Top 10 Australian Advertisements

by Eloise Wajon

I have a personal obsession with advertising that spans back to my early childhood, when I found myself preferring the ad break to almost every program I would watch on TV. Advertisements need to be carefully honed in order to pack as much of a punch as possible in a short time span - when they’re done right, they’re memorable long after the period they air for. This is highly impressive to me - in another life, I think I would be studying marketing. But in this life, all I can do is relay to you my top 10 Australian advertisements of all time (and pull low credits in my creative writing courses.)

10) Dumb Ways To Die - Metro Trains Melbourne

It’s surprising the amount of people who don’t know this ad is Australian! Probably one of the first examples of viral marketing, these colourful, sentient garbanzo beans are here to remind you to not behave foolishly around trains. I would have ranked it higher, except for the fact Dumb Ways To Die’s success gave way to a lot more attempts at viral marketing - and lots of those attempts were truly awful.

9) Slip! Slop! Slap! - Cancer Council

This ad serves as a gentle reminder that in the country with the most deadly animals in the world, an Australian’s greatest natural enemy is still the sun. A fun little pelican-type thing named Sid reminds us to slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat to protect us from the deadly lazer in the sky.

8) For All Creatures Great And Small - RSPCA

Awe, look at the animals! This would have been right up the top, but this ad was filmed in 1989, and every time I see it I can’t help but think about how all those animals are dead now.

7) Brand Power

Some people might hear a My Chemical Romance song when they ascend to the pearly gates, or god forbid, a sweet melody played on a harp. That would be boring. I am certain that what I will hear is those chords at the beginning of every Brand Power segment. And then, because I will not be in heaven but in fact, hell, I’ll spend the rest of eternity being chased by Sally Williams as she desperately tries to convince me there is some advanced technology embedded into this specific brand of sponge.

6) What Are You Really Burning? - Roadshow Entertaiment

Yes, yes, piracy bad. But my least favourite movie as a child was Happy Feet. Words cannot explain the catharsis I experienced when I saw this ad and got to witness that traitor Mumbles go up in flames. If Mumbles is the future of our film industry, I say burn it to the ground.

5) Life, Be In It With Norm (Obesity)

This ad couldn’t be made today, and for good reason. It’s horrifically and brutally blunt, and thus kind of, a little bit, completely hilarious. On a more serious note, Norm knows an inner peace I will never experience

4) Peri Peri Chicken Chicken Sub - Subway

This ad inspired me to make my dad buy a bottle of peri peri sauce when I was in Year 5. One night I was suddenly struck with courage, and I decided to eat a spoonful of it directly out of the bottle. I cried and spat it into the sink. You’ll never guess what came up on my results - nothing but European lineage.

3) If You Drink, Then Drive, You’re A Bloody Idiot - TAC

Yes, you are.

2) The Reading Writing Hotline

ONE THREE DOUBLE-O SIX TRIPLE FIIIIIIIIIIVE O SIX! This would be number one but some time ago they actually changed the voice actor that sings the number, which should be an offense under Commonwealth law. It doesn’t pop off quite as hard as it used to - but it still goes pretty hard.

1) AngelFlight - Signs

This is it. This is the best Australian advertisement of all time. There is a REASON they never stopped airing this bad boy. The music, the concept, everything is just perfect. The first time I drove into the NSW countryside as a 5-year-old Eastern Suburbs Princess, I quite literally told my father “This looks like the ad with the sad old man!” That was the first time out of many they truly felt regret for bringing me into the world.

Eloise Wajon is a second-year Fine Arts/Arts student, majoring in Creative Writing. In her spare time, she likes to play video games and defend Taylor Swift in the comments section of Buzzfeed articles.

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