Advertising Material

Title: advertising material

  • Several brochures and various print ads were used to promote the 1500 series in Australia.
  • The final brochure, and new series of print ads, introduced the updated model from mid 1970.
  • Towards the end of 1971, the final two print ads attempted to clear considerable stocks of cars despite production due to end in December.

The Civilized Sports car

The Morris 1500 was promoted as "The Civilized Sports car" when it was released in June 1969 and the advertising campaign compared various aspects of the car's design that were shared with Alfa Romeo, Rover, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

An extravagant 16 page glossy brochure was produced detailing what exactly constituted a civilised sports car with an abundance of photographs.

Six pages were devoted to full size photographs (or photo montages) and a further six contained a two-thirds photo and one-third text.

Export markets

A 4-page version of this brochure was produced for export markets such as New Zealand. It was based upon the Australian brochure but as the cars were to be badged as Austin 1500 and Austin Nomad, all references to Morris were removed from the text.

This brochure missed out on all but one of the coloured photographs which make the Australian market version seem positively extravagant in comparison.

Only the front cover is in colour, the inside pages show only large black and white photos with the text neatly arranged along the bottom quarter of each page.

Some doubt exists about the exported vehicles - a number of new Zealanders report that the Nomads sold there were all badged "Morris".

The 15,000 mile marathon

The other print ad widely used soon after the launch publicised the 15,000 mile marathon and sought to promote the durability of the new model. Was this intended to counter all the criticism of the cable gear linkage, perhaps?

The full details of the marathon were reported in the motoring press at the time, but basically the car was driven continuously for 10 days up and down the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Alice Springs, stopping only to refuel and to change crew.

To the car's credit the only mishaps stemmed from two impacts with objects on the road, and a rollover - although there was some suggestion that a different design of sump guard could have provided better protection.

A great car made even better.

In November 1969 a single sheet flyer was printed titled "A great car made even better".

This probably had something to do with the amount of ridicule directed at the Civilized Sports car. The new engine may have been more powerful than before, but it clearly wasn't a sports car - even if you ignored all the gearchange woes that were being dealt with at the time... Also unpopular was the American spelling of Civilized (instead of the more typical Australian/British Civilised with an "s").

So, with the gearbox slightly re-engineered and the gearbox exchange program well underway, this flyer drew attention to the improved car, but by comparing it to the 1100, BMC neatly avoided having to make any reference to the 1500's gearchange faults.

The front page is the full colour photo from page 9 of the Civilized Sports car brochure and around 20,000 copies were printed.

A great brochure made even better...

Looking suspiciously like the original Civilized Sports car brochure, this brochure was first printed in April 1970 as a replacement for it.

The features described, and all the pictures & layout, are the same as before, however, the tone and wording used for the text is more conversational compared to the marketing spin that powered the Civilized Sports car and instead its theme centres around how the Morris 1500 differs from the Morris 1100 it replaced.

In fact every reference to sports cars has been carefully removed...


New models, New Morris family Album

When the range was updated in July 1970 a new brochure, styled as a photo album, was printed to showcase the 5 speed gearbox and the "Luxury Pack" options.

This brochure focussed on the choice of models and options available and despite the sportier bucket seats, side-stripes, carpets and 5-speed gearbox now available, there was no mention of sports cars...

There was a series of newspaper and magazine advertisements introducing the new features... followed by a few emphasising the good value of the prices when sales weren't as brisk as expected.

Clearance Sale Advert

When the time came to clear the last stocks of cars before the new Marina went on sale, British Leyland held a Clearance Sale and ran full page advertisements in the newspapers.

The text of this ad is as follows:

"Out here at British Leyland I'm surrounded by 2,000 new Morris cars. And every one of them must go. British Leyland are facing one of the perennial problems of the car industry - a new model is coming, so the current model must clear. They desperately need the space, so they've instructed dealers to sell the cars fast. That means they are offering trade-in deals like you have never imagined possible. You get overdrive, your choice of bench or bucket seats, four or five doors, disc brakes, all independent suspension, superb handling and manual or automatic transmission. And you won't have to twist arms to get it! Dealers really mean business. they've got to clear cars at any price."

- John Tingle

A week after the first ad ran, this follow up version appeared, it says:

"You can see for yourself how successful British Leyland's Morris 1500 clearance sale has been. Already, truck load after truck load of Morris cars have been cleared. Which proves one thing. Dealers are living up to their promise, and offering colossal savings. Hunderds of dollars, in fact. Its no wonder so many people are taking advantage of this offer. Because the Morris 1500 offers so much. It's equipped like a car costing hundreds more. Overdrive, four or five doors, all independent suspension, superb handling and manual or automatic transmission. But, as you can see, there's still a lot more Morris cars to clear. And the deadline is getting closer every day. So, make today the day you see your Austin Morris dealer."

- John Tingle

Follow-up Clearance Sale Ad