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 (HD)

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

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  • Nick

    anyone know if i can download the Emu Export ad from the 80’s “would you go an export mate?”

  • Philby

    Hey Tony (June 19th). I loved the Red Robin mighty tough soxes, soxes, soxes. I’ve been looking for it, at least the audio.
    Reeeed, it’s a fire engine, firecracker BANG!

    I’d love to find it.

    • Tony In Brisbane

      Thanks, who knows, one day it might turn up on You Tube, here’s hoping.

  • Carlo

    Does anyone remember the prodect name of a Australian TV commercial for a throat lossinger with a moose head saying ” MY legs, my legs I can’t feel my legs “

    • Johnny Boy

      I totally remember that ad but not 100 percent on the product, got a feeling it could be Allens Soothers.

      • Nat

        Difflam – check out the link below

  • Jake Richards

    What about these 2:

    1) (Think it was for Integral Energy and aired around 1990?) – At night a cat who was sleeping next to a heater gets up and jumps out the window. While the cat is gone someone comes and closes the window. Then the doorbell rings, they go and answer the door – the cat is sitting there and the cat asks “So who closed the window hmmm”?

    2) A really old ad for Australia’s Wonderland (Sydney). This ad starts off in a kid’s bedroom at night – the kid wakes up, floats out the window and meets a man selling balloons (I think?) then the scene changes to Australia’s wonderland and the song “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world was Wonderland” plays.

    If you see either of these please let me know.

  • Darren

    Can anyone help me get the razzamatazz pantyhose tv ads from the 1980s/1990s? Or know where to get them? I have already got the ones off youtube

  • kassie

    I am looking for the words and jingle for an ad, I think in the early 80’s, I think was a government ad promoting healthy eating in WA. It was a cartoon and i can remember some of the words. A little bit of this and a little bit of that, you feel like you are jumping out of your skin. carbohydates come in sugar bread and potatoes too, there’s fats, boomboodum, margarine, proteins come from meat eggs, minerals come from salt and vegies and water from the tap. Then ends with who knows? mum knows, how do you think we got this far. I know, I was about 10 years old.
    Can anyone help? ta

    • Cori

      Hi Kassie,
      I’ve also been searching for this ad. I am probably about the same age as you are and this jingle still pops up in my head occasionally. There was a similar ad running at about the same time – it was about taking care of your teeth. The last line was, ‘People even leave them in a jar beside the bed, now you don’t want to be like them so you brush your teeth instead and you’ll have teeth!’
      Have you had any luck with finding the lyrics to the health jingle so far?

      • Donovans

        This series off animated TV Ads we’re all also played on SES-8 Mount Gambier(Regional TV for SA and VIC) when I was i kid some 20 years ago. Not sure why I have just remembered them now, but I have found them all on youtube.com. 20yrs on and I can still remember most the words!

        – Ding Alings
        -Vitimins
        -Dirt and Germs
        -Why we eat
        -Brush your Teeth

        There’s also a Facebook group dedicated to these Ads called: “Channel 9 Community Service Announcement Commercials appreciation group”.

        Cheers

        • Melinda

          Thank-you, thank-you Donovans! I too vividly remember these ads from childhood and find myself now singing them to my little ones as we’re brushing our teeth – but I had some lyric gaps here and there. Thank-goodness for You Tube; I’m going to look them up right now!

  • Rina

    Hi, does anyone know of a commercial about 2 cats sitting on the edge of a lake? The cats are not cartoon, as I remeber puppets like character with large eyes, one says, “Is this the edge of the world?” and the other reples yes and there are fish swimming in the lake.

  • gary segur

    Does anyone know of the ad about 1970 of a lighthouse on a winters night and a woman arrives on the doorstep and says tilly saw your light on we dont eat much you know

    • elgog

      was the ad for rosella savoury rice?

      • Toni

        I thought it was Rosella tomato soup?

  • zoey

    Does anyone remember that ad about Australians having a go with a little boy building a sandcastle and it gets washed away by the sea. There was a lady at the end in a green tracksuit with her thumbs up. The lyrics were Its a typical aussie morning on a typical aussie day………….have a go you can do it. any help would be great its been driving me crazy.

    • Robert

      Hi Zoey, I, too, have been looking for the ad. I think, just from memory, that it was the Whitlam Government trying to motivate the population to try harder. Just from memory: 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. And I’d sure hate to loose our sunshine, but I can feel it slipping away, and we’re gonna have to wake up sometime, ’cause everything is not OK. Have a go, you can do it. Have a go, you’ll come through it. That’s how we got the country started, boots and all, and not half hearted. So let’s all climb that mountain, ’cause that’s all mountains are for. Let’s all stand up and be counted, and show that we are worth working for. Have a go etc. Hey, nothing wrong with my long term memory.

      • Vince

        No, it was WAY after the Whitlam government, it was an 80s ad that was part of a wider campaign (radio, etc) to get people to as you say, “try harder”. I reckon it was during Bob Hawke’s time.

        IIRC, the ad was one of those Mojo ones, so maybe they’ll have it somewhere?

        • Chris

          Haha.. it was 1979 and it was the Fraser Govt.. driving me mad as well, cant find it (googled the lyrics and got this site)

    • Peter

      I loved that ad when it came on in, I think the 70’s or 80’s. I had forgotten all about it until the other night when it came up on Barry Humphries Flashback on 7 TWO. I don’t think they showed the full version. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get copies of old TVC’s that we grew up with and give us special memories.
      The show can be purchased from the ABC Shops;
      http://shop.abc.net.au/browse/product.asp?productid=748712

    • rick

      Yes,I remember it Zoey,it was one of the “LIFE – BE IN IT” series of Federal Government – sponsored ads in the early 1980s.

    • Marion

      It was an Australian Ad 1983. It can be found in Retro Old Commercials. It wasn’t anything to do with a political Company. It was a community service announcement. I love the jingle.

      • Penny Foley

        Thanks for the words memory Robert. I think you are really close. I have also looked and looked for this ad- my memory- 1979/80. It still comes into my head when things are looking a bit tough.

        • Lee

          It was in 1979, it won a logie for the best community service announcement. It was a MOJO jingle. I was the girl in the green tracksuit at the end of the add, I do not have a copy of it.

  • Tracey

    Hi – I’m looking for a washing powder add from the 90’s. there is a guy you is wearing a dirty white shirt and he kind of dances (does the emu) to the washing machine tot he tune of the start or pretty woman. he puts the shirt int he was, goes away, comes back, puts the shirt on and it bleds in with the pure white background…. anyone know where i can find this?

  • joanna

    hi, i’m looking for a CIG natural gas advert 1978 -1980 at the end there was a man getting on the truck? have been searching for this -for 9 years any help appreciated..

  • Sallie

    Hi, I am trying to find an old Australian tv commercial my Mother was in to suprise her.
    It was for the new Datsun 260z (Mum thinks that was the model) & it was 1974 or 1975.
    If anyone knows how I can get my hands on this, please let me know.
    Thanks!!

  • sue

    most of the old commercials you are looking for are on youtube

  • Sneets

    Hi All,
    I am looking for a commercial for the game – twister. It was in the early 80’s and had an indian theme. Any help would be much appreciated !
    Regards

  • Nick

    Hey all,
    I’m after a corn flakes advert. It had a this one scene in it that flashed through heaps of different people eating corn flakes at a breakfast table. I think it was 1997 (think) any help is muchly appreciated.

    Cheers.

  • Kellie

    Hi, I’m hoping someone can help me with a jingle to an ad that probably aired in the 90s??? or early 00s???? I THINK it’s a Jim Beam ad (but not certain) and the line goes something like “That’s where the drink is…with Jim Beam” (It doesn’t make sense so I think it’s wrong but it was something similar. Anyone?

    • Tony In Brisbane

      You are not thinking of the UV sunscreen ad are you? You can get it with UV, you can get it with UV. the alcohol ad that still sticks in my mind is Tia Maria, golden brown, drink it when the sun goes down (they are both on You Tube by the way)

    • sixshoota

      Most definitely a Jim Beam ad- sung in a really heavy good-old boy accent. It’s like a travelogue of a night out in a country and western bar.I can’t think of any other lyrics- I’m not sure there were any. Pretty sure it was a voiceover

  • Christine

    Trying to work out which product was being advertised with the ‘where did ya get it’ slogan aus tv ad

    • Tony In Brisbane

      I’m pretty sure the Where do ya get it? ads were for supa value-cut price store chain and were around 1978-80

  • Michael Bennett

    I was looking for an advertisement that was supposed to raise awareness of people with disabilities, but it had the opposite effect. It was in the mid 80’s from memory, (gimme a break, I was born in ’78!) It had the following lines, and as as I say, it was hilarious.
    “I’m gonna have a Sausage Roll.”
    “I’m gonna have Sausage Roll too.”
    “I’m gonna have a Pastie.”
    “With Sauce on it?”

    • Nadia

      I still use that line, “with sauce on it”…. good times, good times.

  • Tara

    I was in an add when I was in yr 2 approx 1992 with the song “I am Australian” it was a black and white add and just had different snippets of children. My Mum had tapped it when it first came on TV but someone taped over it and we have been trying to find a copy ever since. If you have a copy or know where to get one please reply. Cheers.

    • Lara

      I am looking for that ad too! Let me know if you find it.

  • ryan

    “what’s devon made from?”
    “i dunno….devons?”
    I CANNOT FIND THIS ANYWHERE.
    someone help!!!

  • David Murphy

    I’ve been looking for an old RAAF ad from the seventies which simply featured an F-111 flying through clouds in a blue sky. The soundtrack was a song which, to the best of my memory went something like:-
    “I’ve looked through my eagle’s eye
    dreamed that I could touch the sky
    I’ve broken all the chains that bind
    seen the world at different times,
    Hey look at me I can fly” (the best I could do)
    It was the ad that had me wishing I could be a pilot (never happened, I was not smart enough). Can anybody help?

    • Maya

      I remember as …I’m sailing up here and it’s a beautiful day, the earth seems a million miles away. Seems like only yesterday, I dreamed that I could fly. On the wings of an eagle I could reach right out and touch the sky, I’ve broken all the chains that bind … sorry – can’t find it either :(

    • http://ClassicAustralianads Andrew Hunt

      Did you ever have any luck tracking down that RAAF ad from the seventies?

  • Roxane

    I am trying to remember what the product was for…the only part i can remember clear is at the end a little boy, says, “thats 131332″ (or3) but the last numbers come out like,,firty two..

    • Reenie

      I can remember the phone number lol 13 30 32. It was for lube mobile.

      • Roxane

        wow thank you reenie, been driving me crazy, was thinking along the lines of ultra tune. but then kept going off in other directions…thanks,,

    • Sean

      Lube Mobile!

  • Col

    I’m trying to remember what this ad was for …it showed people rushing through the city streets with this music backing …”weekday dreamin’, Friday schemin’ to get away, ..it may be half past four then the world is yours for two whole days, ..you can please yourself and no-one else til Monday” .. can’t remember the rest :o(

  • Craig

    Hello all , has anyone seen a pizza hut from the late 70’s add featuring flying machine . where kids threw the promotional planes around.
    Any help apreciated
    Craig

  • John

    Do you remember a very old wagon wheel advert ?
    Late 60s or early 70s
    Two brothers played roll.
    In wagon being attacked by indians.

  • Neal

    Hi everyone.

    I am looking for the tv ads for “pot o’cash” featuring a dog called scratch. He used to think the that it was “pot o’cat”.

    They were ads for scratchies by the SA lotteries commission, and i think they were from the 80’s

  • Neal

    Hi all.

    I am looking for the SA lotteries commission ads from the 80’s (I think) for scratchie tickets, titled “pot o’ cash”.

    They featured a dog called “scratch”, which always thought it was about “pot o’ cat”.

    Can anyone help please?

  • Tony In Brisbane

    Growing up with Brisbane TV, I still remember these adverts
    1/Mighty Mints – (another brand of tic tac)
    M-M-M-M-Mighty M-M-M-Mints makes the other mini mints look a little shifty.
    2/ The Leo Muller car yard Ad – What comes after L, M, think Leo Muller
    I found this echoing ad creepy when they’d play it during the late Friday night
    horror movie on Channel 0.
    3/ The Safeway Sam ad for safeway cars, Sam was an accident prone
    superhero and the music theme was ghost riders in the sky.
    A new ad would screen on Channel 9 just before 7pm on Friday nights and
    replayed Saturday morning.
    4/The UV (you can get it with UV) desert ad, I think it won a best commercial
    award.
    5/The Leed Lemonade ad which featured the Road Runner and Coyote, but
    who could forget Kirks Lemonade (it’s sparkle-arkle-arkling).
    6/Chickadees, (chick chickadees, they’re chicken flavoured and crunchy-
    Chickadees).
    7/Necks get nervous, hot and dehydrated, so, don’t treat your neck like it was
    someone you hated, don’t, napalm your throat with that, atomic fallout and
    dry up your vocal chords and disolve your tongue out cause Paul’s make
    great dairy drinks that really wet your neck, so, give ya neck a wet, give ya
    neck a wet.
    8/The Congo Pool ad done to the Banana Boat Song.
    I hope these spark someone elses memory.

  • Stephen

    Remember the West Coast Cooler advert featuring a beautiful young woman lying on the beach wearing a pair of Ray-ban sunglasses. The voice over begins, “What’s the world’s coolest sunglasses?”, Ray-ban of course, followed by a few other questions, then “What’s the world’s coolest drink?” West Coast Cooler, the woman then gets splashed by a wave and she says “That’s cool!” Would love to fine a copy to show the kids.

  • Ronnie

    Hi,

    I’m desperately trying to find the old Underwater World commercial with the voice overs. Main line I remember is “Faster Sharky Faster” and the fish hiding in the coral.

    Please Help.

  • cc

    Does anyone know where I can find the “go to bed Jessica” Ad … I really need it & can’t find it anywhere….

  • pgw

    Hi all
    I’m looking for a couple of ads…
    1. A shell ad from the 70s – just a bloke in a ford falcon wagon driving across the landscape – and the lyrics – similar to
    “Give me work to do, Give me health, Give me joy in simple things, Give me an eye for beauty, A tongue for truth, A heart that loves, A mind that reasons, A sympathy that understands. Give me neither malice nor envy, But a true kindness And a noble common sense. At the close of each day Give me a book And a friend with whom I can be silent. ”
    circa late 70s

    2. A Catrol Ad with a Torana in it ..circa late 70s

    3. Gillete Dry Look ad – Australian version .. (reason:I’m in it..) circa 1972

    Thanks

  • Helen

    Hi, I am trying to find a TV commercial from the late 60’s early 70’s…featuring a bride entering a large hall and looking up while the camera slowly pans down and around her with just music playing…I still remember the jingle. It was an ad for “Cusson’s Imperial Leather” soap I believe. I’m sure it’s a black and white commercial.

  • JJ

    Does anyone remember an ad in which there were two kids arguing along the lines of:
    “You get Uncle Charlie”
    “No, you get Uncle Charlie.”
    “Ha ha you lose, YOU get Uncle Charlie”

    Would love to get one up on a mate by finding out what the ad was for.

  • Nicole

    Hubba Bubba – There’s gunna be a gum-fight!
    I am trying to find a copy of this advertisement as I was in it as a child and I would like to show my children. It was filmed in 1982 and shown through the 80’s , however this was before we had a VCR and I never managed to get a copy of the ad. It’s the one where someone runs along and says “there’s gunna be a gum-fight” and a man falls backwards into a full horse-trough and then at the end the good guy says “big bubbles – no troubles”. Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much

    • Kind Stranger

      Did you ever find the link?

  • aldis bernsteins

    Im trying to find a copy of the health department advert about teeth…
    a few of the lines were- ” and if you dont look after them,they will all fall out,so how ,do ,we look after our teeeeeth…first up and down on the outside,then up and down on he outside…simple isnt it…people even leave them in a jar beside the bed,but you dont want to be like that so brush your teeth instead and you’ll have teeth……”
    Want to show it to My daughter :)

    would really appreciate if it can be found

    Aldis

  • adele

    Hi,
    looking for an ad from the 80s may have been part of clean up Australia campaign,it was animated and a little magician tries to make the rubbish disappear “abracadabra abracadabra I shall now make this here litter disappear” but nothing happens and then the pied piper comes along playing a song and the rubbish follows him and jumps into the bin. LOL

  • Janet

    Hi- have had a great laugh reading all those requests- good times, good times. Does anyone remember an ad for some tiype of community service or government thingy where there was a lng line of naked people from newborns to ancients in a rainforest?
    Or is it just me?
    Ta,
    Janet

  • Lise Bax

    What a great collection! I’m 44 & these brings back some real memories.These are definitely iconic.I’d include a few more though:
    Palmolive aka ‘You’re soaking in it’. Madge is one of the first household names in Aust advertising.Surprised me to learn they made their own versions of Madge in overseas additions of the ad.Robina Beard played the character for years.
    http://youtu.be/5wSO0-OOgBA
    “Hey Charger!’
    http://youtu.be/PZdp9Eavi5g
    If you’re under 55 and have never heard the expression ‘Hey Charger!’ in Aus you’ve been living under a rock for the last 40 years.

    The Tia Maria ad ‘got a taste of de golden brown’ from 1984.A beautifully shot,classy ad.The girl’s legs went on forever!
    http://youtu.be/LRMH43XqCj4
    The ‘no knickers ad’.”I’m honestly wearing no knickers-from Holeproof of course!
    http://youtu.be/KE-bwymSzuo It caused a fuss at the time and it’s actually very innocent.
    ‘Oh,oh,Razzamatataz.’ We sang this in the playground.The campaign went for years.
    http://youtu.be/780BPTivKfk
    American Express,1980:
    “What kind were they?” Another one highly quoted on the playground.Don’t know if poor old Mr Wong would be allowed by the PC crowd today though!
    http://youtu.be/Bbs6xL3FilM
    Julius Sumner Miller’s Cadbury ads.
    http://youtu.be/DkDP_5BPX9w
    “A glass & a half of full cream milk.” Kids did the experiments,much to the chagrin of their parents.We also tried to copy his cut glass accent.To this day I do the voice when justifying to my family why a chocolate binge is a good thing.
    Mrs.Marsh Colgate ad:’It really gets in.” God,didn’t we hate this woman! Probably THE most hated figure EVER in Aus advertising.
    http://youtu.be/qarK6F97apA
    For me,an ad is iconic when even some 25 years or more after its original airing,I can quote it from memory at length.The best ones also capture something about the era.The TiaMaria ad has all the 80s hallmarks-gorgeous amazon supermodel,music video photography,the emergence of racial diversity in ads for the first time.The casual sexism of the Razamatazz ad is just so 70s & its appeal on the playground also made it memorable.
    These are just a few that spring to mind.Gosh,I feel old!

  • john khoury

    does anyone remember the a hudson hardware commercial where at the end they say that’s a hudson, hudson with a h. if anyone can find these ads it would be appreciated they let me know where to get them. even ones with the character of house pride herb in it. thanks.

  • Clare

    Hi :)

    Just wondering if anyone remembers the add that had a lion on it that said “I didn’t eat him sir, I ate a pie” can’t remember what product it was for.

    Thanks

  • Knowlerfy

    Check out this ad promoting Australia to America

  • Kat

    I’m desperately searching for the Kimbies nappy ad. I can’t find it on You tube anywhere. I used to sing this to my brother and it would be the cause of many a fistfight between the 2 of us. Of course, being the superior older sister, I would always win!!!
    I would like to locate it and play it as a surprise for his upcoming 35th birthday.
    I have been told that it was Graham Bond´╗┐ and Rory O’Donahue who wrote this ad.

  • Steph

    I have been searching for an ad for soothers.

    it pretty much is two guys in a room.. I think its like the godfather.

    The ad goes something like this –

    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 outta here you idiot!

    • Wayne

      Hey Steph,

      I’ve been looking for that soothers ad too, for ages! but with no luck Did you manage to find it? :-)

      • Stephanie

        Nope, I just asked again on here. Have you managed to find it? Do you recall the ad going along those lines with the wording?

  • Belinda

    Does anybody know where I can find a copy of the originalo Clayton’s ad – you know, “the drink you have when you’re not having a drink”?

  • Peter Clifford

    You remember those sci-fi milk adverts in the mid 90’s the molecular reconstruction one where the girl says “Chips” but her mother says “Salad sandwich” and the one with the “Flippin’ WardroMat” where did they go?

  • rell

    does anyone remember a tourism ad in the 80s that became a number 1 chart topper. It was advertising Australia and the lyrics were : Hey you come on over to my side of the world” I cant find it anywhere

  • Robbie

    Could any help me out,please? I’m trying to find out the singers name who’s on those classic Meadow Lea ads ( you ought to be congratulated, wait until they taste it) and the classes tooheys ads ( how do you feel) I’ve been trying for a while now..

    • https://plus.google.com/+dickcherry dick cherry

      they were Mojo ads weren’t they?

  • marc

    “Gas the living ….flame”, commercial for AGC was done by Foot Cone & Belding SYD (FCB)
    I remember it well as i was working their as a junior at the time.

  • Jenny

    Does anyone recall the words to the Prosser Power Ad set to Mozarts Rondo Alla Turko. It ended ” all my pistons came at once, when I found Prosser Power. ” maybe late 70’s or early ’80s?

    • Beth

      Hi Jenny

      You’ve helped answer my question (what Mozart piece was it?!), so I’ll help with what I remember, which has always stuck in my head:
      In 15 days they fixed my car
      I sing their praises in the shower
      All my pistons came at once
      when I found Prosser Power.
      I used to know more – if it pops back in my head I’ll come back!
      Thanks
      Beth