The NZ all-time top 10 (updated)

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The NZ all-time top 10 TV ads got VIP treatment in the Herald yesterday, when NZ On Screen’s Irene Gardiner unveiled her selections.

These selections are not strictly “official” and are not based on viewership numbers – Gardiner chose these 10 against the background of her wide industry knowledge, and in her role as NZOS content director.

“Television ads can be an annoyance,” she told the Herald. “But they can also be tiny works of art – little bits of beautiful filmmaking, clever humour, or both. And without the huge budgets of big overseas campaigns.”

Gardiner says she did not attempt to rank the ads (“just too hard”), so here they are in chronological order …

1975: The Great Crunchie Train Robbery, director Tony Williams for Colenso Communications.


1975: KFC Hugo & Holly, made in Australia; no credits available.


1981: BASF Dear John, the great Tony Williams & Colenso Comms again.


1982: Toyota Hilux Crumpy & Scotty #1, director Geoff Dixon, Silverscreen; agency Colenso.


1988: Europa Travellin’ On, Mackay King Advertising Wellington


1989: Instant Kiwi, Flying Fish director Lee Tamahori, agency not known if you know the answer!)


1991: Telecom Spot, Saatchi & Saatchi, Tony Williams (again!)


1993: Lion Red Red Blooded, Silverscreen (Greg Dixon), agency Shine.


1999: Toyota Hilux Bugger, Saatchi & Saatchi, Tony Williams (!!)


2011: Ghost Chips, NZTA, Clemenger BBDO, director Steve Ayson (The Sweet Shop).


A separate Herald poll, running now, is currently showing a dead-heat between Bugger and Ghost Chips.

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