteries that power everything from big radios right down to little toys
National is more a way of living better, sooner

ABBA performing the National jingle

4. Location: Summer Palace grounds; Benny and Frida’s apartment

The commercial opens with ABBA surrounded by a lavish picnic spread, miming to the jingle. Cut to the apartment, where Björn places headphones on Agnetha’s head, and she sits listening to music, flanked by Björn and Benny. Cut back to the Summer Palace grounds, where Benny and Frida are chatting and laughing over two-way radios.

As the chorus starts, ABBA are walking down a path, miming to the jingle as Björn and Benny play guitars. Cut back to the apartment, where Agnetha is putting a (Polar label, presumably ABBA) record on a record player. Cut back to the Summer Palace grounds, with a close up of Agnetha and Frida singing the jingle. Cut back to the apartment, and Björn and Agnetha are on television, Agnetha starts to say the slogan "Remember this whenever you hear their name" and Björn finishes "National is just slightly ahead of our time". The final shot has ABBA back at the picnic spread, miming to the last lines of the jingle.

Voiceover:
(during verse)
National is a leader on world electronics and technology
As National understands what it’s all for
It’s so we can communicate better
So that we can get the most out of our lives, our laughter, our songs, our work and our leisure
In a way that enjoyment is a National product.

Agnetha & Bjorn "on TV"

5. Location: Summer Palace grounds; Benny and Frida’s apartment

The commercial opens with ABBA surrounded by a lavish picnic spread, miming to the jingle for the entire verse.

As the chorus starts, we see a number of National products, plus ABBA using other products. In the apartment, Benny is at the piano, setting up a cassette recorder; Benny is vacuuming; Björn starts up a cassette deck; Frida is in the kitchen using a juicer. In the Summer Palace grounds Agnetha is playing with a battery-operated remote controlled toy donkey. Cut back to the apartment, and Benny and Frida are on television, Frida starts to say the slogan "Remember this whenever you hear their name" and Benny finishes "National is just slightly ahead of our time". The final shot has ABBA back at the picnic spread, miming to the last lines of the jingle.

Additional voiceovers by Phil Halderman.

ABBA picnic in the grounds of the Summer Palace

The making of the National commercial
Lyrics
The National Gallery
Campaign Promotional Items

© 1998 by Ian Cole, Sydney Australia

The National Commercial