The spread of Dengue fever has become an epidemic in Sri Lanka, a country where more than 13,000 people have been affected by the disease in the past six months alone. In the past we’ve already seen ideas such as Kite, a wearable patch that helps to repel disease-carrying mosquitoes. Now one of the country’s most popular newspapers has created the Mawbima Mosquito Repellent Paper, printed using an ink containing a bug-repelling ingredient.
Developed in conjunction with Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, the campaign initially started with a print campaign. Informative posters placed at bus stops and newspaper ads were coated with citronella essence, a natural and effective mosquito repellent. Those reading the newspapers or waiting at bus stops were temporarily protected from mosquito bites, as well as being able to learn more about how to prevent the spread of Dengue. The success of the campaign resulted in Mawbima printing an entire copy of its morning and evening newspapers in ink mixed with citronella on World Health Day. The newspaper increased its print run, but sold out of its morning paper by 10am, with a 30 percent increase in sales and a 300,000 increase in readership. The initiative resulted in a much higher number of people remaining protected in the morning and evening — the times when mosquitoes are most active.
Watch the video to find out more about the success of the campaign:
Although it’s unclear whether the newspaper plans to continue printing its mosquito-repelling paper, the project shows how health organizations could work with other industry leaders to deliver preventative resources to consumers in a more practical and efficient way.