World’s First Mosquito-Repellent Newspaper Increased Newsstand Sales by 30 Percent (Video)

Slate’s design blog.
July 1 2014 9:07 AM

World’s First Mosquito-Repellent Newspaper Increased Newsstand Sales by 30 Percent

140702_EYE_Mosquito repellant newspaper
The world's first mosquito-repellent newspaper printed in Sri Lanka.

Screenshot courtesy of Leo Burnett Sri Lanka

Sri Lankans tend to read their newspapers in the early morning and in the evening, times when dengue-carrying mosquitoes are most likely to strike. Sri Lankan newspaper Mawbina teamed up earlier this spring with Leo Burnett Sri Lanka for a public health campaign targeted at preventing dengue fever during National Dengue Week.

The paper made news when a special print run that used ink mixed with natural mosquito-repelling citronella oil sold out by 10 a.m. and increased newsstand sales by 30 percent.

The campaign also included mosquito-repellent patches for children and public service posters in bus stops soaked in citronella oil to keep commuters bite-free. Check out the video for more about the campaign, a novel attempt to save lives and the dying newspaper industry in one fell swoop.

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.

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