Drawing inspiration from South Africa's iconic Zoo Biscuits, Cape Town's Natural History Museum created a unique, edible invitation to its African dinosaur exhibit to give children a literal taste for the thrill of palaeontology.
Operating on a shoestring budget, the museum has been struggling to raise awareness of its fascinating exhibitions amongst the city's parents, teachers and children. However, with the help of advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel, the museum took an unconventional, low-cost but high-impact communications approach, that seems to be working well.
The museum's 'Fossil Biscuits' were sent to Grade 4 school learners across the city. Unlike Zoo Biscuits, these biscuits arrived blank on top with the instruction to lick through the colourful icing. When the children did, they uncovered the skeleton of an African dinosaur fossilised within - a dinosaur they were invited to visit at the museum the next day.
As part of the campaign, each child who visited the museum left with an extra invitation for a friend, sibling or schoolmate, making them each an ambassador for the museum.
Explore and discover
"Once children visit, they find so much to explore and discover that they can't wait to come back," says Daksha Naran, senior educator at the museum. "We're thrilled with how the project turned out and with how excited children have been to return. It's been a great success."
The exhibition, which features dinosaurs from all over Africa, is open to the public indefinitely. The museum is open 7 days a week between 10am and 5pm, with free entrance for children under 5.
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