HomeLifeTV ads that have stuck with you for decades

TV ads that have stuck with you for decades

There was some sad news this week, with the announcement that the iconic Godfreys stores will close by 31 May. The vacuum retailer has been around for almost a century, growing from a single store in suburban Melbourne to a chain of more than 150 outlets. 

I’ve shopped at Godfreys many times, but my strongest and fondest memories of the retailer are of its TV ads. Dating back to the mid-1980s, these all featured Godfreys actual CEO, John Hardy. At the end of each ad, Hardy would utter the famous words: “And remember – cleanliness is next to Godfreyness.”

Thinking about those commercials after hearing the news of Godfreys’ demise, my mind turned to other ads from my youth. And to my surprise, more than a few came to mind. I struggle to remember the names of old friends but some old ads I can recall word for word.

In my defence, quite a few of the TV ads that have stayed with me have featured a catchy song. 

Here are a few old TV ads that spring to mind. You might remember some of them.

Uncle Sam

How a deodorant came to be called Uncle Sam I’ll never know, but I’m glad it did. This product was around in the 1970s, and the ad for it featured a great song – at least in my opinion. It was so catchy I can still remember every word. Tapping into the American reference, the song finishes with the line, “And under your arm is the top of the world.”

Lime Fresh

This catchy little ad for soap featured a calypso style song and a young boy singing out “Lime Fresh!” answered in song by “Fresh lime!” several times along the way. For years after the ad disappeared from TV screens, you’d still occasionally yell out, “Lime Fresh!”

Palmolive Gold

Another TV ad for soap, but this one comes with added deodorant. Ads for this in the 1970s and ’80s revolved around the theme of wives giving husbands subtle hints about body odour. “But I use a deodorant.”

 “You need more. You need Palmolive Gold.”

The punchline delivered in song at the end of each ad was, “Don’t wait to be told, you need Palmolive Gold.”


This ad for pantyhose would definitely not get made today. It makes no secret of blokes ogling attractive women who have accidentally shown a bit of leg. This was reflected in the song’s only line, “Oh-oh, Razzamatazz!” 

This was a completely inappropriate commercial, but damn that tune was hard to get out of your head. 


Even cask wine had its own catchy tune in the early 1970s, as the Coolabah Riesling ad demonstrated. Unlike the Uncle Sam deodorant song, I can’t recall every line of this song, but I’m certain I’m not the only one who remembers the last line: “Where will you hide your Coolabah?”

Blue Clinic shampoo

Just to show that I don’t need Google to help me remember the TV ads of my youth, I can still remember the Blue Clinic shampoo song, despite not finding it online. I’ll never forget the man in the shower lathering up his head while singing, “Wash your hair, shiny and healthy, shiny and healthy, with Blue Clinic shampoo!”

Not all of the TV ads that have stuck with me featured a song. A few simply had classic lines. These included:

No doubt Aussies out there will be able to recall some old-time ads not mentioned here. I remember most of these ads with fondness. For others, these memories might be the stuff of nightmares!

How good is your memory of TV from the 1960s through to the 1980s? What ads and jingles have stuck with you through the years?

Also read: Why bad advertising leaves me confused and angry

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigaczhttps://www.patreon.com/AndrewGigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.
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