TV Advertising in Malta has come a long way. A glance at a local TV station will show some very sophisticated commercials that wouldn’t look out of place on UK or US TV.
However, that’s not to say the Maltese adverts of the past don’t have a special place in our hearts. Their quaint charm and catchy jingles can transport us right back to simpler times ( and, boy, do we need that). So get ready to feel all warm and fuzzy as we look back at 5 local ads we’re nostalgic about.
1) Kinnie (1981)
Malta’s answer to Coca-Cola gets a bright and cheery ad that comes off like the opening credits to a long lost sitcom. It’s got all the advertising tropes from the time: happy family, cute kids, plenty of product shots and, of course, a killer jingle. It may appear a little cookie-cutter now, but if you’re not the cynical type, it’s a charming throwback. And we sure miss those glass bottles!
2) Xummiemu (1990)
Most Maltese Millenials probably remember Xummiemu, a cartoon hedgehog who acted as an environmental advocate, like a spiky Greta Thunberg. The animation may be crude, but that didn’t stop Xummiemu from becoming a bit of a local hero to kids. He went through a couple of redesigns and was relaunched in 2012, but frankly, we miss the old classic version, creepy laugh and all.
3) Lachyrma Vitis (1986)
Possibly the most 80s ad ever. When else could a man drape a sweater over his shoulders, and still wear shorts? This ad really does show off Malta, with some stunning beach shots and water-skiing in the Grand Harbor. That’s not to mention that insanely catchy jingle that’s going to be stuck in our heads for days. ( ” This is the wine...That is THE wine…”)
4) Tal-Lira (2007)
Sure, 2007 isn’t THAT long ago. But this ad for Tal-Lira, with its broad slapstick comedy and rather, erm, unconvincing green-screen, certainly seems dated now. The video shows a bespectacled man flying an airplane with a woman, hoping to find a Tal-Lira. Spotting one down below, the lure of cheap tat is all too much, and he jumps out to get there. Don’t worry, Mr Cruise… no one’s stealing your thunder.
5) Cisk (1997)
Maltese products don’t come much bigger than Cisk. The lager is as much part of our heritage as the Pastizzi you eat with it. Click ads now tend to be big-budget glossy affairs, but back in 1997, things were a little more humble. All you needed was a man, a woman, some sexy stock music and a pool. Sure, the gag isn’t that new (it’s a trope that’s even been parodied), but we’d love to know what would happen next.
As much as we love the occasional glance back at the past, advertising is all about looking to the future. Ahead of the release of the new TV schedules in October, and Black Friday in November the opportunity to scale your product or brand through TV advertising campaigns is great.
At VSQUARED, we make sure to keep up with the latest trends and push the envelope. If you’d like a new TV commercial or quality product shots send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org