The effectiveness of billboards was once again confirmed last week with a billboard in Bloemfontein. However it is not the billboard that was effective – it was the creative. The creative prompted a light night call form the Premier of the Free State to have the billboard removed – within 12 hours after it was flighted.
The Volkblad, an Afrikaans newspaper circulated in the Free Sate bought a billboard from Ad Outpost to promote its campaign called “Jou Mening” where they want to solicit opinions from the public on contentious issues.
They decided to use a current Free State controversy and that is the new multi million rand house of Free State premier Ace Magashule.. They used an Afrikaans nursery rhyme that goes “Huis, Paleis, Pandok, Varkhok”. Parents use this rhyme when they tie each button on small child’s shirt. The bigger you are the less are your chances of ending on “Varkhok” which is a “pigsty”.
In the creative of Volksblad they replaced the word “Huis” with the word “Ace” which made the rhyme “Ace –paleis, pandok, varkhok” (Ace-palace, shack, pigsty) accompanied by pictures of the proposed new house, a squatter shack and a heap of rubbish.
This was placed around the corner form the Official Premiers Residence in Bloemfontein. Within 12 hours the calls came for the removal of the billboard. Due to a delay within the city council’s offices the application for the renewal of the billboard was not processed yet. The creative was then removed.
The clever use of a creative copy by a wide awake copy-writer generated enough controversy that even while only flighted for less than 24 hours, it was in the newspaper as well as on the local radio stations.