Ad Nut
Nov 1, 2018

F**k is all you need?

Two new campaigns feature wordplay on the F-word. Doesn't this easy ploy for attention ever get old?

There's nothing wrong with using a play on words or a misspelling to suggest a naughty word in an attempt to grab attention, Ad Nut supposes.

Sure, the tactic already seemed old when French Connection UK employed "fcuk" as its logo starting in the 1990s. And these days, Ad Nut sees plenty of hats and T-shirts that dispense with subtlety and misspellings altogether. They just use the word in plain text, and no one seems to bat an eye.

So it won't be long before the F-word is wholly uncontroversial, if it isn't already. Sorry, George Carlin (RIP), but these days you can say it on TV, or at least on pay TV.

But for the time being, the word is still raunchy enough that using it for a bit of wordplay can grab enough eyeballs to make a viable advertising campaign—in markets that appreciate irreverence, anyway.

Just in the last two days, Ad Nut's old oak tree has received word of two Australian campaigns that do just that. You can swipe through them above. First we have Remedy Kombucha asking us to tell sugar to "get fruct" in an ad by AJF Partnership. Then we have a restaurant chain called Grill'd going on about "motherfakers" and "motherslackers" and "motherlovers", in work by The Royals.

Oddly, both campaigns seem to assume that they're making clear points. But Ad Nut is not sure. Is Remedy saying that its drink has natural fructose, which is better than sugar, or that it doesn't have fructose at all, or something else? As for Grill'd, "mother" presumably refers to "mother nature", and after a considerable time pondering, Ad Nut guesses that the dastardly "motherfakers" and "motherslackers" are the brand's less environmentally conscious competitors.  

Come on, friends, Ad Nut no like think so hard! Perhaps a smidge more copy was called for in both cases? Or is that too much to freaking ask? 

CREDITS - Remedy

Creative: Josh Stephens, George Freckleton, Ed Carveth, Brent Liebenberg
Account Management: Sarah Tukua, Xavier Hogan, Tom Bennett
Planning: Jill Cummins
Client: Remedy Kombucha
Laura Hindson
Phoebe Miller
Alistair McLean
Alicia Holmquest
Brooke Williams
Molly Wellington
Media Agency: Hot Glue
Lewis Hearn
Tanya Lincke

CREDITS - Grill'd

Founder: Simon Crowe
CEO: Adam Stapleton
Chief Marketing Officer: Col Kennedy
Marketing Manager: Ingrid Kelly

The Royals
Managing Partner: Steve O’Farrell
Creative Director: Andy Jones
Associate Creative Director: Iain MacMillan
Senior Creative: Andrew Grinter
Senior Creative: Lee Spencer
Design Director: Gavin Wright
Designer: Victoria O'Neill
Designer: Zoe Coombs
Senior Producer:  Brenton Matulick
Senior Planner: Heleen Hidskes
Group Account Director: Matt Parker
Senior Account Manager: Emma Harrison

Photographer: Danny Eastwood
Producer: Cameron Gray, The Pool Collective
Food Stylist: Kirsty Bryson

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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