Saturday, March 6, 2021

Creative advertising mistaken for bomb scare

Besides Vee’s impending nuptials, it was perhaps the biggest story making rounds on social networks last week.

To say it caused a bit of havoc would be an understatement since at least two media houses were vacated after mistaking a public relations gimmick for what has now become a bit of a trend here in Gaborone: bombs that somehow seem to never explode.

The so-called bomb was in fact a packaged invitation delivered to various media houses for the upcoming 2nd annual Segai Creative Awards.

Would you call it creativity? Yes. But did they mean to cause all the commotion?

“We wanted to get people talking,” said Kabo Ntelecha, Managing Director of The Works. “We wanted to create some sort of suspense but we never thought for second that the box would be mistaken for a bomb.”

Ntelecha said there was no prior communication with the respective editors although they were the ones expected to sign for the package upon delivery.

“The idea was for the delivery guys to explain and reveal the contents of the package to the editor upon delivery.”
Unfortunately, Nteleche said, the staff at Mmegi and the Mass Media Complex mistook the package for an explosive device. He said he personally approached Mmegi to apologise for the confusion.

“It was just a few packets of biltong and some hay (dry grass) in the box,” he said. He said the idea was for them to deliver the keys to the packages the following day to reveal the contents. The package was meant to serve as an invitation to the up-coming Segai Awards which are meant to reward creativity in advertising and communication.

Perhaps to explain the creativity behind the ‘bomb scare’ a statement from the Association of Communication Agencies (ACA) reads, “In a particularly un-orthodox fashion and true to their role as custodians brands and creativity Association of Communication Agencies in partnership with Ideas Expo, have launched a campaign to encourage entry to this year’s 2nd annual industry awards.”

It says the awards are about recognising the people who are involved in producing ground breaking work and commending the work itself.

“It is a platform to celebrate and inspire those that are involved in the industry in various capacities to continue pushing creative boundaries.

The Segai Awards will feature a panel of international and local adjudicators with six judges selected from regional and international creative agencies, and seven judges being local industry players. The 14 categories include Film and Television, Print and Radio Communication, Brand Identity and Collateral Development, Digital, Events, and Outdoor. The awards will take place on June 7 at the University of Botswana.

Whoever is the brainchild of the concept certainly deserves kudos since not only did they get tongues wagging but also cashed in on the trending bomb scare phenomenon.


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