Pollutants from gas stoves are ‘Hot & Toxic’ in this spoof of high-drama reality TV

Trailer for the fictional show profiles various terrible housemates in campaign from Zulu Alpha Kilo NY and the Gas Leaks Project

Published On
Mar 05, 2024
A woman in a striped shirt looks horrified as she watches a woman walk half-naked down a hallway

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Toxicity isn’t exclusive to the personalities on “Love Island” or “Vanderpump Rules.” It can be found in your own home, the Gas Leaks project argues in its latest humorous PSA via Zulu Alpha Kilo New York.

Crafted as a two-minute trailer for a reality TV series, “Hot & Toxic,” directed by Edmond Hawkins, a comedy director, writer and producer known for his work on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” introduces us to a homeowner who “has to live with the hottest, most toxic housemates imaginable.” 

The parody opens as new homeowner Janet tells the camera she just purchased her dream home, doting on her new kitchen and her “gorgeous” gas stove. However, a narrator warns viewers that through this appliance, “Janet has unknowingly let some explosive personalities into her home.” 

 

As Janet fires up the stove to cook a meal, the camera pans to a new character who enters the home in a brightly colored glitter dress—Nitrogen Dioxide. 

The ad continues as title slides introduce new characters named after toxins found in natural gas that personify their negative health effects. Carbon Monoxide invites viewers to call her “C-Mo” as in “see mo’ life-threatening health problems,” and Nitrogen Dioxide describes herself as having a “body to die for” since she will “probably make you die.” 

Janet, meanwhile, becomes increasingly confused and overwhelmed as the narrator introduces 21 toxic housemates who enter her home for the show. 

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Cameo footage of the characters, such as Benzene, highlight drama that ensues as more personalities come in. Benzene describes himself as a Cancer, both for his astrological and his cancer-causing qualities. And Hexane’s arrival causes commotion as the other participants become increasingly heated, leading to arguments. 

The spot comes to a head when Janet breaks down after repeated attempts to escape the unwelcome guests fail.

The public service campaign comes as attention regarding dependence on natural gas grows after the Biden Administration decided to temporarily pause permitting new gas export facilities in January, according to press materials. 

“While recent studies have created a sense of urgency around the elevated health risks associated with methane gas in the home, it’s not always easy or accessible for people to understand,” said James Hadgis, executive director of the Gas Leaks Project in a statement. 

A billboard showing the cast of the fictitious “Hot & Toxic” reality show

Humor seemed like the best way to get the message across, added Tim Gordon, partner and chief creative officer at Zulu Alpha Kilo NY. 

“We’re bombarded with bad news every day,” he said. “There are so many serious issues that it’s easy to become desensitized to them. Humor felt like the smartest creative way in—we wanted to educate people on the dangers of ‘natural’ gas without making them feel bad about it.”

The campaign, backed by a more than $1 million digital advertising investment, is launched in conjunction with a petition to the Consumer Product Safety Commission asking that it require manufacturers and distributors of gas stoves to include warning labels informing consumers about the dangerous health impacts.

Launched on Monday (March 4), it also features billboards in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., as well as short-form social media content and digital ads, all of which appear as a promotion for the fake show.

Credits

Date
Mar 05, 2024
Client :
Gas Leaks Project
Agency :
Zulu Alpha Kilo New York
Chairman :
Zak Mroueh
Chief Creative Officer :
Tim Gordon
Creative Director :
Dan Cummings
Creative Director :
Vic Bath
Creative Team :
Tilden Lincoln
Creative Team :
Lizzie Cox
Executive Producer :
Katie Harris
Managing Director :
Meghan Mullen
Group Account Director :
Caroline Engram
Account Supervisor :
Ela Profka
Head of Strategy :
Emily Garvey
Strategy Director :
Spencer MacEachern
Communications Planning Director :
Annie Yuan
Production Company :
Method + Madness
Executive Producer :
Jonathan Becker
Executive Producer :
Casey Lock
Director :
Edmond Hawkins
Director of Photography :
Dominic Easter
Photographer :
Mary Beth Koeth
Line Producer :
Alex Leach
Production Coordinator :
Dave Forrest
Casting Director :
Arenas Casting
Editorial Company :
Zulubot
Editor :
Max Lawlor
Assistant Editor :
Adrian Gluvakovich
Senior Producer :
Lena Hamady
Telecine & Online Artist :
Felipe Chaparro
VFX Artist :
Miguel Natividad
Audio Company :
Barking Owl
Executive Producer :
Ashley Benton
Producer :
Jenna Pangilinan
Mixer :
Mikayla Peterson
Executive Director :
James Hadgis
Senior Director of Communications :
Maria Luisa Cesar
Program Director :
Caleb Heeringa

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