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  • Writer's pictureCarma Levene

Ad Nostalgia - Remember these?

People say they hate ads, especially TVCs.

It's actually not true.

They hate annoying ads, shouty ads, and boring ads - but they love good ads.

And over the years Australia has had some brilliant commercials that I know you'll remember (as long as I'm not showing my age) which proves that we not only love an ad - we remember them!

But first - how many phone numbers are floating around in your brain?

Call Me Maybe

What about 13 13 32? Yup - Lubemobile (they'll come to you!)

Does 13 11 66 ring a bell? Anyone hungry?

Now tell me your best friend's phone number...I'll wait.

Not that I'd necessarily say these were "good" but they certainly got their point across.

80's & 90's Classics

So let's look at some ads you'll remember if you grew up in Australia in the 80s and 90s.

Did you ever have a doubt that you were a Weet-Bix kid? Nope, you were an Aussie kid, and they were Weet-Bix kids...simple as that.

But we were also Cottee's kids...because that was the cordial that "I like best" (even though I don't remember there being a lot of choice) and this kid was very proud of his dad's job as a fruit picker.

Confusingly, we were also built out of Milo (the quality of this one is pretty bad) but who doesn't remember "Build 'em up, build 'em them up with Milo"

And of course, we were also happy little Vegemites.

I love that they turned their brand name into an adjective, but did you see how thick they're spreading it!

Now that we've got the kids menu sorted, let's take a look at safety!

Silliness, Hygiene, Vitamins & Monsters

Channel Nine had one of the most iconic campaigns of the day with these animations that I still remember most of the words to:

Ding-a-lings: Letting us know that being silly was, well, silly.

"Vitamins & Minerals can help you on your way..." the food pyramid in song.

Pointing out hazards in the home, Monsters.

"People even leave them in a jar, beside the bed" oral hygiene advice made fun.

I can't think of how many times I've wondered what vitamins I needed to focus on to cure a cold and sang the song to myself.

But it wasn't just kids, what about the fur-kids?

Picky Cats

The cats of Australia had made their choice, and they were communicating it in a very modern way.

Those are all memorable.

But there's another level that some brands have managed to achieve, with campaigns that were used for decades because they were so effective.

Like these next two.

Qantas - I Still Call Australia Home

This campaign for Qantas had various incarnations from the 1980s to recent years. There's versions with Kate Ceberano, and the 1998 version has 1.4m views on YouTube.

Yup - an ad with more views than your content.

Well that's made me thirsty...and a hard-earned thirst needs a big cold beer!

VB ran a variation of his ad for nearly 30 years! And you can't get much more old school Aussie than this macho beer ad.

Then there's ads that have become so much a part of us that they add phrases to our vernacular.

These are the ones that fascinate me!

And I've got a couple of examples from Yellow Pages.

Yellow Pages - Goggomobil

Not everyone might know what a Goggomobil IS, but you know how to spell it! (gee, ooh, gee, gee, ooh) and "It's a wee ripper" was definitely said out loud due to appearing here in this ad in 1992 from Yellow Pages.

It even became the basis of an ad for Shannon's Insurance a few years back, which proves how much we remembered it. When Shannon's wanted to let you know they insured unusual cars, they knew you didn't have to know anything AT ALL about cars to know that a Goggomobil was a bit different.

So they used that to express their USP.

Yellow Pages - Not Happy Jan

We've all forgotten something our boss asked us to do, but back in the day (BI - before Internet) missing the Yellow Pages deadline was a big deal.

That meant your business wouldn't be listed in the Yellow Pages for 12 months. A year of being absent from the analogue business listing. Can you imagine if your website was missing from the internet for a year?

No wonder her boss wasn't happy with Jan!

Australian's adopted the phrase "Not happy Jan" to express displeasure at things other than Jan.

I don't know if TVCs have the power they once did to become so ingrained in us that they're part of our language, but I certainly like to think that with a creative enough idea and the perfect execution anything's possible.

How'd you like that trip down memory lane?

Did I miss any you loved?

Tune in to our LIVE broadcast on Feb 15th and let us know!

1 Comment

smith john
smith john
Nov 26, 2021

Excellent read, I just passed this on to a colleague who was doing some research about it. He has already bought me lunch because I found a smile on him so let me rephrase that. Driving instructor blacktown

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