April 1 roundup: tweeting pens; six month ads; pitch doctors for pitch doctors; Seven’s new drama; Nessie in the harbour

As an annual service, Mumbrella rounds up some topical news stories and ads for April 1.

Super slo-mo

The first release – announcing a slo-mo camera that allows a single ad to be stretched for six months – comes from post production house FSM:

One of the most common techniques used in commercial advertising and sports broadcasting is the super slow motion camera. Schweppes, Hyundai, Leggos, NRL, AFL and a host of multi-national advertisers and broadcasters are some recent high-profile examples.

Now, Sydney post production company FSM has released details of a radical new camera, the FSM FIT ™ or Frozen in Time extreme speed data camera that allows a 60-second commercial to take up to six months to be seen from start to finish.  

“It’s so slow you’d swear it wasn’t moving – and with digital channels and advertisers looking for new innovations, they can run a single TV ad in the corner of the screen during programming for an entire six months.

“Consumers will be transfixed and advertisers will have levels of engagement and screen time they’ve never been able to achieve before,” said FSM co-founder Rick Schweikert.

The camera records in yottabytes, which is the equivalent of one quadrillion gigabytes.

Rick Schweikert added: “We’ve seen extraordinary development in technology and especially so with data and super slo-mo cameras. But we’ve taken the concept to a new level. Developing a camera that shoots at such high speeds and needs so much storage, it’s virtually unusable. And in a world first, we developed the post production pathway before releasing the camera. Who does that?”

FSM On SetThe development escalated as FSM was launching FSM ON_SET, their offering to the production community to manage, backup and archive masses of camera data. This is a camera that moves beyond petabytes of storage.

The camera is so high speed, so fast, so sharp and uses so much storage there is no option but for creatives to consider it as the next best thing. It is sharper than sharp. It’s higher than high speed. And there are 48 stereo audio channels. The sound guys will go nuts.

Using the latest proprietary encoder, the dot F3M ™ codec, the FIT ™ camera can shoot at frame rates from 24 fps (suitable for US productions) up to an astounding 525,321 frames per second. Used at its higher frame rate the pictures are extraordinary. And FSM ON_SET knows how to manage all those frames.

Said FSM head of production, Dean Sutherland: “You’d swear it was a freeze frame. But it’s not, it’s just very slow.”

FSM co-owner Steve Dunn continued: “We’ve developed a camera that leaves the others quivering for attention. A camera that shoots at such a high rate, with such clarity it will be the benchmark of the industry. We even developed the post production pathway before the camera is released. Imagine knowing what to do with the footage before the camera has hit the market. When you’re dealing with 525,321 frames in a second, believe me, editors and post companies get very excited. And so do storage companies like Lacie who are now considering a B Double drive just for this camera.”

Pitch doctors for pitch doctors

Now Screen has announced a new product in response to the large number of pitch consultants. The product will run a pitch to help the client find the right pitch doctor.

According to Now Screen’s Mark Silcocks: “Now there are so many companies competing in the Client Advisory space, that Clients have become equally confused about which advisor they should use and actually spend more time choosing a pitch consultant than an agency.”

The new service has been named Russian Roulette. Silcocks said: “The beauty of the business model is that we can charge rolling commissions from everyone the whole way along the buying process: from the Client, from the advisor, from the agencies and ideally a cut of the advertising spend as well.”

Twitter auction of PR agency

Independent public relations agency Impact Communications says that it’s bidding to buy WPP’s PR agency Hill & Knowlton.

Accordign to the release, “Impact’s directors suggest an appropriate way to measure the value of the Hill & Knowlton would be to release the company’s figures and then hold a Twitter-based auction using the hash tag #h&ktakeover.”

According to Impact’s Nicole Webb: “We see Hill and Knowlton as IMPACT’S ‘hot little sister’.”

The release concludes: “Impact’s directors will be available for interview until midday on Friday 1 April. Both have a great sense or humour.”

Harbour monster

Yahoo!7 is reporting that a “nessie-like” creature has been spotted in Sydney harbour.

nessie harbour

World Cup win

Sports site The Roar reports that Australia has won the 2022 World Cup after all.

red balloon jetJet ski

Experience company red balloon is offering gift vouchers for experiences such as “intense water skiing” by being towed by an F-16 jet

Vigilante attacks on backpackers

Mumbrella’s sister title for the independent travel industry, Thumbrella, reports vigilante attacks on backpackers camping in beach car parks: “We spotted one vehicle which had been spray painted with offensive slogans. However, closer inspection revealed it was in fact a Wicked Camper van.”

A pen that tweets

An ad running across both Fairfax and News Ltd papers for Artline announces the Artline Tweeter 140: “You write it, it tweets at the same time!”


Pet high chair

Ikea is advertising a high chair for dogs. It says: “Dinner time is when the family comes together so it makes sense to include the family’s best friend!”.

But the smallprint warns: “Dog not included”.

Krispy Kreme doughnut hole puncherDoughnut hole puncher

Krispy Kreme is advertising a $110k job for “an enthusiastic individual to put holes in our doughnuts”. It adds: “The right applicant must be comfortable working with both glazed and assorted varieties.”

If you’re not sik, you can’t have the custom plate

The previously unknown Australian Bureau of Motorways (or ABMW, if you prefer) based on Bavarian Motor Works Road in Canberra, reveals a custom plate recall.

It says: “Custom plates are no longer permitted to make wild assertions of a vehicle’s performance, its perceived effect on members of the opposite sex, or the otherwise ‘sikness’, ‘hotness’ or ‘badness’ of a vehicle, where the vehicle in question is neither ‘sick’, ‘hot’, ‘bad’ nor possessing any kind of ‘ness’.”

Like a Bieber

Australian Business Traveller reports that Justin Bieber is to be the new face of Virgin Blue and will record a cover version of Like A Virgin as part of the campaign.

In praise of Comic Sans

Design title Desktop reveals it is planning a sepcial edition dedicated to the cheesy font of Comic Sans.

Desktop promises: “A nine-page feature on the creator of the Comic Sans typeface – former Microsoft in-house font designer Vincent Connare.”

3D iPad

Seven’s Sunrise this mornign reported the launch of the iPad 3d.

Mess for Wolfie

Meanwhile, Mumbrella isn’t sure if the back page story on The Manly Daily has been written to match the date. It reports that Manly’s NRL team is suffering from a problem with dog poo on Brookdale Oval.

AFR’s user generated headline initiative

And, the Australian Financial Review appears to have carried out its own prank. In the edition that reached Mumbrella, one of its front page stories has a blank space rather than a headline. Presumably, readers can write their own headline using the Artline Tweeter 140.

Pirate eBay

File sharing site Pirate Bay reports that it has bought eBay after an auction on eBay. It said: “We saw that eBay was up for sale on their own site and since we have a long going law suit against them for abuse of our trademark name “pirat(ebay)”, we wanted to be pragmatic and just use our immense profits to buy them.”

No fooling from Borders

Another ad that could be an April Fool but doesn;t appear to be comes from the administrators of Borders and Angus & Robertson. It tells customers that after Sunday “the administrators will not be in a position to honour gift cards beyond 3 April”.

Fnuky BBDO – or Clnuky?

The most bitter rivals in Adelaide are to merge, AdTown reports.

According to the SA website: “Despite a fairly well publicised barney a while back, it seems David Campbell and Kim Boehm of Clemenger have now well and truly made up – or at least will be soon enough! In a move that is sure to knock your socks off, and possibly your shoes as well, Fnuky and Clemenger have announced a merger with the new entity to be operating as a single group effective July 1.”

Drive-through confessionals

Melbourne’s Herald Sun reports that Father Bob McGuire is offering a “pray-as-you-go” drive through confessional.

A revolving bagel

Nett magazine reveals that: “Search giant Google has today reported that its indexing algorithms have discovered what appears to be the edge of the internet as we know it.” It adds: “Today’s discovery has revealed that the internet is actually shaped more like a constantly revolving bagel, with Google at its centre.”

Black Friday

The Spy Report reports:

“The Seven Network announced today that it had commissioned a new drama series based on “Friday”, the hit single from the American singer Rebecca Black.

“Seven said in a statement this morning that it had ordered a twenty-six episode run of the series, which will be produced by FremantleMedia.”

Blackberry – no screen

Technology site ZDNet reports the introduction of the screenless Blackberry Dauntless. Asked about the lack of predictive text, a spokesman tells ZDNet: “It’s QWERTY — what on earth do you need that for? It’s been around for almost 140 years. There’s been plenty of time to practice. You’re an iPhone user, aren’t you?”

Tech crunches

Other tech stories include the ABC’s tale that Twitter is to charge per tweet and Macworld’s report that Apple boss Steve Jobs is resigning to work with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, sealing a friendship built up by their membrship of the same Friday night bowling league.

The other bridge climb

Group buying site Ouffer is offering a new Sydney bridge climb – Iron Cove Bridge.


Pay what you weigh

“Decrease your airfare and your waistline” with Grabaseat, a service that prices air fares according to the weight of the passenger. The check in will now be referred to as the ‘weigh in’. “We’ll collect any additional fare due at that time so make sure you lay off the pies and Tim Tams before you travel,” advises the site.

The Capper

Fronted by AFL’s Warwick Capper wearing a white towling bath robe, a Facebook promotion for Quickbeds is pushing Australia’s first six-star hotel. To be managed by Capper, the hotel’s restaurant menu will be designed by celebrity chefs and staffed by former Australian models and athletes. The hotel is “set to establish a new standard for Australian luxury.”

Circular Head to ban the barbie

According to an article in The Advocate, the council of Circular Head is to ban the barbeque as part of a plan to promote healthier eating and lifestyles.

“It’s certainly a high-steaks game,” CH general manager Greg Winton was quoted to have said. ”There’s no doubt it will be a hot issue.”

Mayor Quilliam added: ”Our sauces indicate this may not be a popular move.”

Insurance for the dead is promoting Afterlife Easy cover, with which “you can rest assured, when you’re laid to rest, assured.”

The site advises would-be customers to “call, email or oujia” Afterlife Easy’s 24 hour call centre for guidance on how to enter the Pearly Gates, cross the River Styx, or gain entry to the Elysium Fields.

All sorts of death are covered – except for comedic death.

Afterlife Easy cover also includes ‘Atheism protection’: “Worried the atheists, agnostics and humanists are right? WN Afterlife Insurance will guarantee that your spirit will be carried off to a happier place. (Actual heaven may differ from advertised product.)”

New Apple TV

The 50 inch Apple Television will enable the user to install TV channels in the same way you can download apps from the iPhone apps store.

Apple Television

The super-thin tele will be gesture controlled; a channel can be changed or the volume adjusted with the wave of a hand.

KFC’s sans chicken chicken burger

Taken from KFC’s Facebook page, the fast food chain is sending up its own controversial new bunless chicken burger The Double, with a chicken burger without chicken.

Energy you inhalf

Boca Lupo has bought out an energy drink – without the drink – according to a newspaper ad which links to an online ad, where the April fool is revealed.

“We are truly revolutionising the energy drink market by removing the drink. That’s right, we’re introducing energy vapour. It’s energy you inhale!,” reads the ad.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.