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Thursday, 05 June 2014 - 17:32
Leo Burnett's Mosquito Repellent Newspaper Earns the Highest Honour

Leo Burnett Solutions Inc., (LBSI) the local office of the global advertising network Leo Burnett Worldwide scored an ‘8 Ball’ for its ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ at the recent Leo Burnett Worldwide Global Product Committee (GPC) meeting held in Paris. The global GPC meeting which is held quarterly each year evaluates the best work of all 93 Leo Burnett offices from around the world.

Commenting on the GPC, Mark Tutssel, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, stated, “The GPC is not an awards show. This is a quality control measure to ensure that our work is of the calibre we expect from our network. It’s the global product committee and the product is king. We all work for the work. What I love about the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ is that it is a solution. To have a national newspaper do something to combat a massive problem such as Dengue is huge. Creativity is the logical conclusion to brilliant thinking. It all starts with the idea.” Juan Garcia-Escudero, Executive Creative Director of Leo Burnett Madrid further added, “To generate an idea that makes our client’s product better, that’s really amazing.”

Commenting on this achievement, Managing Director of Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, Ranil de Silva stated, “The agency’s team is passionate about ideas and the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ was a brilliant idea which was topical and timely. The simplicity of the idea was what made it brilliant. I congratulate Sithum for his very innovative idea. I would also like to commend the entire team for their outstanding effort. To score an ‘8 Ball’ at the GPC is an outstanding achievement and I am very proud of our team on this accomplishment.”

The GPC scale is a Leo Burnett tool, which rates the creativity of the network’s work in an effort to standardize and raise the creative bar for all the work done by the company. The best work sent by all the Leo Burnett offices worldwide is rated by the network’s creative greats. On Leo Burnett’s scale of 1-10, the benchmark every Burnetter strives for is a ‘7+’. Only eleven ‘8 Balls’ were awarded at this

quarter’s GPC and Sri Lanka was the only office in Asia to be rewarded with an ‘8 Ball’ score and the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ was the only ‘8 Ball' awarded in the ‘Integrated’ category’.

Dengue, the deadly mosquito-borne disease had reached epidemic proportions in Sri Lanka. With over 30,000 people infected in the country in early 2013, the disease had claimed too many lives, including the lives of young children. People read the newspaper in the early morning and evening – the very time the Dengue mosquito is known to strike. This led to the idea that if the ink used to print the newspaper was infused with citronella oil - a natural mosquito repellent, each letter of every word printed in the newspaper would help eradicate the threat of Dengue. The campaign began with striking print advertisements that featured illustrations of the various letters in the alphabet blocking out a dengue mosquito. This campaign was also shared extensively on Facebook. This concept was used in posters to reach people at prominent bus stops as well. The posters were coated with citronella essence to protect the people at the bus stops from Dengue mosquitos. In addition, patches with the Sinhala alphabet printed with citronella ink were also issued to school children. These patches displayed the children’s initials and acted as personal protection from the mosquito. Finally, on the last day of National Dengue Prevention Week, which was also World Health Day, Mawbima in partnership with LBSI published the world’s first mosquito repellent newspaper in an effort to communicate and demonstrate how to prevent Dengue. Newspapers are traditionally a source of information, but for the first time a newspaper carried both information and an active method for Dengue prevention.

Successful advertising creates a bond between people and brands. This belief is what Leo Burnett’s HumanKind philosophy is all about: through a deep understanding of people and their behaviour the agency endeavours to build lasting connections. HumanKind works by relating with people, then engaging with them in order to build an enduring purpose for brands. ‘Acts’ with a purpose are central to the HumanKind philosophy. Unlike traditional ads, ‘Acts’ have the ability to transform the way a person thinks, feels and ultimately, behaves.

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