Backpack bomb hoax features in new CommBank Olympics promo

olympic backpack

The guard wrestles for the suspicious backpack

CommBank has moved into controversial territory with its latest online promotion featuring the bank’s mascots triggering a hoax terrorism alert.

Set outside the London Olympics volleyball on Pall Mall, it features that “C”, “A” and “N” characters tipping off a security guard that the person dressed as the letter “T” has a suspicious backpack which is “making ticking and whizzing sounds”.

The ad was uploaded onto CommBank’s YouTube channel last night. CommBank is an official Olympic sponsor.

One of the key targets for the London security operation are potential backpack bombers. On July 7, 2005, suicide bombers detonated backpack bombs killing 52 members of the public. The attack came the day after London was announced as the venue for the 2012 Olympics.

In the video, the CommBank mascots approach a security guard and report that T is “sweating profusely.”

The guard, presumably played by an actor, is then seen attempting to wrestle away the backpack.

The Can campaign is part of the new brand direction created for CommBank by M&C Saatchi which rolled out in May.

Mumbrella has invited CommBank to comment.

Terrorism hoaxes have been known to backfire. At Mumbrella360, radio presenter Brendan Jones discussed how he found himself in trouble after apparently making prank calls to the terrorism hotline. Like the CommBank ad, the call was fictional, and the person at the other end was an actor too.


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