General Motors Holden: Export Holden

General Motors Holden: Export Holden
General Motors Holden
Access fees

This advertisement opens with a row of Holden cars, soon to be loaded by crane onto ship. As the narrator lists the Asia-Pacific territories that Holden has been exported to, we see footage of Hong Kong’s harbour, a Holden showroom in Singapore, city streets outside a Hindu temple, and a Holden next to a Fiji Airways plane. A world map marks every country to which Holdens are exported. The narrator describes the development of left-hand drive units for Greece, Iran, Iraq and New Caledonia. The accompanying footage shows a woman getting into and driving a left-hand drive vehicle. At the GMH proving ground at Lang Lang in Victoria, export cars are tested. The narrator concludes by saying that this testing and expert craftsmanship have made Holden 'a showpiece among Australian exports’ and given new meaning to the phrase 'made in Australia’.

In earlier cinema and television advertisements, the Holden car was positioned firmly within a suburban Australian environment and targeted to potential or repeat Holden owners. This advertisement addresses the local audience from a new angle. By chronicling its success in foreign markets, GMH boosts Holden’s all-important 'made in Australia’ image. The Holden was already a source of national pride for many, but now home viewers could see for themselves just how Holden was making inroads into other territories. Through the use of actuality footage of Holdens populating the bustling city streets of Hong Kong and Malaya, the ad puts a familiar icon in a foreign context. Seeing a fashionable woman in a white cheongsam dress slide into a Holden in Singapore builds pride for this 'made in Australia’ vehicle.

This ad also provides an interesting snapshot of city life in late 1950s and early 1960s South-East Asia, which was generally absent from Australian televisions at the time. Historical footage of the region from this time features in a handful of amateur films and home movies made by Australian travellers (see Minter, R: Home Movies: Southeast Asia, India and Rome, 1958 and Nott, D: A Trip with the RAAF: Home Movies, 1970).