15 unforgettable Aussie ads from the 1980s

80s ads 1

The big hair, fluoro lycra and questionable music of the 1980s may be a little cringeworthy, but they were great for one thing – memorable ads.

We’ve gone back in time to find  15 iconic Australian ads from the 1980s.

Whether it’s the catchy jingle, slightly inappropriate content or daggy fashion, we guarantee these will have the memories flooding back. How many do you remember?

Spray and wipe

Who can forget Paula Duncan in this tale of a panicked after-party clean-up to get ready for a house inspection? Annoying tune, but at least it was a little ahead of its time in portraying the husband helping the clean-up.

Bing Lee

This 1985 ad for the NSW superstore chain is a parody of Monty Python’s I Like Chinese, and  a bit wrong on several levels.

Juicy Fruit

This one’s notable mainly for its inclusion of a very young Antonia Kidman.

Kraft Peanut Butter

How many kids thought there were oily little people living  in their peanut butter jar after seeing this claymation?

Paul Hogan’s Australia

Ah, the tourism spiel that insulted  Americans, was mildly sexist and responsible for every other nation thinking we actually put shrimps on barbies.

Big M

Whoever thought having milk dripping down cleavage was attractive had clearly never breastfed.

Cottee’s Cordial

“My dad picks his nose, that goes to snotties…”. Was there a playground across Australia that didn’t hear that version of this iconic jingle for years afterwards? Everyone used to make iceblocks from it too (the cordial, that is).

Decore

Is this the perfect 1980s ad? A catchy song, ’80s hair and mimed karaoke – we reckon you’ll be whistling this tune for days to come.

Eta 5 Star Margarine

Remember Rita the Eta Eater? Ripper Rita!

Mr Matey

When I was a kid, Mr Matey was funny. Now that I have kids, not so much.

Sexy Legs Sexy Nix

There’s nix right about this sexist ad. Especially the last frame.

Antz Pantz

Eww, ants. Sic ’em, Rex!

Smiths Crisps

“Chiiipppies” are delicious, just ask any Gobbledok.

Colgate

Mrs Marsh and her famous chalk test.

Cadbury

Last but not least, the original glass and a half – its legacy lives on some 30 years later.

Have we missed any? Tell us below.

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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