We've seen plenty of weird and wonderful ads over the years, but not many that choose to highlight product safety and Lesbian Visibility Week through the medium of giant wasps. But that's exactly what the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has done, and it's kind of amazing.
You wouldn't expect an organisation as seemingly prosaic as the USCPSC to be known for its wacky social media ads, but here we are. The meme-filled official government Twitter page has been entertaining users for years, and its latest ad might be its weirdest yet. (Looking for more inspiration? Check out the best print ads and best billboard advertising of all time.)
I could explain the image to you, but I can't possibly do as good a job as the alt text description on Twitter, so I'll just paste it in full:
Two moms and their daughter having breakfast in their lovely home. A large yellow and black wasp about the size of a dog is on their kitchen island. No one seemed to notice it come in, but now it is definitely there. The daughter, blissfully unafraid, says, "Look, moms! A friend!" One mom continues enjoying breakfast. She hasn't yet noticed the wasp. The other mom stops cooking and looks over her shoulder with a smile that is about to be replaced with a look of deep concern and says, "Whaaaaat". The text reads: It's not always this easy to find something dangerous in your home. Check for unsafe products on SaferProducts.gov
Yep, it's as wild as it sounds. And to make matters weirder, both the stock imagery and Photoshopping are hilariously crude. And as well as drawing attention to household dangers, the tweet features the hashtag #LesbianVisibilityDay. There's so much going on – the entire thing is complete and utter chaos, and it seems there are plenty of Twitter users who aren't familiar with the USCPSC's social media strategy. Cue countless baffled reactions.
What the hell is going on here 😂 https://t.co/JlR9b37z0tApril 28, 2022
But don't worry, it's meant to be ridiculous. The USCPSC has been posting like this for a long time. According to The Verge (opens in new tab), the account was helmed by Joseph Galbo, a social media specialist for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Before Galbo joined, the account was as dull as you'd expect, but he wanted to "use fun to engage people with science and engage them with concepts that are complicated".
So there we have it, I'll be keeping an eye out for dog-sized wasps and other dangers in my own home. From Meta's trippy VR ad to Burberry's floating people, we've seen some strange ads lately – but the USCPSC has just taken the weird crown. If you're inspired to create an ad of your own, check out our guide on how to download Photoshop.