As of September 2019, almost 60% of the Australian population was on YouTube.
As the internet and social media usage increases in Australia, the above percentage is likely to increase.
Like people in many other countries, Australians use videos when it comes to learning new things, entertaining themselves or even looking for new products. With increasing access to the internet, mobile data and all kinds of online video sharing platforms, video is now easier than ever for Australian users.
If you are a marketer for an Australian company or international brand looking to gain popularity in the area, video content or video ads can be a solid tactic for you at this point.
However, if you’ve never created a promotional or marketing video for your brand, you may be wondering, “Where do I even start?”
One of the best ways to learn how to effectively sell your brand or product via video is to watch commercials from the most successful brands in your area.
As you watch some of Australia’s most iconic commercials, you will learn about storytelling styles and other video marketing tactics that are attracting national or global audiences from television or computer screens to business.
And even if you don’t have the same video budget as a big brand, you can use their content to consider similar but more scalable video strategies.
To help Australian or international marketers find compelling video marketing content, here are five great Australian commercials to use for inspiration.
5 legendary Australian commercials can learn from
“Big Ad” – Carlton Draft (2006)
Carlton Draft’s biggest commercial, produced by Young & Rubicam – formerly George Patterson & Partners – immerses the viewer in a blockbuster film war scene with the mountainous Australian landscape in the background.
As Big Ad begins, a large group of men in red robes quickly walk towards an arriving group of men in yellow robes. As they get closer, they sing the words “It’s a big ad. Very big ad. It’s a big ad we’re in,” based on Carl Orff’s epic work “O Fortuna”. “”
When the commercial and the song peak, the men run towards each other at full speed while singing loudly, “It’s a big commercial! For Carlton Draft! It’s just so damn big! It’s a big commercial. Expensive commercial . This advertisement is better. ” Sell us a goddamn beer! “
As the thousands of men run closer together, the viewers can see that they are not really getting into a great battle. Instead, from the perspective of the sky, viewers can see that the men in red shape the image of a man who drinks beer, while the men in yellow shape the beer glass and drink that goes into the man’s stomach. The advert ends with close-up shots of the robe men in the group holding Carlton Draft beer.
The Carlton Draft commercial is so memorable because it mocks the ridiculously expensive commercials and advertising world in a funny and tasteful way while also creating a great awareness of Carlton Draft.
When you think about big ad and the advertising industry, a post by O’Reilly notes that epic TV advertising style “has been a central feature of advertising for decades. Its defining characteristics are a dramatic backdrop, a huge cast, significant amounts of money Post-production and a more balanced mindset. All of this makes it ripe for satire. “
The spot was also part of a wider parody campaign that made fun of the size and masculinity of advertising in the beer industry. Two other ads within the campaign, titled “Made From Beer,” told how science, technology and horses were involved in the brewing process and how all men needed a canoe to look masculine.
Perhaps the most memorable commercial in the George Patterson campaign, Big Ad won a Gold Lion and was nominated for a Grand Prix at the 2006 Cannes Lions Festival.
“Not happy, Jan!” – Yellow Pages Australia (2000)
Before the Internet, brands around the world trusted the Yellow Pages, a book of local business advertisements and phone numbers of people with landlines nearby. While some regions may not rely on the Yellow Pages to find all of the local contact information we need, the following ad can give us an idea of how important this has been to local businesses.
In the commercial, a frustrated boss of comedian Deborah Kennedy flips through the yellow pages and calls a frightened employee named Jan into her office. Kennedy’s character asks Jan why their company’s ad isn’t on it. Jan panics and runs out of the office and down the street when she realizes she forgot to order the yellow pages ad.
Kennedy tries to stay calm and counts to ten until she runs to the window in anger. She stares Jan out of the window and shouts: “Not happy, Jan!”
The ad produced by Clemenger BBDO was not only fun and entertaining for viewers. It also became an icon in Australian culture. Shortly after it was broadcast, the phrase “Not happy, Jan” was used heavily in colloquial language when the Australians jokingly wanted to show disappointment over a person’s incompetence.
In a Daily Telegraph interview, Kennedy stated that the phrase “Not happy Jan” was “like swearing your kids without swearing. It just took on a life of its own … it was everywhere.”
Although in some areas people rarely use the Yellow Pages, the plot of this ad still feels timeless and entertaining. Why? Because it cleverly uses humor and relativity to show the need for its product.
Chances are that many people are dealing with a bad boss, forgot to do something important at work, or need to use the Yellow Pages to learn more about a local business. Similarly, in the 1980s through early 2000s, many business owners and marketers reviewed or purchased Yellow Pages ads. This ad tells a story that most viewers could relate to.
“I can see the pub from here” – XXXX (1988)
Before it was renamed XXXX, Castlemaine XXXX’s early beer commercials often showed Australian country residents, farmers, and construction workers getting into humorous but dangerous situations just to get XXXX beer.
After a wild scene, a narrator read the nervous slogan “Australians wouldn’t give Castlemaine XXXX for anything else”. Since the slogan was a game of a commonly used curse word, the ads implied that Australians wouldn’t care that much about another beer or anything else.
Below is a memorable ad from 1986 showing two cowboys riding through the Australian countryside when a horse is startled by a snake and thrown off a cliff.
The cowboy’s friend jumps off his horse and falls awkwardly down the cliff to find his friend who calls him loudly. After the friend continued to drop dramatically off the cliff to reach the other cowboy, he wins his stand and yells, “I’m coming, Snowie!” Then it falls down a hill and plants itself in a tree. At this point the cowboy who fell off the cliff first yells “Up here!” as the other cowboy looks up in confusion.
In a funny twist of events, the cowboy who first fell off the cliff is shown almost unscathed and comfortably clinging to a tree. He looks at his disheveled friend who has just fallen several hundred meters down a cliff to save him, smiles, points and says, “I can see the pub from here.”
The camera then points to a pub in the middle of nowhere as Castlemaine’s iconic slogan appears:
This campaign, conceived by the Saatchi & Saatchi agency, is effective because it tells an exciting story that attracts viewers, makes them laugh and ultimately binds them to the main product: beer.
This is a great example of how marketers can use creativity to create a relatively simple add that will become memorable and well known across the country.
“Louie the Fly” – Mortein (1962)
For years, Australians have followed Louie the Fly, an insect that is constantly being killed in mortein bug spray commercials. But decades before the fly was modernized as a full-color cartoon, it was just a simple, hand-drawn animation in the classic black and white ad that featured it below.
In the commercial, Louie the Fly introduces herself with a funny jingle. He sings: “Louie the fly, I’m Louie the fly. Straight out of the trash, tip to you. Spread of disease with the greatest ease. Straight out of the trash, tip to you.”
While the fly sings, he also digs through garbage and dances around a messy house.
At the height of the ad, he sings, “I’m bad and mean and mightily unclean. I’m not afraid of anyone except the man with the can of mortein.” Then he turns around and sees a can of mortein spraying him. He looks scared, disappears off-screen, and dies when another singer makes the jingle with “Poor Dead Louie. A Victim of Mortein”.
After the jingle, Mortein’s products are shown while the speaker explains that its ingredients are safe and effective in killing household pests.
While the animation and jingle of this ad may feel pretty simple today, it was innovative for its time – and incredibly risky due to the high cost of production. To bring Louie the Fly to life, Mortein’s McCann-Erickson agency needed help from musicians, sound engineers, animators, and voice actors.
Fortunately, the audience liked Louie the Fly – which enabled him to be a notable fictional character in advertising. Also in the past few years, Mortein has been creating ads that continue to show that bug spray products are killing him. In the early 2000s, they even dedicated a page on their website to him.
Most recently, the Louie the Fly jingle was included in the national film and sound archive of the Australian Sounds of Australia registry.
“Mortein ads still feature the signature melody of the original jingle. And while everyone’s favorite gangster fly is showing no sign of disappearing … the fact that the jingle is now part of Sounds of Australia means it’s going to be on the NFSA in the future will live on for generations to enjoy, “reads a post on the NFSA website.
While Mortein’s ad required a heavy budget decades ago, marketers with smaller budgets can still take a note of them today. The commercial above is a great example of how a creative act or simple jingle can highlight the value and need for a product.
“Happy Little Vegemites” – Vegemite (1956)
Although Vegemite was invented and sold in Australia back in 1922, it didn’t get its first commercial until the 1950s, after becoming a common Australian ingredient eaten by residents and members of the Australian military during WWII.
While many of the commercials on this list use humor to attract audiences, Vegemite’s iconic 1956 ad, produced by Wunderman Thompson (formerly J Walter Thompson), lived on circus entertainment. In commercials, children dressed like animals, clowns, and “little vegemites” sing, dance, and make Vegemite’s original jingle. Behind them is a large glass of Vegemite.
Vegemite’s Jingle explained how widely Vegemite has been used as a meal spread and what health benefits it could provide for children. Here is just an excerpt.
“We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast, lunch, and tea. Our mummies say we get stronger every week. … We all love our Vegemite. It puts a rose in each cheek.”
When the children have finished with the jingle, a girl sings: “There is a rose in each cheek.” The camera cuts from a close-up of her in costume to a close-up of her at the dining table while she is eating a vegemite-covered meal. Then one narrator explains that Vegemite is a great source of vitamin B12, adding, “Always put Vegemite next to pepper and salt when you set the table!”
Even today, Australian marketers look back on this commercial to see how iconic it was. While middle-aged Australians know parts of the song by heart, others have adopted the term “Happy little Vegemites” as an ironic term for a group of people who are happy with something.
Although the Vegemite ad was created almost 70 years ago, it is still timeless and effective.
First, it draws a viewer into the action by showing them a fun circus-style song and dance. Then the viewers are informed about the health and taste benefits of the product. Finally, it ends with a clip of a happy girl enjoying Vegemite while eating, which may have been relevant to the many Australians who had already eaten or heard of Vegemite by that point.
Create memorable content
Whether you are a marketer in Australia or any other country, you can learn a thing or two from all of the iconic Australian ads mentioned above. Even if you don’t have an agency or a huge video budget to produce content, here are some tips that you can follow on a scalable basis:
- Be assignable: One thing Australian commercials do well is creating situations that viewers can relate to, such as: B. an annoying fly in the house or the stress of an angry boss. Include content or video storylines that will help your audience identify with your brand.
- Use the humor: A great way to develop a sense of relativity while keeping your audience entertained is through humor. Because of this, many Australian marketers emphasize this in their content.
- Present a value proposition: An ad is not good if people don’t understand your product or how it works. Although the above ads will put viewers in fun scenes or storylines, they still include descriptions of what their product is, why people need it, and what makes it unique.
Want to see more effective examples of Australian advertising campaigns and marketing tactics? Check out this post which features some of Australia’s recent award-winning campaigns.
To learn more about video marketing, you can also download the free resource below.