Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Tales Of A 1980's Man Down Under - Superbrands Of The Day
I love the expression 'Dinki Di'. It means for real or genuine. It was made famous by Mel Gibson and if you watch Mad Max the fictional tin of dog food he and his dog eat is called Dinki Di. I came across it in a lesser form of grandeur - a gift shop in Alice Springs, but nevertheless, I was so impressed that I chopped up the paper bag and glued it into a scrapbook.
The beer brands were strong and varied from state to state. VB and Carlton Draught for Victoria, Tooheys in New South Wales. Castlemain XXXX in Queensland, West End in the South, Swan in the West and I cannot remember the one in the North except that it came in huge bottles called Darwin Stubbies. The only beer you rarely saw was Fosters.
It is a cruel marketing con foisted on the English, who slurp millions of gallons of the amber nectar in the naive but misinformed belief that it is Australia's favourite beer. In fact the only Australian to be seen guzzling it in large quantities was Barry McKenzie in the Private Eye cartoon strip.
Bryant & May were the largest manufacturer of matches. The company has been eaten by some global monster but the brands live on and you can still buy England's Glory and Scottish Bluebell. Redheads was their Australian venture, which also lives on. the pack used to feature a 'redhead' on a white background, but this changed sometime in 1975 to a red background 'to overcome the problem of rapidly changing hairstyle fashion and to give the product greater visibility on retail shelves.'
The best gimmick was the different match trick printed on the back of the box. There was never any excuse for boredom.
1980 was when Space Invaders and computer games arcade machines were springing up everywhere in Australia. There was a fascination with anything to do with computers and hence there were many advertising banners and leaflets written in coputer fonts.
I still have the results of the above casi-computer portrait. It is a black and white image of myself on a t-shirt. Through the myriad of dots it is still possible to see the product of a mis-spent youth, a long haired young man and obvoous product of the baby boomers.
I feel quite proud.