Those annoying ads! These days we just skip past them with the DVR box or miss them altogether on the downloads. But there was a time, back in the olden days, when TV commercials were part of the Australian cultural zeitgeist.
The jingles in them were as much a part of the nation’s songs playlist as anything by AccaDacca or Chisels. They stuck in your head forever. They are still there! If you were a kid in the 80s you can still march down the street proclaiming that your dad picks the fruit that goes to Cottee’s, and you probably still know the entire Macca’s menu via a game of hopscotch. And the best catch-phrases have become part of the Australian lexicon.
Here’s our top picks for the greatest all-time Aussie TV commercials, for every happy little Vegemite.
1) Cottee’s Cordial: All together now… ‘My dad picks the fruit…’
Truth is these days your fruit is unlikely to be picked by your dad at all. More likely he’s working at Bunning’s while a backpacker or refugee helps makes the Cordial you like best. And hands up if you are now experiencing an intense schoolyard flashback, singing “My dad picks his nose, that goes to snotty’s”.
2) VB: Matter of fact, I got it now (the original ones with John Mellion voiceover)
This advert still resonates 30 years later. VB is still the best beer for workin’ a plough.
3) McDonald’s hopscotch menu
It would be a bit trickier today with all this ‘make your own’ nonsense. Oh, and remember McFeasts? Why, oh why did you drop those, Maccas?
…And a special additional mention to the Big Mac recipe
4) Rita the ETA Eater. Rippa Rita!
Rita, the Nigella Lawson of Aussie table spreads.
5) Hit ’em with old Pea-Beu: with Ted Bullpit
Hit ’em high, hit ’em low. Australian’s love their fly sprays. In our hands, they are lethal weapons and we know how to use ’em.
… And another special mention, this time to the competitor. Here’s the very original Louie the Fly advert:
6) I’m honestly wearing No Knickers: from Holeproof, of course.
Ever had an Aussie ask: “Are you wearing no knickers?” This is the real reason why. This advert was on regular tellie in the 80s, but these days it comes with a warning on YouTube. This century is so prudish.
And while we are on the naughty undies theme…
7) Antz Pantz: Sick ‘Em Rex!
Very hot n steamy, this one. How many Staffies were subsequently named Rex because of this ad?
8) Goggomobile G.O.G.G.O .. Not the Dart!
As a result of this ad, every Aussie knows what that a Goggomobile is a car of some sort, and not, umm, a dart? It’s a wee rippa (Rita), I tell ya!
9) XXXX: I can see the pub from ‘ere!
Australian’s couldn’t give a XXXX for anything else.
And continuing with the beer theme…
10) How do you feel? I feel like a Tooheys or two
Back when cricketers were real men and jingles were cracking choons..
This particular ad series went next level with the later Mike Whitney version. The pure, raw emotion is as palpable as the cold amber nectar going down the blokes throat and as wild as Whitney’s hair. And look out for a blink -and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Home & Away’s Alf Stewart, before he was Alf, in the crowd near the end…
But the series reached its absolute zenith with the gloriously sunny Beach Boys inspired Mark Richards surfing version…
And there’s no way we could leave these last two off the list…
11) Happy little Vegemites
It’s another way of saying’Australians’
12) Iiiii like Aeroplane Jellyyyyyy…
This must be the very original Aussie commercial jingle. This advert even predates TV! It was made for the Australian cinemas in the 1930s and still lives till this day.