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Prepare for second wave of Mars attack.

Byline: By Andrew Baldwin

The Smash Martians are back - 30 years after mocking Huddersfield in TV ads for mashed potato.

New branded merchandise is being launched to mark the anniversary - including novelty gifts, mugs and glassware.

Competitions and giveaways will also be staged in celebration of an icon of British advertising.

The ads first hit the screens in 1974 with their catchphrase: "For mash get Smash".

Wobbly metal Martian characters with bizarre voices proved an instant hit with viewers.

The Martians called us "a most primitive people" because we preferred to peel potatoes, boil them and then mash them, rather than use Smash.

One ad featured the following dialogue:

"What is this place?" asked the mechanical voice.

"It is called Huddersfield."

"What does this mean?"

"It means there is intelligent life on Earth." Then they all fell about laughing.

In 1999, the campaign was voted advert of the century by a panel of industry experts, for its creativity and effectiveness.

Smash is now worth more than pounds 14m a year to Premier Foods.

A range of Martian products, including T-shirts, posters and laughing greetings cards is already on sale.

There will also be trade and consumer activity and radio and TV interviews with Martian creators John Webster and Chris Wilkins.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 7, 2004
Words:210
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