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.
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.– Tony Williams
NZ On Screen acknowledges the talent and creatives for allowing NZ On Screen to reproduce this title on this website.
The song was adapted by Murray Grindlay from the 1953 Jean Shepard/Ferlin Husky hit 'A Dear John Letter'.