If you were to head to Maximus Australia‘s ‘About’ section on their Facebook, you’d find them encouraging people to share things to ”the man cave”, like funny shit or ‘manly’ behaviour involving their ‘man-size’ bottles of sports drink.
What you’ll actually find, however, is people who are straight-up disgusted with their misguided attempt to create a ‘highly shareable’ marketing campaign for Australia Day.
“Hi, just wanted to say I’m totally disgusted at the advertising I saw at Southern Cross this morning,” said Facebook user Sum Ambepitiya on their page this morning. “Could you think of a less appropriate slogan following what’s widely known as Survival Day amongst Indigenous people? You know you DIDN’T survive Survival day?????”
‘Survival Day’ is a commonly used name for January 26th by Indigenous Australians and allies, to mark the day as one of mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people. So, yeah, thousands upon thousands of people – not to mention entire languages – did not survive Survival Day.
The banner appeared outside Southern Cross Station in Melbourne this morning, according to a second Facebook post by Ambepitiya. Y’know – grab a free drink, take a photo with the sign, power through your day hungover AF from your Australia Day bbq because you’re a total LEGEND, right? #sharable #implementation #viral
She isn’t the only one in total disgust.
“Your banner at Southern Cross station is insensitive, disgusting, and ignorant. Why did you choose to trivialise the suffering of Australia’s First people by associating ‘surviving’ with your energy drink? Do you mean to imply that your product should be celebrated in accordance with the mass genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people?” – Chantelle Dobunaba
“Blown away to see your advertising at Southern Cross today. Seriously? Whoever thought that was appropriate needs to take some time out for a history lesson.” – Creenagh Fay
“Your banner at Southern Cross was a pretty unpleasant sight today. I can’t believe the insensitivity of ‘I Survived Australia Day’ made it past anyone, let alone a whole marketing team.” – Ella Meave
Need we go on?
In what will come as little surprise, Frucor – who own Maximus Australia – has not responded to our requests for comment at the time of writing, nor has the design agency apparently responsible.
But they have replied to a FB user who slammed their campaign as “tone deaf”, saying:
“We regret using these words in our campaign and we apologise. The signs have been removed from the three sampling locations and we won’t be using them again. The signs were part of a wider campaign that aimed to promote hydration after Australia Day, but on reflection we acknowledge that using these words was a mistake. One again we apologise for causing offence.”
Everyone involved in the campaign rn:
Updated at 3:22pm.
Maximus Australia have issued a statement to PEDESTRIAN.TV, which is the Facebook reply word-for-word:
“We regret using the words ‘I survived Australia Day’ in our campaign and we apologise. The signs have been removed from the three sampling locations and we won’t be using them again. The signs were part of a wider campaign that aimed to promote hydration after Australia Day, but on reflection we acknowledge that using these words was a mistake. Once again we apologise for causing offence.”
Source / Photo: Facebook.