The newspaper that repels mosquitoes

Mawbima Mosquito Repellent Paper screenshot video. (2014 YouTube, LLC)

Mawbima Mosquito Repellent Paper screenshot video. (2014 YouTube, LLC)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

With over 30,000 people infected with dengue fever in Sri Lanka in 2013, a local newspaper company decided to tackle the problem by running a campaign with a difference.

Mawimba teamed up with ad agency Leo Burnett to create a newspaper printed with mosquito-repellent ink. The idea was sparked by the fact that people typically read newspapers in the early morning and evening, when dengue mosquitoes are most likely to strike.

The designers introduced citronella, a natural mosquito repellent, into the paper's ink, in order to protect readers while they were learning about the disease through a series of informative articles.

The campaign began with a series of ads which were run in the newspaper during National Dengue Week; the ads were also turned into posters which were mounted at bus stops and coated in citronella to protect passengers passively.

It culminated one week later in a one-off newspaper issue entirely printed in mosquito-repellent ink. Despite an increased print run for the occasion, the paper had sold out by 10 a.m. and its readership increased by 300,000.

Newspapers have been the subject of various design experiments recently. Earlier this year Mexican newspaper Mas por Mas decided to print its publication in smudge-free ink on paper towels in public bathrooms in Mexico City.


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