Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | OUR SAY -


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”.


TUNE IN FOR DAVE, SAM AND ASH ON HOT 91.1 ON WEEK­DAYS FOR BREAK­FAST FROM 5.30AM. ..............................................................................................................................................................................

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