Classic Australian TV Ads

Tonight leaders of the Australian creative industry gather at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney for the Advertising Federation of Australia’s annual general meeting and celebration of fifty years of television advertising in Australia. There will be a presentation of thirty iconic Australian ads, chosen by representatives of the advertising industry here. There will be an opportunity to bring that list down to the top ten.

AFA 50 Years of TV Advertising

I’ve only been in Australia since 2001 so I haven’t seen a lot of these ads. So you Australians might have to help me out here. What are the classics you remember? Here’s the top thirty, in no particular order.

Holeproof – Antz Pantz ‘Sic ’em Rex’

Winfield – Anyhow (Paul Hogan)

World Series Cricket – C’mon Aussie

Holeproof – Computer Socks

Decore. The jingle used is a parody of a classic Gene Chandler doo-wop hit “Duke Of Earl” which they adapted to this commercial as “Dec-or-e. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Dunlop Aircraft Carrier ad shows an EA Falcon landing on an aircraft carrier in 1992.

Yellow Pages – Goggomobil

Department of Health AIDS awareness – Grim Reaper

Kraft – Happy Little Vegemites

Harper’s Bazaar – Beauty

Harpers Cat Chow

Tooheys – How Do You Feel?

Qantas – I Still Call Australia Home

Lamb Roast – Tom Cruise (with Naomi Watts)

Life. Be In It. (1970s Government PSA featuring Norm)

AMLC – Lifeboat

Mortein – Louie the Fly

OTC – Memories

Mercedes-Benz – Crash

Coamas (Australian milk authorities) Milkman

Yellow Pages – Not Happy, Jan

Castrol – Oils Ain’t Oils

Tourism Australia – Shrimp On The Barbie (Paul Hogan)

Stainmaster (Sir Les Patterson or Pro Hart?)

Carlton Draught – Big Ad

Holeproof – Underdaks

VB (Victoria Bitter) – Original

Crown Corning – Vision Saucepans

Tourism Australia – So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?

Meadow Lea – You Ought To Be Congratulated

Filed under: Commercials


  • Peter Cutmore

    Just wondering if you knew where I could find that political ad “It’s a typical Aussie morning”
    It was either done in the late 1970’s or 1980.

    • Here you go my friend….I remember it well. “Have a Go”. A Channel 10 network production, would you believe. Performed by The Mojo Singers.

      Cheers Greg

      “It’s a typical Aussie morning
      On a typical Aussie day
      And I love this place I was born in
      In a typical Aussie way
      But I’d sure hate to lose that sunshine
      And I feel that it’s slipping away
      We’re going to have to wake up sometime
      That everything is not OK

      Lets all climb that mountain,
      That’s what mountains are for,
      Lets all stand up and be counted,
      So we can do what’s worth working for,
      ‘Ave a go
      You can do it,
      ‘Ave a go,
      You’ll come through it,
      It’s how we got the country started,
      Boots and all and not half-hearted”…

      • Greg

        Enter Search ‘Have A Go (Australian ad) 1970s into Youtube

    • Lissa Morris

      Was written by Alan Morris and Alan Johnston .. founders of Mojo Advertising ..

  • lorraine

    can anyone remember the Mary Louise ads of the 1960’s
    We all hated Mary Louise

  • Pat

    Can anyone remember the ad (& provide a link) to the ad that showed two little girls in the schoolyard. One opened up her homemade snack and chattered on about it “My mum….etc”and the second girl let her speak and then opened up her lunch box and took out the brand name snack and said “My Mum has a life” It was a brilliant ad & it was pretty sad when they took it off & then amended it because it wasn’t PC

  • Gary

    Could some1 tell me were I could find the add in 2004, it was about a woman who had lifted her mans legs an she pushin him back an forward like a Hoover, thanks

  • lola

    Does anybody remember the animation ad from the 1980’s with these characters running around on the backs of others? It was about greed?

  • Zack

    Anyone know where I can find this ad [I think a few people have asked about it].

    It was an ad for The Natural Gas Company [could be Integral], I know it was shown in Australia sometime between 1988 – 1992.
    Anyway, the ad features a cat sitting on a windowsill outside a closed window at night. The cat jumps off and the doorbell rings. We see someone go to answer it. The cat is sitting there and speaks the line “Who closed the window hmm”?
    Anyone seen this? Please let me know.

    • MJ

      Let me know if you find out as I loved that ad! we still talk about it at home! lol

    • Janette

      I loved that ad so much I got the cat (a British blue) after waiting 27 years and I love him. Please let me know if you find the ad, I would love to see it again. We still talk about it after all these years.

  • keith dohle

    isn’t it funny how we do remember parts of adds but not all of it, my one i can’t remember fully is ” at the devine school of ballet when you abbonden yourself to the music strange and wonderful things start to happen” this is a large man doing ballet stretches against a lounge. now the question what was it advertising so i can get a link or find thanks.

    • Fletch

      “At the Devine School of Ballet we believe in beauty, poise and grace. As you abandon yourself to the music, strange and wonderful things happen.”

      This was an Australian advert for the Yellow Pages (there was a string of them remember the “Not happy Jan!” – and of course in the yellow pages his business appeared as the “Divine School of Ballet”

      Great advert! Tragically I also cannot find it anywhere 🙁

  • dennis bollom

    does anyone have a copy of the Nestle Chokito candy bar ad featuring the hush group(chokito really gets you going)

  • Brendan

    Does anyone remember an ad in the eightys/ninetys that had a dog answering quiz questions – one about the kyber and the dog answered pass.
    Can you tell me the product and if you know where the ad can be seen

  • Schooner of milk

    Im looking for the details of the ad of 2 cowboys walk in to a bar and order a schooner of milk, and the bar maid says ” that will keep you going all night”. As I wasn’t around when this ad was on tv I don’t know any of the details. So any information to help locate this ad would be much appreciated.


  • Nelson

    I’m looking for an ad from 1999 or 2000. It was a TV ad for the AFL where a groom is left waiting in the church while the bride is at the footy. If anyone knows where I can find this ad I would be grateful! Post here if so!

  • Isabella

    Does anyone know if I can view the Mobil Anti-Wear commercial online? About 1970s..theme sung to Roger Miller’s ” King of the Road “. Great ad!
    thanks , Isy

  • R Perera

    I’m not Australian, but I lived in Australia from 1982 to 1986. I don’t whether it says to the quality of the ads in the 80s, or specifically Australian ads, but I still recall at least half of these ads; and mind you, I was only six or seven years old during that time. Couple of others – Lipton’s “Everybody’s Jiggling”, Tooheys, Taranga Zoo, the jingles to which pop into my head at various times. There is one ad I’ve been trying to trace, don’t know whether anyone can help me – it was a cricket ad, whether for the Ashes, or the World Cup – where it starts out with convicts who then transition into cricketers, like the ball and chain into a cricket ball, something else into the cricket bat…like I said, I was pretty small at the time, and that’s all I seem to remember, but I really liked it even then.

  • Dee


    Hoping someone can help… Am looking for a few FORD ads, early or mid 2000, ‘you’d be popular too if you were a ford dealer’ theme. There is one where a dealer hitches a ride, another catches a bus. Does anyone remember (and have the clips)?

    Thanks so much!

  • Sue Braidwood

    Does anyone remember an ad for a refrigerator with fabulous classical music…it was a long time ago!

  • Paul

    Does anyone have a link for the “typing centre” ad – “my name is Judy Suiter, and I have the best most interesting job in the world!”?

    • Justin Bannah

      The one I remember went, “I’m Judy Suitor. After eight hours I’m typing twenty words a minute – it’s the only way!” then a voiceover, “Television Typing Centre, T&G Building, 313145.” But then, I’m from Brisbane, and yours may have been different.


    I am looking for the ad for Williams Shoes 1970’s. The jingle was “Jeepers Creepers where’d you get those sneakers” I am trying to find this ad for my friend Wayne. He and his twin brother were the 2 children used in the ad.

  • Rina

    Trying to find a Snappy Tom Cat Commercial
    Megs and Sp otty
    They are sitting on the edge of a jetty, fishing. One asks the other “Is this the edge of the World?”
    The end lines I remember as “I Want Snappy Tom all the Time”


  • w

    Can anyone remember an ad in the 70’s that featured a harried mum in the kitchen, I think , and she yells out “Jeffery!, You savage”!

  • MissTink

    Help me!! An ad from the mid 70s, 2 people meeting talking about Rose and cray all steamy and hot, and a nice something with a sauce chevron. Its driving me MAD!!

  • D. jensen

    Around the mid to late 90’s an Aus t.v network featured an insurance ad. Main character was a claymation lizard. It’s a fast paced ad where the lizard is seen to be arguing with & yelling at “barry” on the phone, with lizards euro sports car in the background. Suddenly something goes wrong and lizards car get’s squashed! he’s then heard to say….”I’ll get back to ya’ barry!”. Where oh’ where can I find it?

    • Mel

      I’m pretty sure it was the yogo gorrila yoghurt ads.

    • Mel

  • Gerard

    Does any body know where I can find the ad for KO mens hairspray with the line hey Gerard you look sensational

  • Sue

    I’m really hoping someone can help me. The ad was in late 80’s or early 90’s I think and was for meat, maybe lamb? A border collie looks in a butcher shop window and the butcher tells him “No Bone”. It had violin music by, I think, Stephane Grappelli. I’m really after the name of the song played on violin but I’d be grateful for any help at all.

  • Garry

    I’m looking for a late 70’s Australian TV advert for Coca Cola, where they use a Holden penal van with Dinosaurs painted on the side of it. Anyone remember this?

  • Ali Pete Noonan

    How about this classic “Tahiti looks nice”. Cousins Imperial Leather Soap

  • Kim

    Does anyone remeber an add ” Its Saturday night our work is done were going into town” Etc.. Does anyone know whath the add was for?

    • mick

      The weekends here the cities far behind have we got milk…yeehoo we got sunshine.
      (Sunshine milk commercial)

  • Stephanie

    Does anyone know where I can find the Soothers Tv Ad where it says “Johnny, go down to the store and get me a packet of soothers.
    Is that all you want?
    What do you mean is that all I want, You think I like talking with a dry sore throat, Get out of here you idiot.

    I would love to find this to settle a debate with hubby who doesnt believe me about the wording in this ad.

    • Gabtek

      I too am looking for this ad

      • Gabtek

  • Paul Dunlevie

    I believe that the music was Django Reinhardt…HCQ Strut.



  • Dawn Simpson

    When we lived in Canberra the ACT Electricity company was running an ad continually about cooking with electricity, washing with electricity etc. My son was just starting to talk and each time we would drive through Civic he would point his little fat finger at the ACT Electricity sign and say something which we couldn’t quite get until one day we stopped and got out and again the little finger pointed and the word ‘cooking’ was clearly heard! The power of advertising!

  • I found this one, direct from the source. YOU. ARE. WELCOME. Lamb ad where the parents think their guest is from Thailand–nope, Ballarat Actually:

  • Leanne Goodall

    Anyone remember the Leggo’s ad before it was removed of a young boy standing at the front door watching his dad walk up to it with meat he’d bought from the butchers? Boy yells to his mum, “Hey mum open up the Leggo’s, here comes dad with the meat!” …lol

  • Leanne Goodall

    The old KFC ad with Hugo and Holly ….

  • Gavin

    There are a few 80’s australian commercials that I am still looking for.

    1. Two adds for Moccona coffee which feature an incredibly posh woman (“I say…you doooont drink moccona”) and her speechless husband. One was set at a zoo and the other near the big ben in london.

    2. The makita tools commercial with the Jingle…”Gimme my makita back mack”

    3. The add for the lite chips (which no longer exist). Its set in the old west and the townspeople are about to hang someone. Or tar and feather him. Then some guy shows up and sings to the camera “Always look on the lite side of life.dada…dadadada”. As the add finishes, he says…And dont forget to eat the chips”.

    4. A commercial for O neills adventureland. Any would do

    5. An old triple M commercial which starts of inside a portable stereo sytem. We see a conveyer belt full of male angels been created. One is standing on top playing the triple M theme with a guitar. When the camera pulls out to show stereo, it explodes and becomes the triple M logo

  • Gavin

    I remember an old 70s commercial for polly waffles…in which the old parliament house in canberra in covered in chocolate. Then a wrapping covers it..and it becomes a polly waffles. We also see a minister inside eating one

  • Donna Maree Henwood

    What was the ad that cornered the catch phrase “that’ll be the phone reg, under the bonnet son ” driving a friend and myself crazy

    • Chris Johnson

  • Guy

    Does anyone remember the Wally Walpamur Ad. Late 70’s or early 80’s – chimp with a yellow shirt and a paint roller? My favourite ad as a kid.

  • Mark Hunter

    I’m looking for an ad, I think it had

    Rory O’Donoghue from Aunty jack fame singing. A soup ad where some of the lyrics were,— “Oh, you beautiful soup, you great big beautiful soup” to the tune of ” Oh you beautiful doll.”
    Anyone? anyone?…

  • Emma Lee

    Dose anyone have the link to the chickadees commercial where a chicken has long toes while whearing thongs and plays the banjo singing chickadees chickadees there chicken flavoured and crunchy

  • Megan Westbury

    I’m trying to find the video of what I think is a Ponds ad. Has a mum and her daughter (little blonde girl) saying “we need a bottle, and a blankie, and a stroller. Just to go shopping”.
    Also (and this is a long shot)
    An ad for the SA grocer chain Toms. “I’m tom, I’m tom, I’m tom, he’s David!”
    TIA if you have any leads 🙂

  • Graeme Chambers

    Has anyone got a link to the “where will you hide your coolabah” ad from the early 70’s i think , very keen to find it

  • Graeme Chambers

    Has anyone got a link to the “ah yes i remember it well , we dined at 9 , we dined at 8…..” ad for wine I think, keen to find this one, thanks

  • Michelle

    I’m looking for a dog food ad from the late 80s/early 90s which used the song “She Believes in Me”. It was a man coming home late at night, sneaking into the house quietly, going to bed, and instead of a wife next to him, there was a dog. Anyone remember that one, or know if it is online anywhere? I’ve been looking for years. Thanks!

  • K4K9

    I’m looking for an 70s/ 80s animated ad about saving water. At one point it showed a child playing in the bath. It was showing in Adelaide around the same time as the Life Be In It and Vitamins ads and had a catchy jingle.

  • DLT

    Does anyone remember that old (Heinz or Campbells) Tomato Soup ad where the young girl is waiting for her dad to get home and they use the song “Someone to Watch Over Me” in the background? i need to know who sings that version of the song! 🙂