My Top 5 TV Commercials

So, Aussie commercials are pretty awesome. When they aren’t yelling at you because that is all Johnno from Johnno’s Carpets could afford to spend on production. These are 5 that stood out for me while I was in the Emerald City.

1. Holden’s “We’re Here to Stay” Campaign. This is the first ad I saw on TV this trip. There’s a reason the title is in ironic quotations.

And for the youtube impaired, here is the transcript (emphasis my own)

We’re here (repeated 15 times by people Holden thinks are its customers and sporting personalities it sponsors).
Holden has been here for over 100 years. And while in the future we’ll no longer make cars in Australia, we’ll always be committed to making the best cars for Australia. That’s something that will never change.
Because we’re here to stay.
Graphic: We’re here to stay

So, yeah, I spat out my chocolate milk during the narration. Though, considering the backlash they received for assuming the Australian public is stupid (the campaign started a few days after they announced they would no longer make cars in Australia after 2017, source), perhaps a more honest campaign called “Selling overseas-made cars to you mugs” would have been more successful.

PROTIP: If the top two comments on a company’s YouTube page are by said company, there is probably something dodgy going on.

As an aside, I counted one Asian, possibly (if you look really hard, he’s the one in the cycling gear). Other ethnicities don’t seem to exist to Holden. Diversity! But at least gingers featured prominently.

2. Get Your Hand Off It. This is a road safety campaign from Transport for NSW.

I’ve been sitting in my car for at least an hour.
I’m stuck in traffic so I whip it out

I need to have a little peek every now and again
I can’t keep it my pants for more than ten…minutes
I can’t miss any of the action
This bundle of joy gimme satisfaction

He’s talking about his smart phone, by the way.

The full version seems to be directed at women. The 30 sec and 60 sec versions seem to appeal to all drivers. I remember going up to the farms on my holidays and without fail there would be flowers taped to a tree or electricity pole as someone had recently crashed into it and died (usually speeding or drunk driving, since the only people with phones in those days were drug dealers).

3. Barossa. Be Consumed

This ad uses Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Red Right Hand. You’ll be familiar with this song if you’ve ever watched The X-Files after Cigarette Smoking Man became a major character (the character actually appears in the pilot). This is the very best song to do very bad things to. The two lines you hear

Where secrets lie in the border fires, in the humming wires
Hey man, you know you’re never coming back

just as you see meat hanging in a cellar and a guy in a spotlight that has just hunted and killed an animal; are you the animal or the hunter? Then a family sits down to an outdoor lunch as we see  the skies darken, things catch on fire, other wooden things explode when only wooden things in a Michael Bay movie explode, a hand sprinkling dirt like Archimonde before he destroys Dalaran. The very ground is set ablaze and then we see the man in the rain.

In all, it kinda gives the impression that you’ll get murdered and possibly eaten if you go to South Australia. That could never happen in South Australia. This ad could also very easily be used as a trailer for a slasher movie.
Of course it won an award at Cannes.

4. That Lexus ad I saw with my mum while watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Great description, right? Most ads for foreign-made cars in Australia show the overseas model. There is usually a disclaimer along the lines of “Overseas model shown. Headlamp and grille combination not available in Australia”. The tagline for this particular model is Desire is Everything. Well played Lexus, well played.

5. Fishing Kayaks

Yes, WTF mate is the correct reaction. I wonder how big the fish has to be before it can capsize the kayak.

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