Adrian Elton cracks the internet with a guerrilla tilt at the Voice referendum

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 6 October 2023

Independent creative Adrian Elton, known for his manipulation of reality, has another cheeky campaign scorching the digital social world with a guerrilla tilt at the Voice referendum.

He says the tagline, Don't Guess. Vote Yes, took off when businessman and political activist Simon Holmes à Court shared the campaign on social media earlier this week.

“There's literally been a rate of five Twitter notifications a second in the time since with tens of thousands of views that I literally can't keep up with,” he told AdNews.

Elton's stunts, including making it look like he’s taken over digital billboards, make tongue in cheek statements on social responsibility and politics.

the voice campaign - adrian elton

His now famous 2019 work took a swipe at billionaire Clive Palmer spending $60 million and not getting one seat in parliament and declaring: Should've come to Ikea.

This new campaign, Don't Guess. Vote Yes, was actually written by his mother.

“I think my 'ads' are resonating because I'm able to say things a little more stridently and unpolitically correctly than the official campaigns which understandably need to play things considerably more circumspectly - particularly in light of the highly charged atmosphere surrounding the referendum,” says Elton.

“As I have generated these ads in complete isolation, there are none of the usual processes that would typically file down the sharp edges to make things more palatable.

“That being the case, I think there's a lot of catharsis for people seeing 'ads' that reflect the frustration that they're feeling, and that I'm feeling, with the toxic negativity and outright lies that are spewing, geyser-like, from the 'no' camp and senior politicians who should operate at a far higher level of integrity and accountability.”

The voice adrian elton oct 2203

He generated images of politicians with AI, using MidJourney, so no photographer, publication, or even the politicians in question, can claim that photographs are being used without permission.

“While my original Geez Clive went viral as a one-off, in this case I really wanted to create something that was a campaign, that could explore the topic in a variety of ways," he says.

“Creating a consistent 'look and feel' that evoked the colours of the Aboriginal flag was important to visually anchor the visuals.

“I was very careful to not use any of the official 'Yes' logos or materials either as I didn't want to cause any confusion or blow-back for them.”

The photos of the billboard sites were taken by Elton. He also removed the logos of outdoor media companies, heading off angry calls from No proponents.

Elton's variation of the official Yes logo was recreated to say Hell Yeah.

"This has also been going ballistic with people printing them as corflutes and posters and using it as their social media profile image," he says. 

Hell yeah adrian elton



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