Top 5 Australian Ads Of All Time

Every now and then we come across an ad that makes us laugh – not smirk - but genuinely cackle; an ad that makes us feel ashamed, or even guilty - an ad that vindicates and even makes the hair on the back of our necks stand on end. There’s something a little bit special about an ad that you never forget. Australia day has got everyone at Collaborative Marketing thinking and strolling down memory lane, as we reminisce on the most memorable Australian Ads of all time. Our top 5, while generally aimed for commercial success, were so memorable that they became just as much part of our vernacular and lifestyle (and almost as iconic as Vegemite). Come with us as we explore how these ads permanently embedded the brands they belonged to into the collective Australian memory.

Meat and Live Stock Australia (MLA) – We Love Our Lamb

In the spirit of Australia Day, we have to acknowledge that it wouldn’t be quite the same without a Barbecue, backyard cricket, and the MLA’s annual “We Love Our Lamb” ad. The ad is not without its controversies – but changing yearly, the unique, tongue in cheek and relatably of the moment themes have proven MLA’s Australia Day ads memorable enough to hold its own as a piece of Australian iconography.

SunSmart Victoria - Slip Slop Slap

Back in 1981, the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria (now Cancer Council Victoria) approached ABC broadcaster Philip Adams to come up with a campaign that would encourage Australians to protect their skin in the wake of growing evidence UV radiation and skin cancer. The result was 3 words - that although so simple in their infancy, remained a sun safety rule we would live by for the next 38 years. Proving the true power of a compelling jingle, “Slip, Slop, Slap” has always remained the golden rule of Australian sun safety.

Carlton Draught – It’s A Big Ad

Breaking down the fourth wall for the audience in a way that was funny and refreshing, the Carlton Draught ad wasn’t lying about it being big. Although it relies on vast numbers of people to get the message across, computer-generated human extras were required for the overhead crowd shots. Drawing on references from “Lord Of The Rings”, the ad presented a take on the predictably masculine beer ad that was funny, unexpected and refreshing - proving that in advertising, sometimes it pays to be a little different.

AAMI – Rhonda and Ketut

Ah, Rhonda and Ketut… we dare you to name a better love story. Beginning in 2012, the Rhonda and Katut romance was one that spanned across several different installments, leaving Australians on the edge of their couches as they waited for the next chapter of the story. The overarching campaign gave AAMI Insurance a personality - the subtle use of humour, the “relatability” of Rhonda and the point of difference (although an ad for car insurance - cars are barely mentioned in the storyline) are what made this story line resonate so strongly with the Australian audience.

QANTAS – I Still Call Australia Home

Is this the most memorable Australian ad of all time? When you think of Australian advertising, The QANTAS’ ‘Spirit of Australia’ campaign is certainly one of the first examples that comes to mind. It went through several renditions in the 2000s, each one more spine-tingling and tear inducing than the next. Faturing the national Australian Girls and Boys choir, The 2 minute song (filmed in many corners of the globe) is the most expensive Australian Ad ever produced (USD 3 million). It’s not often an ad makes us proud of our nationality - but the choir, their rendition of I Still Call Australia Home, and the mind-blowing cinematography of the Australian landscape managed to do just that, showing us just how powerful patriotism can be.

At Collaborative Marketing, we understand what makes an ad special. If you want to create a campaign as iconic as these ones, don’t hesitate to reach out at or to see how we can use our skills in advertising to make your brand just as memorable as these ones.





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