Yesterday I was clearing out some rubble from inside a relative’s roof space (still clearing up after the Christchurch earthquake) and I came across a folded up Christchurch newspaper, The Star, from 1985.
It’s a pretty awesome insight into ’80s New Zealand. Not so much for the stories but for the great adverts. The advertising style was quite different back then – lots of head-shots of women with very big hair and by the looks of things VCRs and VHS video recorders were just hitting the shops and were incredibly expensive.
There were also some great movie adverts and adverts for comedy shows by Billy T. James.
Chuck Norris in the ’80s
Probably the best advert I came across was for a Chuck Norris movie, Code of Silence. I haven’t seen the movie but I’m sure it’s epic. Just look at Chuck Norris’ face.
In this movie he plays Eddie Cusack, ‘a good cop having a very bad day’. In that one line you can pretty much put it in the same boat as any Bruce Willis movie ever made.
On the left is an advert for Billy T. James at the James Hay Theatre in Christchurch, and below is an advert for a Bill Murray movie.
A quick side note on image searches …
I wanted to get an image of a movie advert for a Bruce Willis film so that I could compare it to this one. Look at how crap the results were for the search in Google Images. And now compare that with the same search in Bing Images. What’s the deal Google?
1985 Ford Laser for $16,000
Another great advert. This one is for a brand new 1985 Ford Laser from Hutchinson Ford. Has anyone got a really luxurious small car? Yes! A luxury Laser! Drive away today for only $16,000 and we’ll even throw in the license plate surrounds! We’ll be so good for you! (Not sure what they mean by that last line). Surprisingly, later in the newspaper there’s an advert offering a service to convert your car to LPG. I wonder if all cars will be run on LPG by the ’90s?
I like how the Tuam Street and Papanui branches have a whopping 6 figures in their phone numbers and yet Sydenham can only afford 5.
You also can’t beat that guy’s mo.
Buy the same car today …
Now I know that you’ll be taken in by the above advert so I’ve done some shopping around for you and you can actually buy the very same car in the picture (probably) right here on Trade Me.
Actually, sorry to disappoint you but this listing is in fact just for the wheel nut. Perhaps you can view his other listings and buy the other parts and slowly get the entire car mailed to you?
A VHS Recorder for Under $2,000?? Amazing!
There were heaps of adverts for VHS recorders and all were trying to offer extra freebies to beat the competition. Later in the newspaper there was one that was advertised at $2,200. This one has to beat them all though due to the added extras AND the random head-shot of a big-haired lady. Not the biggest hair in the newspaper but definitely one of the better styles.
Actually, by the looks of the other adverts surrounding it, she’s one of the finalists for the 1986 Miss Canterbury title and her name is Debbie Stevens and she works at Quills Video Centre. Good on ‘er.
Features include a remote control that appears to have 8 buttons and ‘excellent freeze frame’. You’ll also get free TV modification (?), a blank tape and a library membership. I don’t know about you but it’s the library membership that seals the deal for me.
Answer Machines – Future Technology
You probably won’t believe this one but did you know that there’s a product out there that can actually answer your phone for you? Seriously! This one is presented to you by MBT, Modern Business Technologies. It records a message on to one of those flashy cassette things and, best of all, it’s only $685!
The advertisement text says:
YOU DON’T NEED TO EVER AGAIN!
Are you missing out on important telephone calls because you can’t be on the job and answering your telephone at the same time?
The new Sanyo answering machine offers all the features of much more expensive answering machines and is priced at only $685.
Machines may be remotely controlled.
73 Victoria Street (opposite the NZ Bus Depot)
I think the text in this advert would be quite different today. Doesn’t ‘on the job’ mean on the toilet? Oh wait no the advert still makes sense. Maybe that’s what they were trying to say.