INCYMI: February

Saying we don’t need no stinkin’ superbowl ads, Liquid Death offered brands the ability to advertise on 500,000 of its cardboard packages instead. An online auction was conducted, with Cryptocurrency company Coinbase declared the winner. Around 200 million people shop at the brand’s stockists every week (according to the brand themselves) so they’ve won twice the eyeballs at half the price.

Surreal cereal speaks for all of us during the start of the year with their new post-modern campaign, an ode to not being able to bother.

Sweethearts Candies, the classic heart-shaped candies you saw in old movies and were disappointed to find tasted like chalk, have found a clever thing to do with their reject candy. Rather than throwing them away, their imperfectly stamped hearts now go into limited-edition “Situationship Boxes” for those whose relationship status is as unclear as a blurry misprint.

For Valentine’s day, Lush released a bath bomb inspired by the bathtub scene from Saltburn. If you’ve seen the film, then that sentence should be enough to gross you out, but we’re going to take it an unnecessary step further, and inform you the bath bomb is made with sea salt and coconut milk.

Selling cannabis is legal in Canada, but advertising it isn’t. Canada strictly prohibits any advertising of the drug – you can’t even show the inside of the store. Cannabis brand, Stok’d has found the perfect loophole, by showcasing the businesses located next-door. ‘Next to Stok’d’ is technically advertising a bookstore and nail salon. If the camera happens to drift left to a different storefront, well that’s just bad framing.

Have you ever stolen glassware from a bar? Depending on what, it’s either very hip and cool of you, or the most bogan thing imaginable. Stella Artois has designed a range of clothing to allow wearers to steal their branded glassware from bars. You can enter a competition to win some designs from their website, and begin your new life of crime.

Greenpeace has turned environmental threats into horror movie trailers, reminding everyone serial murders make up less than 1% of all murders in any given year, but environmental disasters are very real and coming at us with the frequency of a Stephen King book release.

Another fun fact, 80% of the world’s sewage is dumped untreated into our oceans. Oh, sorry, we meant horrifying, not fun. An online petition, The Dirty Protest, is making waves by printing petitions with a sewage-based ink and delivering them to the politicians responsible for this literal shit-show. A powerful reminder to clean up your act.

If life starts getting you down, you can always talk to your family, your friends, or… a puppet. Elmo’s official Twitter account (what irresponsible parent is letting their three year old on the internet?) asked how everyone was feeling, prompting the Twitterverse (or is that the X-verse now?) to collectively inform this furry little child of the horrors that exist beyond Sesame Street. You know things aren’t great when we’re trauma-dumping to a Muppet.

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INCYMI: December

First up we have Tesco, helping you be a little more Christmas, positing a world where you can transform into a giant Christmas ornament upon visiting their store. The ad manages to be heart-warming and not the Lovecraftian nightmare it could be, focusing on a father’s journey to jolly his son into the holiday spirit.

Following a similar theme of parental bonding, a mother and daughter go on a quest to give a gift to Santa in Boot’s newest ads. The family drop off gifts along the way, combining the twin Christmas values of giving and rampant capitalism. The only thing stopping them from entering the big league this year is the next company, who manages to pull off a similar premise in a sweeter way.

The modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly, red-suited man was popularised by Coca-Cola in the 1930s, and they aren’t going to let you forget it. The 2023 festive ad ‘The World Needs More Santas’ is an ode to kindness and iconic branding.

Apple is making sure you pray at their shiny, chrome altar this year, with two campaigns that knock it out of the park. Both playing on the ideas of togetherness and storytelling, their Christmas ad, ‘Fuzzy Feelings’, tells the heart-warming story of a woman looking at her grumpy boss with new eyes, thanks to the help of some highly emotive stop-motion animation. The second, brought to us by Taika Waititi, is a sweet short about accessibility, as a little girl tries to find a voice for her furry monster pal.

Not every Christmas ad is here to shove togetherness down our throats though, as Q Mixers remembers some of us have to spend this time with our sky-news watching uncle or hippy cousins. Fix Your Cocktails, Not Your Family is a campaign to remind viewers nothing can stop you from having to talk to your extended family this Christmas, but you can get so blind drunk you don’t remember what they said.

KFC is releasing a perfume, as apparently not all of us worked at a drive-thru counter during our teenage years and still cringe when we think of the smell.

Speaking of horror, Queensland Health has decided if that Baz Luhrmann song didn’t work, they’re gonna terrify you into slip, slop, slapping, dammit! The resulting horror-movie inspired campaign does a great job of reminding Australians the sun is not our friend and wants to kill us at all times.

Maccas erected a giant soft-serve machine in St Kilda last weekend to celebrate the launch of their new Chocolate flavour. Apparently they went the whole two days without anyone sticking their mouths underneath the nozzle like a Simpsons cartoon, proving everyone on that beach was a coward.

Looking for something to watch these holidays? Australian film distributor Umbrella Entertainment has created a free streaming service focusing on classic Australian film and television content. There’s plenty here to help you tune out almost all the family arguments and annoying relatives until the fresh hope and freedom of January kicks in.

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