THEY MAY BE ANNOYING BUT AT THEIR BEST, A GOOD AD CAN BE A MEMORY THAT STICKS WITH YOU FOREVER. WHAT ICONIC AUSSIE ADS DO YOU REMEMBER?
Charter boat? What charter boat? There have been so many great Australian commercials over the years that dig deep into the Australian psyche.
They’ve provided so many quotes to throw into banter between friends, so I’m going to count down my top five Aussie commercials to trigger some happy memories.
5. Cottees – “My dad picks the fruit...” The reason I love this is because we used to change the lyrics at school to: “My dad picks his nose and makes it snotties cordial”. 4.Cadbury – “They call me Caramello”. Who doesn’t love Caramello Koalas? And because I was, and still am, QLD’S number one fundraising chocolate seller, this song would ring through my ears constantly.
3. Toyota - “Bugger” commercial. Only in Australia can you blatantly change a curse to a similar sounding phrase to air on national television.
2. Carlton Draught – Big Ad. This ad parodies the big fight scene from Lord Of The Rings. “It’s a big ad we’re in. It’s a big ad. My God it’s big. Can’t believe how big it is.” That ad certainly did sell lots of bloody beer. Lastly, being the romantic that I am, my all-time favourite Aussie ad has to be…(drum roll please)
1. AAMI – Rhonda and Katut. A love story hotter than Twilight. Who could forget one of the most sensually-infused connections between holiday-maker Rhonda and island worker Katut. Remember “Eyes on the road Rhonda”. I feel like we’ve been missing a good ad for a while and I only recently realised that it’s probably because we’ve all signed up to on-demand streaming services with no ads. I watched a free-to-air movie the other night with my kids and they were going mental because they had to sit through ads waiting for the next bit of the movie. Crazy hey!
Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s was simpler than today. Not as many judgy eyes from the instant feedback society that spends millions on market research to see how best to catch the population into a cache sales strategy. The cookies then were for eating not tracking your internet movements and Insta and Facey were most likely Power Ranger names rather than social media platforms consuming more than 45 per cent of your waking hours.
Advertising execs would kick around an idea and if they could make each other laugh, it was worth pitching to the client. In 1989 I was an impressionable 10-year-old boy, loving Hey Hey It’s Saturday and watching Tony Barber do his thing on Sale of the Century. But one thing on the box was my favourite above all else. A commercial for the underwear brand Ants Pants.
Now looking back I don’t think I really twigged with the sexual connotations (overt as they were) but more the notion of an echidna tickling this young lady as it ate the ants... off… her... pants.
Made even more hilarious by the smothered guffaws made by family members who clearly knew more than I did. But their antics and the general irreverence of the ad had a lasting impression.
Nowadays there is no way an ad like this would be made, the fun police would insist it was too racy, sexist, breached some code of insect discrimination or at the very least painted a native animal in an aggressive and unsavoury light. How sad.
The duplicity of our sanitised society coupled with our insatiable thirst for more content, news and entertainment seems to be at a crossroads. Something has gotta give, I say fill your knickers with ants and call in the cavalry... sick ’em Rex.
Do you remember shows like Friends, where you would all gather around the TV on a Monday night just waiting for the 30-minute episode but 10 minutes of the show was filled with ads?
Or if you are watching, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and you’re playing along in the comfort of your own home and then the contestant answers the question but Eddie Mcguire teases us by saying, “Find out after the break.” ‘
Then, of course, we have to wait for a three-and-a-half minute ad block to finish before we can find out if she wins the next jackpot or gets out?
I fear that the increase in streaming services like Netflix and Stan will cause a decline in advertisements while watching your favourite TV show. I remember the days of all the funny ads. These days they don’t seem to be that appealing.
Has society gone too far with modern day issues that it’s taken all the fun out of it? I remember there used to be a number of really funny ads or commercials with a great jingle.
Vegemite puts a rose in every cheek, Aeroplane Jelly etc.
But the only downside to a jingle is that it used to get stuck in your head all day (I guess the point of the commercial). My favourite ad from nine years ago comes from the Libra ad.
You know the one where the guy uses his girlfriend’s sanitary pads as arm, head and leg protectors while pretending to fight crime in the mirror.
Then the girlfriend arrives home with her mum and dad and says, “Got mum and dad. (Looks up...) And, you’ve got my invisible Libra pads”.