Thems were the days

On this week’s Ad Show we have a 50 Years of TV Advertising Long Lunch special. Shot at Clooney restaurant, the nostalgia-fest included industry legends Mike Hutcheson, one of the founders of Colenso, who has a 40-year sweep of the industry, Neil Livingstone of 99, who’s spent more than 30 years at Colenso, and Geoff Dixon, who for nearly 40 years was one of New Zealand’s most successful ad producers.

Youtube Video

We looked at the early days of advertising, the birth of a local identity, the importance of advertising to the creative industries in the country, the 80s and the legends around the heady 90s when we really arrived. We also pondered ‘what happens next?’ now that television advertising is not as powerful and far-reaching as it was. Does the fragmentation of creative energies mean we have lost something along the way?

Here’s a few of our country’s ad highlights as a taster:

According to legendary ad Director Tony Williams, this ad for Jockey was the first TV ad made in NZ. This was in 1961. It started as having the man exposed in his smalls – but was banned for nudity and this tamer version had to run. The rude nude version appears in our show.

Ads of the 60s were characterised by plummy pronunciation, doting housewives and men as experts. Not that they didn’t have a sense of fun sometimes – as a Windowlene ad shows where a tranny kicks a bucket…..that’s on the show too.

By the end of the 60s New Zealand creative was stepping up a gear – this pioneering ad by Bob Harvey for the Labour Party used split screen effects.

In the 70s a New Zealand identity started to emerge. This 1970 ad for Greggs coffee was one of the first to show normal people on TV – including Maori and Pacific islanders.

The decade also saw iconic New Zealand characters take to the screen on screen such as Ches and Dale, the boys from down on the farm.

Tune in to the show on TVNZ7 for the whole shebang including the 80s and 90s.

Also worth a look is this excellent website at the film archive – I visited them the other week and reckon this is a wee gem for anyone with an interest in film, culture or history.

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