Ever wish your ex would be eaten by a crocodile, but don’t want the unfortunate manslaughter charges that come along with it? The San Antonio Zoo has a solution. The Cry Me a Cockroach fundraiser allows you to name a cockroach, rodent, or veggie after your special someone, and then have them be fed to a zoo animal. There’s also the option to send a digital card to let them know, and then promptly get blocked on all social media. For those wishing to revel in this kind of petty  revenge closer to home, Who Gives a Crap is offering disgruntled lovers a new way to double down on ‘you’re dumped’. Turn your ex’s love letters into toilet paper, with their Flush Your Ex campaign. That’s one way to wipe them out of your life.

For Valentines Day, sandwich chain Jimmy Johns released a spoof of The Bachelor titled MILF & Cookies. Don’t make us explain the acronym, American Pie was released in 1999 and Urban Dictionary is free. The campaign features “multi-platinum rapper & MILF connoisseur,” Yung Gravy (great business card) facing the tough romantic decision of which mature lady to romance. Yes, it’s funny and acceptable for this to be an ad campaign, no, it’s not acceptable when Leonardo DiCaprio dates a nineteen-year-old. I don’t make the rules. I am simply the Rod Serling to this nightmare of sexual politics.

Burberry came under fire recently for its Valentine’s Day campaign showcasing a number of real-life LGBTQ couples embracing each other. The responses are what we can now come to expect whenever a popular brand features anything other than straight white people. Ranging from the usual ‘too sexualised’ to ‘you’ve gone woke,’ to the more severe of labelling the inclusion of a model with a double mastectomy as the “glorification of self-mutilation.” It’s just too exhausting at this point guys. Calm down a little.

To paraphrase Cady Heron, Math is the same in every sexuality. Dating app Hinge just published its first report into the dating habits of the queer community. It’s almost boring how normal the findings are, communication is important, conversation is better than passion, the usual. The secret meetings about world domination are reserved for print publications.

Continuing the trend of fun statistic drops, one in five Aussies said they would be spending less on their partner this Valentine’s Day, citing the rising cost of living as the reason. Which makes sense; a holiday invented by card companies would be the first to go when that level of consumerism is no longer viable. There are no movies where someone gets visited by three ghosts who tell them the real meaning of Valentine’s day.

As Aussie as arguing about The Hottest 100, the annual summer Lamb campaign has dropped; this time poking fun at the overuse of the term ‘Un-Australian.’ The ad imagines an alternative reality in which offences like turning off the test cricket or not knowing the second verse to Khe Sanh get you banished to a Phantom Zone-esque anti-Australia.

What does Australia sound like? Answers cannot include a bogan yelling on a tram, or an increasingly angry magpie. Sounds of Australia, a national archive featuring sounds that “inform or reflect life in Australia” has inducted this year’s selection of iconic sounds. Joining the ranks this year are The Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive, the Neighbours theme tune and Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech. The archive now features over 160 sounds, comprising everything from radio jingles to AC/DC and the Divinyls. Although there are some glaring omissions, as there isn’t a bar in the country where you couldn’t get a response by yelling ‘have you ever, ever felt like this?’

NBC has unveiled the newest logo for the summer Olympics with the help of the woman the city was named after, Paris Hilton. In a tongue-in-cheek spot, the ‘famous for being famous’ socialite becomes the unexpected face of the Olympics. It’s a cute joke about the name, but for those of us nostalgic for The Simple Life reruns and a world where people famous for doing nothing weren’t a dime a dozen, Paris Hilton’s camp valley-girl performance is almost quaint.

Retro technology is making a comeback, to the vindication of record and polaroid owners everywhere. It’s not just a case of nostalgia selling, this particular wave is driven by the desire for the tangible. Clinical psychologist Dr. Jaime Zuckerman says: “this desire to hold something in our hands, to feel textures and weights, is something  visibly absent in our current society.” Anyone who remembers the visceral satisfaction of slamming a flip phone shut can relate.

As a fun stunt for this year’s Super Bowl, Blockbuster, the long-forgotten friend of every sleepover and rainy day, will release their first commercial in over a decade… on VHS. Embracing their status as a surviving relic, the last remaining Blockbuster store will be hosting a Super Bowl watch party where they will dust off the old VCR and play the ad in store. Then, assumedly, party like it’s 1999.

There’s a running joke amongst anyone who watches Friends reruns about how there’s no way Monica and Rachael could actually afford their spacious NY apartment on a waitress and sporadically employed chef’s salary. The ultimate Hollywood fantasy is not superheroes and magic, but comfortably affording both a spacious penthouse and frequent coffees. To cement this, someone with a good eye for real estate and economics has put together a list on how much your favourite screen homes would actually be worth today.

Extra, extra!

Read all about it!Check out our latest INC news and views.

⸻ Latest

Press Release: Tradie Bamboo No Chafe

Tradie Bamboo No Chafe

Tradie pits undies against the elements with their new breathable bamboo no-chafe collection.

Aussie underwear label Tradie’s brand ambassador Nick Cummins is back on our screens this week, bursting with enthusiasm about Tradie’s latest bamboo no-chafe underwear collection.

Filmed in the brief period when Melbourne wasn’t in a lockdown, Melbourne creative agency, The Incubator had the unique challenge of trying to stay within their usual playground of dusty desert landscapes without leaving the Victorian border. Bringing a bit of the outback to our own backyard, filming took place at Black Rock, Southern Victoria. With some out of the box thinking and visual smarts, you’d never know it wasn’t in the middle of nowhere.

“We love getting the Honey Badger out into nature,” says Kyran Docker, Creative Director at The Incubator. “It really brings out his best when we film him in his natural habitat.”

Nick’s rocky backdrop was the perfect fit for the no-chafe undies, designed for a country where blokes are up against the elements every day. “Its been 10 years since we first launched the Tradie No Chafe undies so this advert is a great way to celebrate one of our most loved products” says Tradie founder Ben Goodfellow.

Or, as Nick tells us: “We all know how rough it can get down under, and … you know, down under. It’s a bugger when you get the big wet in the back part of the top end, the rough track up ’n’ back, down around the hoop, blow a gasket, chuck a u-banger and you’re back to where you started!”

We agree with…whatever the Honey Badger just said.

The 30 second spot will air on TV and social media from the 11th March 2022.

Extra, extra!

Read all about it!Check out our latest INC news and views.

⸻ Latest

News: Call Your Auntie

We’re thrilled to announce the exciting news that one of our senior Incubatees has recently become an auntie. But we’re not talking about the biological kind… we mean the feminist kind! The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, after all.

Already an endless source of information and guidance around the office, our resident Head of Strategy, Alison Rentoul, has joined great new ad industry initiative: The Aunties. On achieving her official status, our Auntie Al has now been paired up with an industry mentee from another agency, because – let’s face it – Al’s hard-earned wisdom is too good to be shared only within our office.

Launched by the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club, The Aunties is a program designed to inspire and connect women of all ages across Melbourne’s creative industries, through mentorships, seminars and networking opportunities. Named after legendary advertising mentor Esther Clerehan, who often referred to herself as an “Auntie” to countless women she’s mentored over the years, the Aunties’ focus is on pairing successful experienced women in Advertising with younger counterparts, for one-on-one mentorships.

Founder Phoebe Sloane, copywriter and Director of Empowerment & Inclusion at the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club explains, “We want to give young women starting out in our industry as much support as possible right now. Due to Covid, they’ve missed valuable opportunities to build networks and they’re vulnerable in many ways. We hope by giving them an Auntie, they’ll have an objective person they can confide in and establish a deeper connection with.”

Although applications for the first mentorship round are now closed, until the next round opens, perhaps consider taking the initiative of finding a mentor of your own – either in your office, or another. In this male dominated industry, young women can benefit greatly from hearing the stories of other women who’ve travelled this road before them, paving the way for a new generation to learn from their experiences. There’s a reason feminism comes in waves.

We can indeed confirm the benefit, as our Junior Designer Sophie is also in the Aunties program, as a mentee… or a niece, if you will. Meeting up with Mavens’ Leah Morris monthly has helped Sophie focus ideas for the future, figuring out the path she wants to take and the steps needed to get there. (Honestly, Sophie is yet to define her role in this program to anyone in the office without getting dangerously close to describing the plot of The Karate Kid.)

With interests in both design and writing, Sophie didn’t know if there was any career that could combine the two passions. So Leah has organised a meeting from someone with a similar career journey, to see what kind of path she might want to take in the future. Within the first get-together, they had discussed everything from imposter syndrome to salaries and sexism.

Our newly appointed Junior Account Executive Chrissie also came to us already enrolled in the Aunties, forming the perfect Venn diagram of ‘women in our office’ and ‘women who are in a mentor program’. Jessica Graham of Thinkerbell is helping Chrissie build her industry network, offering guidance on reaching her full potential and advising on how to address new situations. As a fresh graduate, this program has been invaluable in giving Chrissie real-world knowledge of the job – and it certainly helped her stand out from the crowd of applicants when we were hiring recently!

While not every woman will follow the same career journey, there are specific challenges we as women in creative industries all face together; and, let’s face it, we all need someone in our corner. Mentors can guide young women through the challenges they will face at the start of their career, using their experiences to make more informed decisions during the transition from student to professional. Mentorship gives young girls a role model, someone they can look up to and a strong supporter who believes in them. Mentors can improve your leadership skills, help you gain fresh perspectives, and in turn help you help your younger sisters (and nieces!) as you make your own way up the career ladder.

Find out more about, and follow the Aunties on Instagram.

Extra, extra!

Read all about it!Check out our latest INC news and views.

⸻ Latest

In a provocative move taking aim at the British Museum’s less-than-stellar history of acquisition (long story short, colonialism stole a lot of sacred stuff from the natives), Vice World News has created the Unfiltered History Tour, an unauthorised tour of the museum’s 10 most disputed items. The tour explores not only the artefacts’ cultural history, but the imperialistic attitudes behind them being stolen in the first place, and the ongoing impact of this prejudice.

Fck the Cupcakes has just launched its new Be The Change campaign, asking men to speak out against sexism in their workplaces. Last year, Women’s Health Victoria released a damning report on the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment within the advertising industry, which emphasised women’s desire for men not to turn a blind eye to the sexism they see. An awesome initiative designed to fight misogyny in the creative industry, this campaign serves as a reminder to men to stand up for women in their agencies and add their voices to the fight for equality

Australian Lamb has released its new campaign, Letters to Leaders, a tongue-in-cheek series featuring messages to leaders on signs around Australia, tapping into the current desire of all Australians to yell at our political leaders in billboard size fonts.

The US Supreme Court has recently struck down an attempt by OSHA to mandate nationwide employee vaccination policies for businesses, leading to numerous companies deciding human lives mean less than their bottom line and immediately rolling back their safety polices. This has ranged from not requiring employees to be vaccinated, to letting every anti-mask nutjob breathe on other customers to their heart’s content. On the plus side, this has created a handy list for consumers, of brands to avoid like the plague. Literally.

In one of the more talked-about developments of late, M&Ms have announced they are redesigning their characters to represent a more progressive world. Not a lot of people know this, but second-wave feminism was really about fighting to make sure the green M&M was wearing flat shoes. Despite the new changes being barely noticeable, this has predictably gotten a lot of people up in arms. A convenient distraction for Mars, M&Ms’ parent company, as this is diverting a lot of attention away from the issues they’ve been having with their alleged child slavery policies.

Forget Casablanca or The Princess Bride, hot chips and tomato sauce are the love story for the ages. Joining forces in an adorable new campaignMcCains chips and Heinz sauce have acknowledged just how much they complete one another and have been sending love notes back and forth. Even going full ‘new teenage relationship’ and unfollowing everyone else on their socials.

In complete disregard for the rule forced upon us by all mums, of not mixing eating and swimming, McDonalds has released a line of swimwear. Partnering with Budgy Smugglers, Maccas now has a swimsuit range inspired by their menu items. There’s a buns joke in here somewhere…

According to a digital study for 2022, Social media now reaches more than 58% of the world’s population. This makes a lot of sense, since everyone’s been in their homes for the past two years with not much else to do but scroll through Instagram. But to those of us who can still remember not being able to use the home phone and the dial-up at the same time, this feels like a huge number.

In a blatant bid to claw back users from Only Fans, Instagram has begun testing subscriptions for creators, allowing them to grow their income by offering exclusive content to those filling to pay a fee. This is supposedly a way to ensure Instagram influencers have a more consistent income, however, given the global Instagram influencer market is worth about USD $1.3 Billion, maybe they’re already doing pretty well?

While we’re on the subject of those kids today and their phones, Tik Tok is now the third most downloaded app, used by about 7.38 Million Australians. That’s a lot of people making up silly dances.

Our favourite movie clichés are starting to get self-aware in Apple’s cool new cinematic ads. Apple has released three ads poking fun at the common cinematography tropes we’ve come to recognise, such as dramatically lit basements in horror movies or slow arthouse zooms. The ability to recreate something previously requiring a whole Hollywood soundstage just using the square in your pocket is pretty cool. I’m ready for my close up, Mr DeMille.

Extra, extra!

Read all about it!Check out our latest INC news and views.

⸻ Latest

It’s become a holiday tradition in its own right, watching businesses battle it out for the most tear-jerking, heart-string-tugging ad of the Christmas season. In the green corner, we have John Lewis, the reigning heavyweight champion of Christmas videos, with an ET riff guaranteed to get the waterworks flowing. And in the red corner we have Coca Cola, literally the inventors of Father Christmas as we know him, with a touching tale of community coming together for the greater good. But a rogue underdog has jumped into the ring this year, launching a cinematic crane-kick at the unsuspecting champions. From Norway, we have ‘When Harry Met Santa’ a beautiful love story documenting a milestone for the country.Fast becoming its own annual tradition, Spotify Wrapped was released this month, with the usual tongue-in-cheek ads one can expect from a streaming service who knows how many times you listened to that breakup song and can judge you for it. When you’re getting too smug about smashing out your Christmas shopping early, they’re here to remind you no matter how many cult indie bands you tell people you listen to, you will inevitably have the Spice Girls at an embarrassingly high position on your playlist. In the words of The Waitresses: Merry Christmas, but I think I’ll skip this one this year.

Another kind of Christmas wrapping dropped this month, Bank of Montreal and FCB Canada have released a wrapping paper that can connect you to women owned businesses. As part of an initiative to help women business owners in these tough times, the paper has QR codes which allow you to shop for hundreds of gifts from small businesses. Shop small and support your sisters.

Speaking of shit women have to deal with, The Australian Government has decided to crack down on online trolls. The federal government will be introducing a new bill to target social media trolls, meaning we could soon see defamation lawsuits for the things posted in comments. Surely this will only be used for the good of everyday citizens and not to protect thin-skinned politicians. … Oh c’mon, It’s Christmas, at least one political argument is supposed to break out, right?

Amazon’s newest ad tackles the topic of anxiety in a reopening world. While most of us are so excited to get back out, to the point we suddenly really get the hedonism of the roaring 20’s, there is also a lot of justifiable fear about doing so. It’s hard to be told everyone is a threat for two years and then suddenly be expected to share air with a packed train. The ad focuses on a moment of kindness between two people from across a building, reminding everyone we’re all just here to help each other… and also to social distance, of course.

With events starting to get underway again, Street poster company Rock Posters is offering a greener alternative to those large tour posters covering the city by creating fully sustainable event posters. Instead of litter, the only thing those concerts will leave behind is a ringing in your eardrums and a mysterious crowd-surfing related bruise.

Anyone living in New York must be fully prepared for life with superheroes at this point. To promote the new Spiderman movie coming out, Sony pictures has provided New Yorkers with the ability to visit The Daily Bugle, the newspaper Peter Parker works at. You might also know this as “everyone’s little brother’s dream from 2002.” Newsstands for The Daily Bugle have turned up all over the city, where you can grab limited edition Spiderman newspapers with clues for the upcoming film.

On the subject of print media, Adidas just brought back the 80s sci-fi magazineOmni. First published in 1978, the cult classic had everything from fiction by Stephen King and George RR Martin, to in-depth articles about scientific studies. A limited run of 2,300 copies will be available at selected stores, and the full text will not be available online, in keeping with the retro revival. Streetwear and science fiction have been linked for a while, and Adidas is finally trying to give Marty Mcfly and his Nikes a run for their money.

This one is for those of us who always get to the cinema early. A list of the 50 most influential movie trailers was compiled by industry insiders, charting from the early days of Alfred Hitchcock taking you around his set, to the weird trend of slowed down pop-songs from a few years ago.

Extra, extra!

Read all about it!Check out our latest INC news and views.

⸻ Latest