Ad Nut
May 8, 2017

Handbag brand suggests exploding-dye accessory to colour thieves

Ash Be Nimble's 'Handbag Dyetonator' is activated by an SMS and has GPS to aid authorities in tracking a stolen bag.

Ash Be Nimble, a Malaysia-borne apparel brand, claims it will offer women "empowerment" against handbag snatchers with a device that can be remotely detonated (by an SMS) to release smoke and indelible dye—like a bag of cash in a bank-heist movie. The brand has a sign-up form on its website for women who are interested in carrying around an armed explosive in an attractive leather-encased doodad. Availability and pricing are not specified.

The brand's founder says the company, which worked with Ogilvy & Mather Malaysia on the scheme, hopes the 'Handbag Dyetonator' will act as a deterrent. The campaign also includes a petition asking for laws specifically targeting 'snatch thieves' with stiffer penalties.

Ad Nut suggests that other than the petition, this is a bunch of attention-seeking nonsense, because the concept itself doesn't withstand scrutiny. For example:

  • How are you going to send an SMS when most often your phone is in the handbag that just got snatched?
  • What good is your handbag to you if it and its contents are covered in indelible dye?
  • Won't the authorities have issues with a device that contains an explosive charge? Ad Nut certainly suggests you don't try to carry your detonator through airport security.
  • How secure is the detonation sequence from hackers or accidental triggering?

Deterrence seems like the only viable function the device could actually perform. But for that to happen thieves would need to be well aware of the device's existence and be able to spot it as they approach on speeding motorbikes. So perhaps it should be fluorescent orange or bright yellow rather than the tasteful 'mocha brown', 'rose gold' and 'champagne gold' shown on the website?

Ad Nut has asked Ogilvy for responses to the above issues, as well as creative credits for the campaign, and will update here if information is provided.

Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world, because Ad Nut loves you. Check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame.


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