“Dear John”, the BASF cassettes commercial, became a Kiwi classic, yet it was filmed on a minimal budget- using silver caps from glass milk bottles (remember those? Red for skim, green for cream!) standing in for soldier’s dog-tags, and a Wellington quarry filled the brief for the Korean War-zone aping the evergreen MASH TV series.
The 1953 country’n’western tearjerker used in the soundtrack, was sung by Jacqui Fitzgerald and adapted by Murray Grindlay. As often happens a shoestring becomes a legend, and the ad was later voted Best Australasian commercial of the 1980s.