The problem with automotive advertising in Australia? It's bland, formulaic and hasn't changed in decades – that's the view of Frank Morabito, creative director for Melbourne full-service agency Spinach.

"We're still doing the same things we were doing 30 years ago," he said at the Mumbrella Automotive Summit in Sydney.

Morabito drew comparisons to the early days of automotive advertising – the 1950s – when every car on the market was being championed for its size: "It was all a very ostentatious approach to advertising. The big motor, the big bar, it looks big, feels big, acts big, it's big, right?" he said.

In 1959, change swept through the auto landscape when Manhattan agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) created the 'Think Small' campaign for Volkswagen. Not only was Volkswagen the Apple of the time, it was also the Tesla of the time – the brand asked consumers to buy into a new philosophy. In Morabito's view, most automotive brands are "going down the same path".