Painting Memories


– by Luke Davidson

Can you remember the first TV commercial you ever saw? Or do you perhaps have a favourite ad from your childhood?

Personally, the first ad I can recall starred my brother playing a victim of fleas! I can remember the ad as if it was yesterday, even though I haven’t seen it in at least 20 years. (For the record, my brother’s not that great an actor. I suspect he only got the role because my dad wrote the ad and my mum is a casting agent. Conspiracy anyone?)

Growing up with a dad who worked as a copywriter, it’s probably no surprise that I have fond memories of ads from the 80s. I used to dream about being one the kids in the Smarties ads, being buried in chocolate on a dodgy-looking spaceship. I can even remember my dad bringing home VHS cassettes filled with ad compilations – and I’d watch them over and over again. Yes, advertising really was my version of The Wiggles.

However, one series of commercials I loved above all others – the ads for Walpamur paint. Judging by the fact I haven’t heard of the company in decades, I’m guessing the ads weren’t quite as effective on adults. (If kids could afford to buy paint, I suspect Walpamur would still be going strong.) Here are a couple of the ads for your enjoyment:

Walpalmur Paint (Australian ad, 1980)

Walpamur Paint (Australian ad – 1985)

Of course, times change and tastes evolve. If I had to choose a favourite ad today… well, who am I kidding, I’d still choose Walpamur! But a very close second would be this Ikea ad from 2002. It’s not something that’ll appeal to everyone, but I love it.

Ikea Lamp Ad

What are your favourite ads?