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  1. The Ad.


This classic ad was made on a shoestring budget: milk bottle silver caps stood in for soldier’s dog-tags and a Wellington quarry apes a Korean War-zone of the evergreen MASH TV series (from the naming of “O’Reilly” at the top of the mail call through to the 1953 country and western tearjerker used in the soundtrack, sung by Jacqui Fitzgerald and adapted by Murray Grindlay). The anachronism of cassette tapes in Korea proved a charming twist on the traditional ‘Dear John’ letter; and the ad was later voted Best Australasian commercial of the 80s.

Credits (9)

 Tony Williams
 Pat Cox
 Roger Brittenden

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Comments (16)



lol brought back some cool memories, cheers.

 Peter MacGregor

Peter MacGregor

My sister, Jacqui Fitzgerald, is the voice singing this. Just let her know I had seen it again.

 Baronia Tipu

Baronia Tipu

Awwee...I wondered where this disappeared to :( Loved it and still do thank you so much for this beautiful but sad rememberance :)

 Greg Bepper

Greg Bepper

Karen Lapslie... I ain't gone yet! ;) - Greg Bepper (Dear John)

 George Henderson

George Henderson

The late Wellington musician Kevin Hawkins (The Amps, Shoes This High, Fishschool) was an extra in this advert; he's the one on the left at 0.24

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Bad news sent home

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It's interesting that Dear John, which is a rare case of a great idea and is still talked about in the US and UK, recently won best ad of the decade. It was made at the beginning of the decade, and still won best ad, which shows the 'great idea' was lost to commercials in the '80s. 


1982 Australian F.A.C.T.S.
Gold Award

1982 Cannes Film Festival
Gold Lion

1982 Clio
Gold Award
Best Director

1990 Australian 'AWARD' Awards (Sydney)
Best Commercial of the Decade