Matt Quartermaine from the comedy duo the Empty Pockets features in this Australia Post television commercial (TVC) promoting the use of Postpaks instead of ordinary wrapping paper for packaging postage parcels. When the boss asks a younger office worker (Quartermaine) to wrap a parcel, he is delivered Australia’s Post’s message – 'Don’t wrap it. Postpak it’. With rap music still new to Australian popular culture at the time, this commercial was very successful. The choice of comedian Quartermaine in the lead shows that the self-consciously daggy rap and accompanying dance moves were made to be funny and this ad is a great example of self-deprecating Australian humour. A veritable time capsule, it features 1980s technology such as floppy discs, a ghetto blaster, old computers and Telecom telephones.
NAA title number: C4189, 1053203.
Postpaks, a range of strong paper posting bags and boxes, were launched nationally in 1983. The range originally consisted of 20 items, but even by 1988 it was broadening to meet demand. One of the items featured in the ad is a specialised computer floppy disc protective envelope. In the post-computer but pre-email period, information was commonly passed between businesses in this manner. Apart from standardising packaging for ease of mail sorting and delivery, the sale of Postpaks represented otherwise unexploited revenue potential. With rap music still new to Australian popular culture at the time, this TVC was very successful. It was produced for Australia Post by Mojo MDA (Monahan Dayman Adams had recently merged with Mojo) and Leave it to Beaver, and on-lined on 30 June 1988 at AAV (its digital media services now part of the Omnilab Media Group).
Australia Post - Postpak Rap synopsis
This is an Australia Post television advertisement promoting the use of its own product, the Postpak.
Australia Post - Postpak Rap curator's notes
In the latter half of the 1980s changes in government policy forced Australia Post to become more commercially oriented. In 1989 the Australian Postal Corporation Act (the APC Act) was passed, establishing Australia Post as a Government Business Enterprise, a corporation with a board of directors and a profit imperative. The organisation’s increased accountability and its new exposure to competition coincided with technological developments affecting the way it provided its services. Even prior to the APC Act being passed, Australia Post began restructuring, developing a corporate image and measuring and monitoring performance standards. Its relationship with the general public shifted from one of an assumed civil service to one of service provider and client, and it consequently became a major television advertiser. Post offices were given a new retail look (although still nothing like today’s POSTshops), and where previously only stamps were sold, a range of retail post items was introduced. As was the case with many items in the range, there was a dual incentive to the introduction of Postpak – the reduction of sorting costs and the raising of revenue.
Notes by Adrienne Parr.