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General Motors Holden – Monaro, Three New Models (1968)

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'More than just transportation' education content clip 1

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

This advertisement for the Holden Monaro HK begins on the racetrack amongst sleek sports cars, champion drivers (including Norm Beechey) and adoring female fans. A sequence of still images of foreign sports cars and sophisticated young consumers enjoying leisure activities sets up the demand for a car which looks and handles like a foreign sports car, but comes at a cheaper price. Over shots of headlights on a road at night, the voice-over states that such a car has not been available until now but the advertisement ends without revealing more (see the continuation in clip two).

Curator’s notes

This clip cleverly builds a case for the Holden Monaro based on its capacity to fulfil the spectrum of needs and desires of its target market, typified by tantalising images of young people enjoying a day at the racetrack. The commanding voice-over states 'this is where it’s happening’, 'today’s people are dynamic’, 'individuality is a living thing’ and 'it’s a winner’s world’ to create an image of the ideal Monaro driver – whose car is an 'extension of themselves’. The still images present a sports car as the necessary accessory for a lifestyle that is 'sporty, modern as tomorrow, sophisticated’. The narrator asserts that 'what this country needs right now’ is a car that combines practicality and comfort with the handling and performance of a sports car at an affordable price. The two threads of the narrative come together – but before the Monaro is revealed as the car that meets these requirements, the ad stops – leaving the viewer wanting more and primed for what is to come (see clip two).

This three-minute advertisement was taken from a compilation of Holden advertisements promoting the three new 1968 models: the Monaro, Monaro GTS, and Monaro GTS 327. In the compilation, the two segments come one after the other. While it is not possible to know for sure that the ads went to air in two parts, this is how they appear to be designed. The final 60 seconds which follows on from this ad shows the three new models in detail. It is the final pitch in a well marketed campaign.

Holden driver Norm Beechey also features on this site in Shell’s sponsored documentary Championship Chase (1970), in which he wins the Australian Touring Car Championship.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This colour clip shows the introductory part of a 1968 television advertisement for the Holden HK Monaro two-door sports coupé. The clip begins with scenes of formula and production car races, pit action, drivers and female fans. Over an instrumental soundtrack, a male narrator describes ‘today’s world’ and ‘today’s people’. This is followed by a still-image montage of sophisticated people. The narrator says that – until now – people who desire sports cars have avoided them because of the expense and inconvenience of buying and repairing them.

Educational value points

  • This clip marks an expansion in Holden’s advertising to embrace the emerging younger generation while still appealing to the post-Second World War suburban family, Holden’s main consumer base. The 1968 HK range was marketed as a ‘new generation’ of Holden cars, celebrating 20 successful years of manufacturing Australian cars. The ‘forward-looking’, ‘dynamic’ market is catered for, as is the market that still values ‘round-town practicality’.
  • The clip appeals to an affluent 1960s audience (particularly men with money to spend) by using imagery evoking an idealised lifestyle that consumers could aspire to, including beautiful people and products. The consumer is portrayed as youthful, independent and sophisticated. By both identifying and prescribing the needs and desires of its target market, the advertisement presents the Premier as more than just a car; it depicts the Premier as an expression of the consumer’s individuality.
  • This clip shows an advertisement that cleverly creates its own niche for a product that can replace the standard Australian family car, be a personalised accessory and perform like a production car for a reasonable price. The commanding narration and images create desire for a car that embodies excitement, style and individuality. It positions a locally made, affordable sports coupé as the answer to a gap in the market. The coupé (the HK Monaro) is not shown or named in this section of the advertisement.
  • The now iconic Monaro was the first locally designed, engineered and built two-door sports coupé in Australia. This clip contrasts the Monaro’s local production and moderate cost with expensive European sports and luxury cars (including the Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo) to exploit Holden’s established reputation as a proudly Australian product and to capitalise on the growing international popularity of two-door sports coupés.
  • This clip uses the atmosphere and imagery of the production car racetrack to build momentum and create excitement about the release of the Monaro. There has been a strong association between the automotive industry and sport, particularly motor sport, since the 1930s. In the 1960s and 70s Holden became involved in high-profile production car racing, most memorably in 1970 when Norm Beechey won the Australian Touring Car Championship in a Monaro GTS 350.
  • While the Monaro was marketed to both male and female drivers, especially in print, this advertisement positions men as the active drivers and the women as spectators or passengers, reinforcing stereotypes about gender roles. The 1960s was a time when traditional roles as seen in this clip were being seriously questioned, particularly by women, leading to significant social and cultural change in the decade to follow.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

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  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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