Straight From Rubbish Tip To You

One of my favourite Bloggers, Life in the Boomer Lane, recently wrote about her trials with flies around the house.

This prompted me to remember how trigger happy mum used to be with fly spray. I honestly don’t know if the fly sprays of the sixties and seventies are exactly the same formula as those of today but their smell was way stronger it seemed. Certainly by the time mum got through with it we were nearly choking.

When we were children  in the mid sixties fly spray was dispensed from a different type of container, aerosol cans were just coming on to the market I think.

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By Georges Jansoone (JoJan) – Self-photographed, CC BY 3.0, Link

In Australia the most well known brand was Mortein which was advertised on television with a catchy little jingle sung by “Louie the Fly”. Everyone knew it.

Louie the Fly, I’m Louie the Fly
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
Spreading disease, with the greatest of ease.
Straight from rubbish tip to you.
I’m bad and mean and mighty unclean.
Afraid of no-one, ‘cept the man with the can of Mortein.
Hate that word Mortein.
One spray and Louie the Fly,
Apple of his old mother’s eye was Louie,
Poor dead Louie, Louie the Fly a victim of Mortein.
Mortein.

Out of curiosity I looked up Mortein and learned some interesting bits of trivia about the advertising campaign.

Mortein was first developed in Australia in the 1870s by German immigrant J. Hagemann, the name being a combination of mort (French: “dead”) and ein (German: one). Mortein was manufactured by Samuel Taylor Pty Ltd from 1937. The company is now owned by the British company Reckitt Benckiser.

Louie first appeared in 1957, the year I was born. He was drawn and animated by Geoffrey Morgan-Pike.

The famous jingle was created in 1962 by none other than Bryce Courtenay during his time at advertising agency McCann Erickson.

Louie was voiced by Australian actor Ross Higgins. Australians will remember him from “The Naked Vicar Show” and especially for his character “Ted Bullpitt” in “Kingswood Country“which was a popular sitcom in the early eighties. It might not be considered very PC now but David and I found it hilarious although like most sitcoms the later series are not as funny as the early ones.

As an aside I remember seeing Ross Higgins advertising rival product Pea-Beu in the eighties. Pea-Beu also had a catchy jingle.

At the end of this post you can see an early Mortein jingle from the sixties and one of the many commercials Ross Higgins did for Pea-Beu from around 1980. I  can still remember all the words to the Louie the Fly song. Only a year or so ago Mortein did an advertising campaign based on whether or not they should drop Louie.They didn’t and here is a piece about him on the Mortein website.

http://www.mortein.com.au/about/about-louie/