The top 10 greatest Australian television commercials ever

WANT BETTER CASHFLOW?
ANZeSERIESBOOKeCover123
HOT TIP: Getting paid first and foremost is really an exercise in timing, making sure you structure a payment schedule that works for you and your suppliers.. To register for the FREE series, click here.
The top 10 greatest Australian television commercials ever

Listen to the post

The Anthill Massive (ok, four of us) were heavily engaged in a ‘strategy session’ at a local watering house a few Fridays back when Lachy, our marketing man, made the following remark: “Is it just me or is the new VB ad totally underwhelming?”

All agreed. It is.

In fact, have you come across anyone (outside of the thousands of blokes who were actually in it) who thinks that it lives up to its hype? Then again, it was always going to be a tough gig stacked up against CUB’s powerhouse predecessor: The Big Ad. (Now that was a good advertisement.)

Before the round of beers was over (or maybe it was two rounds?), I’d pulled out my notepad and we were brainstorming the Top 10 Greatest Australian Television Commercials Ever.

Here they are (according to us):

THE ORIGINAL VB AD

From the days when men were ‘real’ men: They worked hard on the land and in industry, joined the army and spent countless hours watching sport. This original VB ad from the mid ’70s may appear basic to us now, but at least they kept the message simple. They knew their market, they concentrated on the brand and they even managed to make the narrative rhyme.

BIG AD

The aforementioned Big Ad for Carlton Draft, created by George Patterson and Partners (Melbourne), first aired in August 2005. It was massive in scale, executed with precision and elegance and, most importantly, it was humorous.

Favourite part: when the beer hits the stomach and begins to riot.

SLIP SLOP SLAP

One of the most successful of all Australian health campaigns, this early ’80s ad by the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria (now Cancer Council Victoria), featuring the ever memorable mascot ‘Sid the Seagull’, recruited high-level talent – Philip Adams (broadcaster), Peter Best (composer) and Alex Stitt (designer/animator) – to produce the campaign. It was an immediate hit and its message has very much become a part of the Australian psyche.

I LIKE AEROPLANE JELLY

You might be picturing the girl on the swing singing “I like Aeroplane Jelly”, but this iconic Aussie advertising jingle began before television, screening in the cinemas in the 1940s. Sure, it’s not the most logical plot line – a small aeroplane flies into a storm, gets scared, but finds floating plates of… Aeoroplane Jelly (which he likes, by the way). But when you think of jelly, which brand comes to mind first? Case closed.

AIDS

Inspiring fear is not always an effective educational tool, but this 1987 AIDS awareness campaign, featuring the Grim Reaper bowling over families like ten pins, did more than anything else to educate Australians that AIDS was not a disease confined to sub-cultures – that it could strike down anyone who wasn’t careful.

LOUIE THE FLY

Louie the Fly, the unlikely spokesinsect of Australian household insecticide brand Mortein, buzzed straight from the rubbish tip to you in 1957. His TV career spanned 50 years, providing daily reminders for Australians (no strangers to flies) that they and their families could get sick unless they kept a can of Mortein on hand at all times.

VEGEMITE

Another iconic jingle promoting another iconic Australian product, Vegemite (when it was still an Australian-owned brand) focused on aligning its brand with happy, healthy Aussie kids (and circus acts, in this particular example).

LIFE. BE IN IT

The ‘Life. Be in it.’ organisation has been encouraging Australians to get out of the house and exercise for 30 years. For those of us who stare at a computer all day, it’s hard to watch this pre-Norm ad even now and not feel a pang of guilt about not doing more outdoorsy stuff.

ANTZ PANTZ

Holeproof, one of Australia’s leading clothing companies, shocked a few people with this mischievous ad for Ant Pantz underwear. The creative brief was to make a conservative product sexy. Enter Rex, the Echidna.

GOGGO MOBILE

Who could forget this Yellow Pages ad from 1992, featuring a burly Scotsman trying to find someone to fix his G-O-G-G-O mobile (not the Dart)? It was a big hit for Telstra’s Yellow Pages, but an even bigger hit for the Scotsman, who went on to land an advertising gig with Shannon’s Insurance (which led to a legal stoush).

I spotted this Scotsman crossing the road while I was waiting at lights in St Kilda a couple of years ago. I pointed him out to my friend sitting beside me, which the Scotsman saw and gave a big wave, which we returned. Just like the ad.

Notable Aussie ads that just missed out:

Yellow Pages – Not happy, Jan
Tooheys Extra Dry – Satisfaction
Qantas – Still call Australia home
Commonwealth Bank – Which Bank?
TAC – The pub

Reader suggestions:

First National – “Boardings” (Cindy)
The Drug Offensve – The treehouse (Julie)
Decore Shampoo – The shower song (Ed Pitts)
Nobby’s Nuts – Nibble Nobby’s Nuts (Diane Falzon)
Toyota – “Bugger” (Carolyn Deigan)
Tourism Australia – “The Wonders Down Under” – Paul Hogan (Will Turbet)
TAC – “Pictures of you” (Will Turbet)
Tourism Victoria – “Daylesford. Lead a Double Life” (Scott Seymour)
Colgate Fluorigard – Mrs Marsh’s chalk (Paul Ryan)

The better way to run your business

The next generation of QuickBooks lets you run your business any way you want. From creating invoices to managing BAS, GST and Payroll, QuickBooks simplifies the way you run your business anywhere, anytime on any device. Start your free trial today!

2 comments
frouste
frouste

Back in the early 70s or late 60s, there was a great Ad for Shell petrol, with a beautiful song. They used a fully restored MG TC I believe, and the opening words were: "Sunday morning and boy what a day ahead, Shell petrol and places to go...." The photography was excellent, and the Ad very romantic. Later on I bought a 1950 MG TD!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Top Ten Aussie Ads of All Time 22 05 2010 The top 10 greatest Australian television commercials ever August 26, 2009 | By Paul Ryan 35 Comments and 30 Reactions [...]

  2. [...] In the meantime, here is a link to another blog post that sums up the top 10 greatest Aussie commercials… Some are hilarious! (Airplane Jelly – shoutout to Brendan ) Although some don’t work they are still funny! http://anthillonline.com/the-top-10-greatest-australian-television-commercials-ever/ [...]