Leo Burnett wins bronze Warc Prize for Asian Strategy 2015

Murtaza Tajbhoy - Head of Brand Planning, Leo Burnett Sri Lanka & Jarek Ziebinski - Chairman & CEO of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific

The award was won for the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’

Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. (LBSI), the local office of the global advertising network Leo Burnett Worldwide, was recently awarded the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy 2015, for one of the agency’s most iconic and effective campaigns - the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’.  The strategy for the campaign was developed by Murtaza A. Tajbhoy, Head of Brand Planning, Leo Burnett Solutions Inc, who heads Sri Lanka’s largest strategic planning unit. The bronze award was presented at Warc’s regional awards event which was held recently in Mumbai and was graced by an affluent gathering from the marketing communications industry. 

Warc.com is an online service that provides advice on the best practises in advertising whilst providing valuable insights, which are derived from the world's leading brands. Warc hosts five annual award events which evaluate various case studies and recognize excellence in the areas of innovation and strategy.  The Warc prize for Asian Strategy searches for case studies that demonstrate the best strategic thinking from Asia’s marketing communications industry. In 2015, the award was held for the fifth consecutive year to assess and acknowledge the best strategic work from Asia. 

Commenting on the win, Ranil de Silva, Managing Director of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. (LBSI) stated, “We are extremely honoured to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes excellence in strategic thinking. I would like to commend Murtaza and his dynamic planning team for creating a strong strategy which resulted in the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ –which has repeatedly been recognized as an outstanding creative idea with a very insightful strategy. Our team’s strategic capabilities have helped many a brand to reap gratifying results and we are honoured that our strategic capabilities have once again been recognized at such an important regional awards event.” 

The ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ addressed one of the country’s most challenging health concerns in a creative and innovative manner. Dengue, the deadly mosquito-borne disease had reached epidemic proportions in Sri Lanka. Over 30,000 people were infected in 2013 and the disease had claimed many lives. People read the newspaper in the hours of the morning and in the 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.  On the last day of National Dengue Prevention Week, which was also World Health Day, the world’s first mosquito repellent newspaper was published in an effort to communicate and demonstrate how to prevent dengue. 

Newspapers are traditionally a source of information, but for the first time in the world a newspaper carried both information and provided an active method of dengue prevention.  The campaign helped to reduce the spread of dengue in Sri Lanka, and also resulted in a 30% increase in the print run for the publication. The paper sold out by 10 a.m., drove revenue up by 22% and reached a new community of readers. The campaign went viral and gained acclaim throughout the world, even getting the attention of Bill Gates and a plethora of local, international and online publications. 

Over its 16 years of operation in Sri Lanka, Leo Burnett has built many powerful brands and meaningful partnerships with its clients, whilst delivering gratifying results and gaining peer recognition in the industry. The agency’s HumanKind philosophy helps it to derive an enduring purpose for brands and recognizes that ‘Acts’ and creativity have the ability to transform the way a person thinks, feels and ultimately, behaves.

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