NZ On Screen's Zara Potts takes a look back at some of the big-name celebrities who have featured in our commercials and public service announcements over the years.
We've all seen those big-budget commercials that feature some the of the world's biggest stars flogging off coffee or extolling the virtues of banks, insurance companies or beer.
While we here in New Zealand might not have George Clooney fronting our commercials – we have had our share of the famous and infamous lending their names and faces to local campaigns.
In the mid-70s New Zealand was on the edge of a major recession, and the petroleum-dependent economy was reeling from the first oil shock. Visiting celebrities took part in a series of energy conservation ads to help drive the message home, and British actor Edward Woodward lent his inimitable style to the campaign.
Watch Edward Woodward here:
Later in the decade, with a second oil shock looming, popular singer José Feliciano fronted an ad telling Kiwis to "go easy" on power consumption. It's a shame that we didn't heed his advice to better insulate our homes – as 40 years on since this public service announcement was filmed, it's still an issue for many New Zealanders.
Watch José Feliciano here:
The 70s were a great era for roping celebrities in to front public service campaigns and in 1976 comic genius Spike Milligan was more than happy to lend his face to a series of anti-nuclear ads. Standing in breezy old Wellington, Milligan advocates the use of wind power and urges Kiwis to sign the petition against the introduction of nuclear power.
Unfortunately for us, the ads actually never aired as Television New Zealand banned them by saying a celebrity couldn't be used to promote political causes.
Watch the never-aired Spike Milligan ads here:
In 1989, almost everyone who watched telly in New Zealand knew the catch cry of a particular Department of Conservation ad – "old man's beard must go!" shouted English naturalist David Bellamy with his trademark enthusiasm – and right around the country schoolkids imitated this on their walks home from school.
Bellamy is a long-term advocate for the conservation of NZ's natural heritage, presenting the Moa's Ark series, as well as famously promoting Woolmark carpet.
Watch David Bellamy here:
Not quite a commercial but a bit of self-promotion from rock's wild man Iggy Pop as he hits Wellington (and unfortunate bystander Rosie Langley) in this lip-synched version of single 'I'm Bored'. Filmed by a Radio with Pictures crew when Iggy Pop made a promotional visit to New Zealand in July 1979, the clip shows the legendary singer acting up around Parliament, and at a pub reception attended by local media personalities (including Roger Gascoigne).
Watch Iggy Pop here:
This 1988 Europa commercial showcases the guitar playing of American bluesman, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. An anthem to good times on the road, the promo features four friends — musician Midge Marsden, jingles veteran Murray Grindlay, Vaughan's fiancé Janna Lapidus and model Brigitte Berger — larking around the North Island in an old Ute. Stopping off at the iconic DC3 aeroplane parked in small-town Mangaweka, they step into a bar made from car parts to join Stevie Ray on stage. Many guitar riffs ensue.
Watch Stevie Ray Vaughan here:
Okay, so Barry Crump wasn't an imported celebrity, but he was one of the first local celebs to lend his laconic smile to the medium. Arguably one of New Zealand's most beloved advertising campaigns, the Crumpy and Scotty adverts combined an iconic Kiwi author, odd couple comedy, and lots of off-road driving. They also deftly sent up two clichés: the unruffled country guy — in the shape of Good Keen Man Barry Crump — and the wimp from the city (played by Lloyd Scott).
Watch the Toyota Hilux ad here: