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Murder at the One Show: AK does it again

As the culmination of Creative Week took place with the One Show awards recently, a South African contender addressed a pandemic that is relevant to all of us in a campaign designed to raise awareness and talkabaility by using unconventional advertising methods within a more conventional storyline.

The severity of crime lives beyond the moment of its ordeal because of how it invades your space and lingers there. Once the dust has settled, it’s never just about what was taken; it’s about who got hurt physically, psychologically – and then some. This raw and relevant topic made for engaging content for Ireland Davenport’s launch campaign for Fox International’s Crime Channels on DStv in a TVC spot directed by AK for Spitfire Films.

The finished product’s effectiveness in communicating with the audience – rather than at them – was heightened by breaking the fourth wall and blurring the lines between a TVC spot and an activation, and enhanced how the viewer experienced the story because of their role within it.

Styled as a trailer to the next box office blockbuster, the spot takes viewers on a single shot from the cold night air and into a crime scene. Here we learn that the ultimate price of violence was paid and hints of the victim’s bloody demise linger. The clincher? The detective says ‘hit the lights’ – and in the impact of dramatic fluorescent lighting, the cinema audience is exposed to bloody markings and writing on the walls of the cinema they’re in.

“The viewers were dumbfounded to realise that what they had been seeing on screen was part of the room they were sitting in,” says AK. “A great feat that was designed and styled from the end result of the room, backwards to the beginning of the storyline and how we would shoot it.”

“We – a generation distracted – have half an eye on the action while the rest of it is engaged with the device you carry and the world it connects you to,” says Spitfire Films’ Executive Producer, Liesl Karpinski. “It takes something simply-smart to jolt us awake and force us to experience what is actually going on around us, from the seat we’re sitting in.”

With overnight word of mouth leveraged by exponential reach through social media channels, the spot generated Marketing and PR reach that would have arrived with a bill for R4 621 160.00. “We were exceptionally proud of the result,” says Liesl. “The initial reactions by the audience in the space to how well the project resonated in the industry* and the spot making the finalist list for the 2014 One Show awards was truly the ultimate cherry on top.”  

*The spot also won two Gold awards at the PromaxBDA Africa awards in 2013.