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Volume 428

Thinking about a European city break? Think again. This week’s coolsh*t is bringing you admonitory anti-advertising, a proboscidean PR stunt, and an animated accountant who wants your money and your love. We’ve also got the latest episode of the podcast, featuring a debate between some experts over whether AI needs to be put on the naughty step for a bit.

Amsterdamage Limitation.

Are you looking for a good time? Well then don’t even think about going to Amsterdam. They’ve just launched a campaign targeting young British men, telling them to ‘stay away’ if the purpose of their visit is anything less than utterly wholesome. Having grown sick of being known principally for sex and drug tourism, the City of Amsterdam authorities are conducting an anti-marketing campaign to remind the world of all the other things they have to offer besides smoking, drinking and shagging. Like, for example… err… tulips… windmills? I’m out. Actually, The Netherlands is also the tallest nation in Europe, so there’s that too. And they must be even taller now from that high horse they appear to be perched upon. Although you can’t help but wonder if this warning to stay away isn’t a bit of a red rag to a bellend. Being told to stay away from somewhere is like seeing a big button that says ‘do not push’ – it’s tantalising. So they might actually end up with even more unbearable Brits abroad stumbling around their streets and drowning in their canals. If they wanted more tourism, this could be an ingenious case study in reverse psychology marketing. But if it isn’t, then I’m afraid to say it’s a shwing and a mish.

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Let’s Get Fiscal.

Over the last few years MSCHF have built quite a reputation for themselves as the impish shithouses of the fashion/art world. But in comparison to some of their previous products – including a Nike Air Max infused with human blood – last week’s release, a shoe that can be worn backwards as well as forwards, felt a little meh. But just as I was preparing to write them off as having run out of ideas, MSCHF drop ‘Tax Haven 3000’, a dating simulator that also files your income taxes. That’s more bloody like it. And they’ve even made it appeal to those weirdos who are just a little too into anime, with the main character taking the form of a ‘waifu’ who has always dreamt of meeting someone special and filing their tax returns. Suitable for singles without dependents, Tax Heaven 3000 covers the 2022 1040: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, checking eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, American Opportunity Credit, and more. And people say romance is dead.

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Mammoth Balls.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if coolsh*t imitates life or if life imitates coolsh*t. A few weeks ago we looked at a Biotech company who claimed to have the intention and the capability to reincarnate the woolly mammoth within the next 4 years. At the time, that sounded like a load of balls. But now a different company of lunatics have used that same mammoth DNA to make… a load of balls. Meatballs, to be precise. Meatballs made from 4,000-year-old woolly mammoth flesh, to be even more precise. The meatball was unveiled at the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam this week. But it’s not really for eating; it’s meant to provide a symbol of diversity loss in the context of the ‘climate crisis’. Well, that’s rather spoiled my appetite. I’ll have to take this in an enormous doggy bag to go, please. While nobody has actually eaten the mammoth ball, the aim of the project is to use an extreme example to highlight the potential for lab-grown meat produced from cells without the need to slaughter any animals. And I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t getting me in the mood for some brontosaurus bacon and dodo eggs. Oh, what the hell, throw in a deep-fried Irrawaddy River dolphin while you’re at it. You can really taste the sentience.

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Head’s Gone.

What MSCHF are to art, Liquid Death are to canned water. In both cases, they represent irreverence in a space filled with people, collectives and brands who take themselves rather seriously. For example, Liquid Death recently conducted a ‘Blind Tase Test’ in which they electrocuted one of their online trolls – I’m very happy to be proven wrong, but it’s hard to imagine San Pellegrino, Badoit or Perrier doing that. And Liquid Death’s latest ad certainly catches the eye. In fact, for the poor bloke in it, it catches both eyes, nose, ears, mouth and everything else attached to his head. The aqua afficionados launched their new partnership with Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets by having the first-round draft pick dribble a screaming, disembodied human head while children watch on gleefully cheering. Why? Because of the same strategy behind all of Liquid Death’s marketing: “Dunno, might be funny, init”. Is this all a bit daft? Probably. But it’s all part of the carefully considered brand image that Liquid Death have created for themselves – and that’s an image that very clearly delineates them from every other brand in their sector. So, really, the genius of Liquid Death lies in their daftness. Indeed, the genius of Liquid Death definitely lies in their defining deft daftness. Try saying that 3 times backwards without a head.

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Liquid Life.

According to the IHME Global Health Data Exchange Tool, “pollution kills three times as many people as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined”. That must have been one hell of a weekend. Probably a stag do in Amsterdam. Planting trees in forests is a commonly used strategy by companies and governments looking to lower CO2 in the air, but in densely populated cities, simply planting a load of trees isn’t really an option. That’s why you can often feel as if you need an iron lung after taking in a deep inhalation of that crisp London morning air. Fortunately, a bunch of Serbian scientists have got a solution: liquid trees. Also dubbed LIQUID 3, the trees each contain 600 litres of water and work by using microalgae to bind carbon dioxide and produce pure oxygen through photosynthesis, thus improving air quality. Problem solved. And if you think that this level of innovation is impressive, did you know that baked beans are baked after they’re put into the tins? We live in a wild world.

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Slaves to the Algorithm: Social Media and the Decay of the Developing Mind.

If you haven’t read our new white paper yet, we would implore you to do so HERE.

But if you’d rather something a little more personal, we’ll be hosting an event to dig deeper into the paper and answer any of your burning questions. We’ll be discussing the future of our industry and the impact it can (and needs to) have on the world beyond it, so it’s probably a good one not to miss…

Join us at Soho Works White City, 6:30pm on Wednesday April 19th as we reveal all.

Reserve your place now:

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