The Anchor Family

So much about the advertising of shopping basics (milk, bread … Coke) used to revolve around family life, and the creation of characters who hardly explode fixed New Zealand archetypes.

One such campaign [wonder what all those returned servicemen think of that term being used] was the Anchor butter ad series from the 80s, about the recently ‘broken’ family, and the way the young girl is adaptable to the changes, probably better than the adults.

Here’s one of the first in the series:

To the tune of My Girl, it’s Dad’s turn for his ‘contact’ time with his daughter. Back in the 80s I’m sure it wasn’t called that, but in the new millennium, a rock star consultant was hired to tweak Family Court terminology so that it all sounded like a giant transaction taking place.

Contact time with dad in this clip entails going back to his new place. He’s obviously moved out of the marital home. Who knows why? We never do find out. Maybe things just fell apart over margarine usage.

In any case, dad is the arty one. He’s got photography gear all around his open-plan, two-room flat. There are hardly any furnishings. Did power-broker mum get the home and contents? What has dad been doing with this photography gear … ?

The little girl is sullen. It’s much nicer at ‘home’ she says. Dad kneels haplessly and explains “This is my home now”.

Time for dad to ‘bounce’ and get into the kitchen to make a plate of “sorry we have fucked your life over; let’s have some toast with ANCHOR product (I think at that time, Fernleaf) and talk about feelings”.

Anyone who has been party to a parental breakup will know that as soon as the child arrives, unfeasible amounts of food are for some reason whipped up and virtually piped down the child’s neck. It’s an adult’s way of comforting, I guess.

And to the end shot: Wacky old (home-movie *cough* fanatic) dad and daughter, sitting on some shonky beer crate seating, eating ANCHOR toast and talking like best buds.

Anchor.  Get it? Get Anchored.

Having said all of this, I’m not really intending it to be snark. I actually yearn for a wonderful serialized narrative in my advertising.

Tired, I am, of Snapchat-style ads that make me want to go and live amongst the hills.

How about it, agencies? How about a reboot of the broken and flawed Anchor family?

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