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This Newspaper Is More Than A Good Flyswatter–It Repels Mosquitoes

This Newspaper Is More Than A Good Flyswatter–It Repels Mosquitoes

In the first six months of 2014, Sri Lanka recorded more than 13,000 cases of dengue fever, making it a hotspot for the mosquito-borne disease. To highlight the problem, Mawbima, a national newspaper, did more than journalism: It printed its columns with insect repellent.

The idea was hatched by Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, an advertising group. First, Mawbima ran a series of poster ads impregnated with citronella essence, a natural and sweet-smelling chemical. Then, it mixed citronella with ink for the April 7 edition (also World Health Day) and ran stories about dengue prevention. See more in the video here:

Leo Burnett highlights the effect on sales: In one day, circulation was up 30%, or 300,000 copies. Which presumably helped spread awareness and measures people could take to protect themselves.

It’s certainly something you couldn’t with the iPad version. So, there’s still something to said for print. If you want to deliver insect repellent to your customers, a soggy old newspaper is still far preferable.

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