Leo Burnett Sri Lanka (LBSL), the local office of the global advertising network Leo Burnett Worldwide, was the only agency from Sri Lanka to earn an accolade at Spikes Asia 2016. The agency secured two short lists and was honoured to be the recipient of a Bronze Spike in the most challenging film category. These successes and the accolades secured by Burnett offices within the region enabled the Leo Burnett Worldwide network to secure the 3rd place in the network rankings.
The Bronze Spikes winning idea, the ‘White Cane Day’ campaign was conceptualised in partnership with the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society to encourage empathy for individuals suffering from visual impairments. At present there are 200,000 blind individuals and 400,000 visually impaired persons living in Sri Lanka out of a population of 21 million. In many of these cases their blindness could be cured if a healthy pair of eyes was available, but at any given time the eye depositories have less than half the required amount.
With the ‘White Cane Day’, media innovation the agency wanted to leave a lasting message with members of the public who have sight to encourage viewers to pledge to donate their eyes.This campaign idea vividly demonstrated the darkness experienced by the blind. The darkness that interrupted the screening caused a disruption amongst the viewers which jolted Sri Lankans across the country to create the realization that the privilege of having sight could be shared with others.
The agency negotiated with the country’s most popular television soap ‘MeyAdarayai’ which has a viewership of over 80% of the total TV audience. At a climax in the show, 30 seconds of the visual component of the show was removed leaving only the audio. Through this innovation we took away the sight of the audience, which caused irritation to the viewers. Afterwards, a message saying “if 30 seconds of blindness is this unbearable to you, imagine what it’s like for those who have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Please give them sight, when you don’t need it anymore.” This media innovation resulted in the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society receiving the highest number of eye donation pledges that they had ever received in a single day.
Commenting on the agency’s success at Spikes Asia, Ranil de Silva – Managing Director, Leo Burnett Sri Lanka stated: “I am extremely proud of our entire team for always reaching for the stars.It’s a special honour to have been the only Sri Lankan agency to win a metal at the prestigious Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity. This win and our creative successes help to reiterate the agency’s creative leadership which strengthens our position as the leader of Sri Lanka’smarketing communications industry. ‘White Cane Day’ and ‘Sri Pada’ are two innovative ideas that have effectively delivered results for our clients and made a significant contribution to society. These ideas reflect the very essence of our Human Kind philosophy. They are excellent demonstrations of how creativity can truly change behaviour and make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
The agency’s ‘Pin Katay’ campaign which was shortlisted as a finalist, also creatively addressed an important concern. Adam’s Peak is Sri Lanka’s holiest of mountains. Each year, pilgrims line up to embark on the 5-hour climb to glimpse the Buddha’s footprint at the summit. But where there are crowds there is litter. When thousands of pilgrims leave behind their waste, a spiritual journey transforms into an environmental disaster. Our solution used two symbols associated with Sri Pada to deliver a simple message. The Buddhist concept of gaining merit through good deeds and the distinctive design of the Pin Katay (temple collection till). We created garbage bins along the pathway in the shape of temple collection tills, thus equating the act of collecting litter with merit and solving an environmental hazard with a creative solution.
This year Leo Burnett Sri Lanka celebrated its 17th anniversary in Sri Lanka. Over the years, the agency has built many powerful brands and meaningful partnerships with its clients, whilst delivering gratifying results and gaining industry recognition in Sri Lanka, the region and globally. The company has on its roster a diverse portfolio of clients and is the Sri Lanka office of one of the world’s largest agency networks, which is a member of the Publicis Groupe, the world’s fourth largest communications company.