Valentine’s Day, like death, is just around the corner. And maybe you’re prepped for these inevitabilities. Maybe you’ve already bought some flowers for your lover or have organised your will. Maybe you’re single and have resigned yourself to being alone this February 14 and onwards, until the day that you’re hit by a bus.
On the other hand, maybe you’re not prepared for Valentine’s Day. Maybe you don’t know what gift to get your crush. Moreover, maybe the hands of death deeply, deeply scare you.
Luckily, if you fall into the latter group, then I have a solution. Let’s review some romantic and buckwild Aussie ads from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. For these products might inspire you to choose the perfect Valentine’s gift for that perfect person in your life. Or, at the very least, they could be a nice distraction from becoming existentially morbid.
So, without any further ado, it’s review time.
Red Rooster — 1977
Okay folks, Red Rooster has entered the romance game and is playing to win. Because in 1977, they were hawking a bunch of gorgeous three-course VIP dinner boxes. These boxes came with a classic chicken piece, potatoes, and peas. They also came with a plastic container filled to the brim with prawn cocktail.
However, this ad doesn’t state if these boxes contained the fancy cutlery and bottle of wine that starred in this pic. You know, on second thought, they probably didn’t.
So, if you’re stumped on what gift to get your Valentine’s bae, maybe get them a plastic cup stuffed with 1970s prawn cocktail. I give this Red Rooster advert a solid 8/10.
Colgate — 1953
The year was 1953 and Colgate released a comic for the ages. In this ad, Colgate claim that the only way women will ever score romance is through brushing their teeth with Colgate toothpaste.
This message is clearly demonstrated in the last panel where a Colgate lady is surrounded by hungry, hungry himbos. In the background, a friend of the lady says, “She fixed her breath the Colgate way, and now romance is here to stay!”
Nevertheless, as steamy as this toothpaste ad is, I wouldn’t recommend giving someone toothpaste this Valentine’s Day. Not unless you want to be dropped, followed by your ex being surrounded by models near the pool of a cruise ship.
I deem this advert unreviewable.
Angus and Cootes — 1968
“Diamond friendship rings in expensive new designs,” said Angus and Coote.
“You asked us for more expensive friendship rings, and here they are. De-luxe designs to show her how much you care… The gift that makes going steady so very, very special.”
Now, I’m not sure who was asking for their Angus and Coote jewellery to be more expensive, but then again, I wasn’t around in 1968. These rings went at the time for $23.95. In 2022 money, they would go for $333.21. Which honestly, is now a cheap as chips price for a diamond ring.
This brings us to the big question: Should you gift your lover a diamond ring this Valentine’s Day? And the answer is: Heck yes. You should buy a diamond ring, get down on one knee, clarify you’re not proposing, then explain that you purchased a friendship ring.
I give this advert a powerful 9/10.