“Not Happy Jan!” One Of Australian Advertising’s Finest Moments Celebrates Its 20th Birthday

“Not Happy Jan!” One Of Australian Advertising’s Finest Moments Celebrates Its 20th Birthday
SHARE
THIS



We’ve all had a “Jan” moment in the office and that’s what makes Yellow Pages’ iconic “Not happy Jan” ad arguably three of the most famous words ever written by an Australian advertising copywriter.

And if you want to feel really old, the campaign – that still hits the mark to this day – has just celebrated its 20th birthday.

The original ad was the work of Clems Melbourne and although the “not happy Jan” phrase soon entered the public’s lexicon as a polite way of not swearing at an incompetent staffer’s stuff-up, interestingly the spot never won any major awards at the time.

Back in 2000, the internet was yet to fully take-off and, yes, customers still looked up businesses in two whopping print directories dumped annually on your doorstep.

As a testimony to the legacy of the spot, over the weekend The Daily Telegraph tracked down the ad’s original ECD, Ant Shannon, who now runs his own creative agency, Shannon & Co.

Shannon told The Tele: “We knew the ad had to be highly entertaining and would somehow connect the viewer to the product emotionally.

“As a result we developed this concept of ‘scare tactics’, you know. What a disaster it would be if someone forgot to place an ad in the Yellow Pages. And then have to endure a whole year without it there. What that would mean.”

Shannon admitted the “Not happy Jan” line just happened from the creatives all playing around with the copy.

“We all thought it was hilarious,” Shannon said of the iconic line and, thankfully, the client agreed.

The rest, as they say, is Australian advertising folklore. Enjoy Jan’s momentous blunder one more time as a birthday treat.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Yellow Pages

Latest News

The Misfits Partners With Business Leadership & Culture Experts To Expand Agency Offering
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

The Misfits Partners With Business Leadership & Culture Experts To Expand Agency Offering

Independent experience agency The Misfits has recently announced a strategic partnership with cultural change and leadership experts Nancy Hromin and Kate Chaffer. While the company has for a long time operated in the space of creative services, digital and content marketing, film production and events, The Misfits is now broadening this offering to include business […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
TripleLift Expands Into APAC, Naming The Trade Desk’s Henry Shelley As Managing Director
  • Technology

TripleLift Expands Into APAC, Naming The Trade Desk’s Henry Shelley As Managing Director

TripleLift has today announced an expansion in their Asia Pacific (APAC) operations, with Henry Shelley [featured image] appointed as Managing Director, based in Singapore. Fueling TripleLift‘s expansion in APAC is its success in Australia, where the company works with 70 per cent of the top 50 comScore publishers. “As the home to several of the worlds’ […]

Rob Highett-Smith Joins Fiftyfive5 In Newly Created Role
  • Media

Rob Highett-Smith Joins Fiftyfive5 In Newly Created Role

Rob Highett-Smith joins Fiftyfive5 in the newly created role of head of performance measurement. Performance measurement represents one of the three core offer areas at Fiftyfive5 with tracking programs running across 40 countries; representing our fastest growing capability pillar.  Rob joins to lead this capability, which encompasses brand and comms tracking, multi market monitoring, CX and customer satisfaction, as well as other longitudinal programmatic work.   

Customer Messaging Platform Podium Launches In Australia
  • Technology

Customer Messaging Platform Podium Launches In Australia

Podium has continued its international expansion today announcing its launch in Australia. Podium serves more than 90,000 local businesses in the United States, Canada and Australia, and has seen its customer base in Australia almost quadruple to over 3,000 local businesses since the start of the pandemic. Through its SMS-based platform, Podium helps local businesses receive […]

THE EDGE Welcomes New General Manager Emily Copeland
  • Media

THE EDGE Welcomes New General Manager Emily Copeland

Commercial DAB+ hip hop and RnB station, THE EDGE has appointed Emily Copeland, to the newly created role of General Manager. Copeland brings an awesome mix of skills and experience to THE EDGE, including cross-platform media content experience, partnerships and events (including music festivals – remember those?). Copeland also has a stack of achievements to […]

Sustainability 101 With Brianne West, CEO Of Plastic-Free, Eco-Focused Beauty Brand Ethique
  • Marketing

Sustainability 101 With Brianne West, CEO Of Plastic-Free, Eco-Focused Beauty Brand Ethique

Brianne West is the founder and CEO of Ethique, a New Zealand-based sustainable, plastic free and cruelty free skin and hair care range. West sat down with B&T to explore what genuine environmental sustainability looks like, and how brands can better respond to eco-conscious consumers. B&T: Why are we seeing a rise in eco-conscious consumption?    BW: […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cities connected with lines on a blue globe.
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Interactive Dashboard That Tracks Consumer Movement In Australia

Blis has today revealed its new Consumer Confidence Pulse — the most comprehensive tracker of its kind — this interactive dashboard builds on its existing trend data around consumer mood to analyse behaviour during the COVID pandemic. The dashboard also now tracks consumer movement over a rolling 13-month period, across 18 retail and lifestyle sectors […]

Australian Seniors Releases ‘Dare To Date’, Second Series Of ‘Life’s Booming’ Podcast
  • Media

Australian Seniors Releases ‘Dare To Date’, Second Series Of ‘Life’s Booming’ Podcast

Following the success of Series One: Grey Nomads, Australian Seniors has launched the second series of the Life’s Booming podcast – Dare to Date.  Hosted by James Valentine (pictured with guests Liz and Barry), Life’s Booming explores the incredible stories and addresses topics important to Australians over 50. Series two titled Dare to Date is a six-part series that covers real-life love, […]

VERSA Announces Two Senior Appointments As Demand For Conversational AI Gains Further Traction
  • Marketing

VERSA Announces Two Senior Appointments As Demand For Conversational AI Gains Further Traction

World-leading conversational agency VERSA has bolstered its team with two senior appointments in response to growing uptake in conversational AI technology across various sectors. Vanessa Tout has been appointed global head of client partnerships and growth, while Michael Oso-Hughes comes on board as design director. Tout joins VERSA CEO Kath Blackham and managing director Michael […]

Patrick Rutkowski Joins Banter
  • Marketing

Patrick Rutkowski Joins Banter

Engagement marketing agency, Banter, has hired Patrick Rutkowski as Creative Technologist, to further bolster the digital and innovation side of the business. Rutkowski joins Banter after having spent the last five and a half years at independent creative agency, The Hallway where he was most recently creative technologist working with the likes of Rheem, Tourism […]

person using mobile application on smartphone, abstract close up of hands
  • Technology

Mobile Advertising Company Kargo Announces New Hires Following H1 Growth In APAC

Kargo has today announced several major growth milestones across the APAC region for the first half of 2021, more than doubling H1 revenue year-over-year with 115 per cent growth. Kargo also ran 41 per cent more campaigns in the region than in H1 2020 and the average campaign size increased by 32 per cent over […]