life lessons for western australian 90s kids

In the 80s and 90s, Channel 9 Perth had a series of community service ads specifically directed at kids. They were fucked as, and No Award is about to introduce you to them.

Brown children are naughty.

Dingalings are naughty or careless children. All children have a dingaling inside them. Suspiciously, dingalings appear to be brown.

Being from Perth, a brown child in the 80s is probably an Indigenous one; important context for non-Perthies is definitely around the socio-economic status of suburbs with high Indigenous communities (Steph is from these suburbs) (It is a low socio-economic area), and that Perth is very much a white, English city (during the era of 10 pound poms, many ships would stop at Freo and everyone would get off and just settle there). This context makes this ad super questionable and pretty clearly racist. Good job, Perth.

There are dentists AND tooth fairies, and if that’s not terrifying well I don’t know what is.

Be very afraid of disembodied mouth and teeth.

And not only are there disembodied teeth in the teeth ad, but there’s disembodied mouth and teeth in this ad about food!

What the hell, 80s Australia! Between these ads and the Mulligrubs lady, I just – is there something we need to know about disembodied singing mouths? Is this normal? Did other western countries suffer this in the 80s? Is this a disembodied mouth conspiracy? What does it all mean?!

(This is probably my favourite one, though.)

(Does Australia just have serious unaddressed mouth issues?)

Mums know things, but they don’t know enough to not be condescended at by disembodied hands.

Please note how mad that mum is about being condescended to. And don’t trust this ad – some mums are blinded by colonialism and culture and don’t actually know. Down with gender roles in 80s ads!

And then more about asking your mum in the vitamins ad! Damn it, Channel 9, what makes you think my mum is a dietician?! My love of Vitamin D is pretty profound, though.

I’ve got nothing on this hillbilly business wrt germs:

I had managed to completely wipe this final ad from my memory until I hit play, and then it all came rushing back. But I’m not sure what the message is. Are we saying don’t ever go near any of these things cos they’re too dangerous? That seems unlikely, given there’s a swimming pool in there.

Mixed messages here on No Award!

Liz was going to join me to discuss her adult impressions of these ads, but she’s too traumatised from googling terrible mouth-related beer ads, and is not currently available.



3 thoughts on “life lessons for western australian 90s kids

  1. My biggest annoyance with all of these (and with this post) is that the blasted tunes were earworms of the most annoying degree, and I NOW HAVE THEM ON PERMANENT REPEAT IN MY HEAD! aargh.

    (I should add, the internal loop is sort of segueing from one to another and occasionally gives some rather bizarre mental images, such as shifting from “Bugs and Germs” to the instructions on how to brush your teeth, with a background ostinado of “We’re bugs and germs” underlying it all.)

    If I have to resort to running “Manah-Manah” (or worse yet, “The Smurf’s Theme”) through my head as a form of brain bleach, I am going to be Very Disappointed.

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