Reading the room | Internet picks of the Week | 15 January '21

Wrong Way 1600

“In these troubling times” is a phrase that has been ubiquitous since March 2020, being used as a catch-all for everything from the impact of Covid-19 to changing face of global politics.

Some groan when they hear it, others take comfort from the acknowledgement that this is not simply something that is impacting them; either way, one phrase has the ability to split a crowd. One of the biggest challenges for advertisers is, therefore, the ability to read the room and make the call that their messaging going to land as predicted or, sometimes, going to make the right waves. This week we take a look at how brands have fared in recent weeks.

Jab and Don’t Go

Whilst there has been a recent surge in the Over 50’s booking trips abroad (see BBC article), Ryanair’s new, unsurprisingly, provocative “jab and go” advert has drawn thousands of complaints from viewers. As well as a backlash on social media, with users calling it ‘disgusting’ and ‘insensitive’. The TV advert launched on Boxing Day – despite much of the country facing stricter restrictions meaning international travel is off-limits. The advert features a small bottled labelled “vaccine” and a syringe encouraging the public to book Easter and summer holidays today with Ryanair. The ASA has received around 1,600 complaints and is currently investigating the case.

Find out more on the Drum here.

Insurrection and Perspiration

A tweet from American brand Axe(the equivalent of Lynx) has gathered lots of attention earlier this week in relation to the storming of the United States Capitol. When a journalist tweeted a picture of a bizarre memento left behind by the mob- a solitary can of Axe body spray, the brand took to Twitter to clear the air. They publicly condemned the violence and declared they “believe in the democratic process and the peaceful transition of power”. But did they read the room?

Some Twitter users were quick to mock the brand with one Twitter user feeling it was cringe-worthy: “At last. The millions of people who look to Axe Body Spray for moral leadership needed to hear this message”; while others applauded the brand for speaking out.

Check out the 4k+ quote tweets to see what people are saying

Cadbury’s Golden Goobilee

Finally, Cadbury’s have been racking up the press inches with their new take on their famous “How do you eat yours?” tagline. Amongst the myriad of options from Lickers, Dippers, Bakers and Egg-sperts, they have also introduced Sharers, featuring a same-sex couple sharing an egg with a kiss with the voiceover announcing “We’re down with that”. Whilst this will predictably incite bigots and the Joey Tribbianis of the world who don’t share food, Cadburys have decided that doing the right thing by showing support of their diverse fanbase is a wave they are happy to ride.

Watch the advert below and find out more on attitude here.

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