Everything costs a fortune in Australia. Seriously—electricity and petrol have risen 70 percent in the last five years, and a train ride from Sydney’s airport to the city takes more than an hour to earn on Australia’s minimum wage. Any Australian can tell you prices for things that used to be bastions of unpretentious affordability—like the meat pie, the thong (the kind that goes on your foot) or a train ticket—but are now just another thing that empties your pocket.
A lighthearted new commercial from the underwear brand Rio gives Australians permission to be cheap when it comes to their underthings, making it look silly to splurge on items that have become unnecessarily upscale. “They’re not an investment—you don’t pass them down to your kids!” the voiceover reminds viewers, concluding with the line “Let’s put some reality back into underwear.” Practicality rules in today’s New Normal climate, and brands with a value offer have plenty of opportunity to position themselves as a modern refuge of affordability.