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Sellebration – 90 years of Kiwi ads online

Remember Ches and Dale from down on the farm? Spot the Dog? Leggs pantyhose? The Rinso jingle? The Anchor family? Mr Dollar?

Ches and Dale - 1965

From brogues to broadband, New Zealand commercials since the 1920s are now online in a collection that anyone can freely view and hear.

Sellebration is an online exhibition of more than 300 cinema, radio and television commercials, collected, digitised and shared by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Browse Sellebration
Hear about the making of Sellebration on RNZ’s Standing Room Only
Download the media release

Rinso radio commercial – 1950s-60s

April 2017 marks 56 years since the first television commercial was screened, the earliest commercial in the Sellebration collection is a 1925 silent film commercial for cigarettes which would have played in cinemas and travelling film shows.

“Sellebration is a cultural and educational resource for New Zealanders now and in the future,” says Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Chief Executive Rebecca Elvy.

“It opens a window into our past, showing our changing attitudes and lifestyles – for example the way women are portrayed, or the way we spoke; innovations like colour TV or decimal currency, or the products and politics our parents and grandparents grew up with,” says Ms Elvy.

“We hope that people will add their comments to the website pages, share their own memories of these advertisements and times, and add to our collective culture and knowledge.”

Toyota Starlet television commercial - 1983

Sellebration’s 300 or so commercials form just a small part of the 750,000 audiovisual works in the collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. The collection, which includes film, radio, television and sound recordings, spans 120 years of New Zealand stories and history.

“Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision archivists are working against time to digitally preserve these priceless records of our past so that they are not lost to future generations,” says Ms Elvy.