Despite the significant economic and cultural roles played by advertising in our society and its all pervasive presence in our lives, the history of advertising in Australia is poorly documented and researched. What does exist relates almost exclusively to the business centres of Sydney and Melbourne, while Queensland is almost invisible. A search for material relating to Queensland revealed very few written sources, but many people with the potential to shed light on various aspects o f advertising history through interviews.
The current study focuses on one such person, Greville Patterson, who has worked in the creative departments o f agencies in Brisbane, Sydney and London since 1963. He has worked in an unusually wide range o f roles, including copywriter, graphic artist, art director, creative director, musician, vocalist and freelance creative consultant. While he has worked on state, national and international accounts, most o f his work has been for Queensland advertisers or aimed at the Queensland market.
Oral history and a biographical approach are used to provide an insight into the creative processes involved in making advertisements and to examine some of the ways advertising draws from and contributes to popular culture and identity. Taking the period of his career as a slice through advertising history from 1963 to 1999, the study uses the selection of agencies for whom he worked, the advertisers, and their products as springboards to briefly examine threads of history relating to them, to globalisation o f the advertising industry, and to elements of the history of Queensland. Technological change and the film and television production industry are also touched on.
The project has an archival purpose in gathering and compiling Greville Patterson's television advertisements on videotape as well as in recording slogans, jingles, and production details of the commercials.