News

INCYMI: April

Tourism South Australia learnt a hard lesson about the internet when they asked the media not to refer to the capital city as RADelaide. Just ask BOM (and pointedly not The Bureau), you can’t give yourself a nickname, you can’t fight the nicknames given to you, and any attempt to hide or remove information will just increase public awareness of it.

RSPCA has had their first rebrand in fifty years. As the organisation celebrates its 200th anniversary, they’ve switched up the classic octagon for bright colours and fun animal stencils. To be fair, we’d probably all dye our hair electric blue if we reached 200.

We all remember where we were when we first saw Dove’s real beauty ad, right? To mark twenty years of ride-or-die dedication to fighting toxic beauty standards, Dove has pledged to never use AI-generated imagery to represent “real bodies” in its advertising.

American television promised us so much in terms of iconic, exciting, new foods, but when you get there you find out everything is made of corn syrup and tastes like plastic. For those formerly of the commonwealth and now living in the land of the free, Marmite’s new campaign has recruited ‘smugglers’ to sneak the spread into the USA. Those willing to accept their mission can team up with the less cool version of Vegemite and sneak the contraband to expats who miss the salty taste of home.

The cost of living crisis has kept a lot of people from leaving the nest. This can be hard on children and parents alike, but unfortunately this is the monkey’s paw deal mum and dad entered when purchasing a home for spare change and shiny beads last century, so we’re only making things less awkward for the children. Sprite has launched the “Knocklace Collection,” high-tech jewellery that alerts you when parents are nearby. Aimed at young adults living at home, the necklace warns you when family is about to encroach on your personal territory.

A mailer campaign for new horror flick The First Omen sent out envelopes containing creepy children’s drawings of scenes from the film. The drawback to this inventive plan – the explanation this was not in fact the worst mail you’ve ever received came in a follow up letter, giving you plenty of time to freak out and call the police, as one woman discovered. Scaring someone so badly they call the authorities would usually mean you’ve failed at your PR campaign, but when it’s advertising a horror movie, success may be measured differently.

Ad standards has cracked down on ad by The Climate Study Group running in The Australian and the Herald Sun, due to it being indistinguishable from a real article. The important context here is The Climate Study Group is an unincorporated group of seven conservative men, and not actually anything of actual study or intelligence. Not disclosing your pseudoscience and conspiracy is a paid ad and not a real article puts you in the kind of hot water you can now find in Antarctica.

If you liked 500 Days of Summer but burn easily, this is for you. Cerave’s latest ad is a pitch perfect recreation of a rom-com trailer, down to the clumsy protagonist and comic relief best friends, aimed at inspiring viewers to fall in love with sunscreen.

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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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