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


  • David

    What about the good old Hard Yakka Ads. How good were the songs for that.

  • astrogirl

    what about…

    – the colgate toothpaste ones, with Mrs Marsh saying “like this liquid gets into chalk”
    – Mr Sheen!
    – cadbury glass and half adverts
    – slip slop slap!
    – Up There Cazaly! AFL/VFL adverts

  • Craig

    What amazes me is that a media-driven organisation such as the AFA publishes such a list without having copies of the actual ads, or even links to them, on their web site! What morons.

    Plenty of people have never seen most of the ads, almost none of the ads are on the net, and most of the few that are on the net are in QuickTime format so many people don’t have the plugin to watch them anyhow.

  • amar


    To watch Classic British ads go to:

    There’s also loads of breaking TV ads:

  • Alex

    Anyone know where to get a downloadable copy of the Qantas, ‘I still call Australia home’ add?

  • Alex I’ve just written up the Qantas campaign here:

  • Justin

    Anyone have the Classic Tooheys How do you feel? Sailing ad of the Sydney to Hobart (Ballyhoo vs Apollo) in a downloadable format ? It is on the SMH website as a link only.

  • Travis

    Where can you get a download of the Yellow Pages Not Happy Jan ad?

  • MJB

    Hey… any copies of the Razza Matazz ads of the 70’s or the EARLY Big M ads?

    Many thanks..


  • Loki

    Have you got a copy of the Aus Telecom ad with the young boy talking to his grandad asking what a bunyip is?

    Im just asking because the lad in it is my mate and would be funny to see it!

  • Jodie

    Does anyone remember an ad in Australia where the theme song was whislted. I’m pretty sure it was an ad for a beer (maybe fourex). The ad was about blokes in the army and they all whistled this particualar song as they came out of hiding (they were in the middle of a war) and head down to the pub for a coldie.

  • Beth

    help I am in need a the decore ad (duke of earl tune) for a pre primary class school item can you help Pleasee

  • Jill

    Personally, I think the classic Aussie ad is the one with ‘bugger’ all the way through it… the builder, the baby and the dog at the end when it gets catapulted down the old ‘thunder box’… any knowledge of where I can get or locate that ad?

  • Caroline

    Not happy Jan is posted on:

  • Mark

    Anybody know where ican download a copy of th Mr Sheen Ad?

  • Aleisha

    Anyone know where to get a copy of ad or jingle of Holeproofs “old” campaign “one day you’re gonna get caught with your pants down”.

  • Gail

    I’m also seeking a copy of the old Mr sheen ad, anyone got any suggestions?

  • anna

    hey. does anyone happen to have that old NRMA add which was on in dec last year? it had all these men walking down a catwalk with spanners and hammers and stuff? I realy want it. thanks.

  • jenny lim

    anyone can help ? i am lloking for the ” memories ” – OTC campaign urgently.
    please let me know where i can get them.


  • Jac

    Anyone know where to find the ‘bugger’ ad?

  • johnno

    does anyone remember the health insurance ad for mbf or hcf im not sure but it has a guy and a girl talking about not needing hip replacements

    also does anyone have the D’Decore ad


  • morgan

    can someone please tell me where i can find a downloadable copy of the the seymour snowman skin cancer ad…”slip, slop, slap”.

  • morgan

    can someone please tell me where i can find a downloadable copy of the the seymour snowman skin ad…”slip, slop, slap”.

  • Stephen

    When I was a kid in the 80s my sporting hero was Greg Norman, and the advertisement with him for Swan Lager was just inspirational:
    They said you’d never make it, surfing’s more your game.
    And your golf is too erratic, you’d better stick to ridin’ waves.
    They said you’d never make it, but you finally came through.
    For all of you who’ve made it, this Swan’s made for you!”

    It’s got my vote for the best Australian beer commercial of all time.

  • Tom

    Could someone be able to remind me the television commercial which featured the song “C’mon Get Happy”, which I think was shown around 1997.


    • Jimmyhat234

      wasnt that those lattice cereal stuff? cant for the life of me remember the name of the stuff.

      • rick

        Were they called Rice Chex?

      • Johnny Boy

        Do you mean Kelloggs Crispix? Where the Sound of Music type lady sings “Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes. And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream”?

  • moose

    hey anyone know were to find the vb bitter ad “the code of arms” its the one were they cook up a bbq in the bush and covered in smoke standing round the bbq???i think its last years ad…

  • Susie

    bugger dog ad on

    I am also looking for (preferably downloadable)
    the original holeproof ‘pants down’ tv ad
    the d’decore ad
    I feel like a toohey’s ad


  • Michelle

    Does anyone remember an animal ad (could be RSPCA but I’m not sure) and all I remember is the tune, it was really slow and went something like bodomp, bodomp…okay, that was a really bad description but hopefully someone remembers and might be able to help me track it down? Thanks!

  • amanda


    could someone please tell me where i can find the cancer add where a guy is laying in a hospitial bed and is singing a song it was on tv all the time in december if u know any information and u please email me on

    it would be greatly appreasated

  • Gina Sanderson

    Does anyone remember an ad about Vitamins? “who knows? Mum knows. How do you think she got this far?”

    Who was it by? Anywhere I can download it, find it? the words mainly.


  • Raymond

    does anyone know a link to the new Smiths chips ad, where they start singing in a construction site

  • kane

    The song off the smiths chips add is:

    So Happy Together by The Turtles

  • Raymond

    yeh i know what the song is mate, but i cant find any site where u can either download or watch the ad, can anybody help?

  • kane

    use any P2P software such as “limewire”

  • Janet

    I am after the Telstra (actually was probably Telecom) ad where a kid is ringing his mum from the phone booth because Stinky Taylor let his tyres down. Any clues, anyone? Cheers

  • Chris

    The Smith’s Chips ad is on YouTube:

  • loulou

    Michelle – could it be the RSPCA ad shot in a white studio with the animals running across the screen one after another? The copyline was “For all creatures great and small’.
    Aleisha – wasn’t that ad for Underdaks? (I reckon we should STILL be calling ’em ‘Underdaks’!).
    Craig – I’m with you. I can’t believe there’s no mpeg/watchable site of all our old favourites. We didn’t even have a telly until ’75 and yet I remember so many of them and when thinking about them, realise how fantastically Australian they were! When some bright spark has the time to put together such a collection…well.. They Outta Be Congratulated!

  • Nat

    The Yellow Pages “Olympic Games” ad from the mid/late 90’s.

    Up in the broadcast box, on the telephone after a runner from the small African natin of Roboto has won, and they can’t find the national anthem …

    “I need the national anthem for Roboto … NO, Ro-bo-to! What, you’ve got it?! Just play it down the line!”

    Holds phone to microphone with a grimace

    “Rrrrrrrrow, row, row you boat, gently down the stream ….”

    LMAO every time!

  • Shazza

    Hey Nat!! That ad is the one I’m in here searching for! I too LMAO every time I think of it, I think it’s even better than the ‘Not happy Jan’ one’s! Have to admit, Yellow Pages have an excellent advertising company, that obviously employs someone with an absolutly hilarious SOH! I so hope I can find it somewhere, couldn’t locate it at youtube, so I guess if it’s not there, it’s not anywhere close at hand 🙁

  • xcgsv8

    Hi you might find most of these ads at
    just try searching as i’ve seen some of the ads that people have mentioned in these posts and the rspca ad that michelle was after is there aswell…

  • Connie

    I had a copy of an old Underdax commercial where a guy is going through the scanner at an airport and ends up having to strip down to his undies. Very funny. I lost the clip when my computer crashed. Anyone have a copy?

  • Caroline

    Does anyone know what tv advertisment had the jingle ‘I’ve got dreams…’? I think it was a homemaker advertisment… Its driving me crazy! If anyone rememebers PLEASE let me know

  • Justin Stern


    Can someone please help me find a copy mp3/wav or .avi of the Swan Lager “Never Make It” Sound Bight!!! Please…or if anyone knows who the campaign/ad was made by maybe i can chase them down?

    Thanks In Advance?

  • jacob

    That’s what we call ding a lings… The Vitamin’s ad… The ABC’s… The Danger in your house ad… boo za boo zib, How do we look after our teeth.
    Who knows where I can watch them now?
    (I guess mum does)
    Seriously I really need to see them again.

  • brooke

    I am looking for those tvcs where the boring accountant achieves a great return for you – H&R Block I think.
    “this is Jan – she is …” something like that
    Can anyone help??!

  • Simon

    Loulou .. I am keen to find that animal ad also .. know where i can download it from ..

    also does anyone know of the ad where the tag line at the end is “he’s gotta go back to get his hat” may be for beer or something

  • Paul

    Can someone please help me find a commercial from 1996ish

    I believe it was for IRON. One of the tag lines was “Im a single mother with a daughter” others include “It could be environmental, I really dont know… it could be in the watterrr…” It was filmed in black and white from memory. It was various snippets of ‘Australian women’ and their antics of xxxxxx?

    Its killing me. I need to find this commercial. I’ve Youtubed it and nothing comes up.

    Can anyone help?!?!

  • AJ

    Anyone know where I could find the old King Gee commercial from the 80’s where a series of misfortunes occurs at a construction site; all started by a small carton of milk.

    Any help would be great!

  • Peter

    I need to settle a debate with my wife and it’s about a TV commercial, maybe last year (06 )or the year before (05). I can’t remember what it really was about but this is what I do remember from it.
    There was a butler and he was the main focus in the ad, he was waiting to wait on his customers ( couples ) which seem to be somewhere else, and I think it was in a big old house at a wine yard. The song they used in the commercial I think was, “if you go into the woods today” At the end of the ad you see the butler dancing out side to the song.
    If anyone knows what that comercial was about and where to find it,.