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Phil Swift Slaps On Flex Tape refers to a two-panel image showing the Flex Tape spokesman Phil Swift slapping a piece of Flex Tape onto a leaking water tank. Starting in January 2019, the image gained spread as an object-labeling meme, with a variation in which the tape and Phil Swift's hand let through water gaining popularity in early November 2019.
On January 12th, 2017, American adhesive manufacturer Swift Response uploaded a commercial for its tape product Flex Tape to YouTube. In the commercial, company spokesman Phil Swift slaps a piece of Flex Tape onto a leaking water tank, stopping the leak. The commercial accumulated over 17.8 million views in three years and, following a September 2017 review by YouTuber JonTron,  achieved the status of a meme.
On January 29th, 2017, an unknown Redditor posted a GIF based on the video to /r/gif subreddit, gaining over 330 upvotes in three years (shown below, left). On the same day, the GIF was added to GIPHY. On December 10th, 2018, Redditor SwAg_LaMp posted a one-panel meme showing Phil Swift attaching Flex Tape captioned "Back of laptop: *exists* / College girls with stickers:", with the meme receiving over 25,100 upvotes in six months. Between January 7th and 27th 2019, imgflip user whosscruffylookin95 posted a two-panel format based on the GIF and referencing the post, with an additional caption added in (shown below, right). This image is the earliest known example of the format.
The format saw a moderate spread online in the following months, with more examples of the meme appearing on Reddit, Imgflip and other websites. A February 21st, 2019, repost of an Apex Legends / Fortnite meme by iFunny user Freath received over 52,300 smiles in nine months (reupload shown below, left). Starting in early July 2019, the format saw an increase in popularity on Reddit. For example, a July 21st, post by Redditor Kennythedingus received over 21,200 upvotes (shown below, right).
Leaking Hand Version
On November 5th, 2019, Redditor jaameszxc posted a meme with the second panel altered to show both Flex Tape and Phil Swift's hand to let through water. The meme gained over 77,500 upvotes in one day (shown below).
On the same day, Redditor AwwHeelijk posted the altered template to /r/MemeTemplatesOfficial subreddit, gaining over 2,000 upvotes in one day. In the following hours, multiple notable memes based on the format were posted on Reddit.