Product / ServiceNEWSPAPER
CategoryA07. Use of Print or Standard Outdoor in a Promotional Campaign
Entrant Company TBWA\SRI LANKA Colombo, SRI LANKA
Advertising Agency TBWA\SRI LANKA Colombo, SRI LANKA
Media Agency OMD Colombo 6, SRI LANKA


Name Company Position
Subhash Pinnapola TBWA\Sri Lanka Chief Creative Officer
Dilan Hearth TBWA\Sri Lanka Creative Writer
Thilaka Nanayakkara TBWA\Sri Lanka Graphic Designer
Bananjaya Basnayake TBWA\Sri Lanka Illustrator
Sandaru Maharamba TBWA\Sri Lanka Illustrator
Buddhika Rodrigo TBWA\Sri Lanka Illustrator

Brief Explanation

The key activation and promotional elements of COVER RACISM are clearly exhibited in the execution itself. By producing a unique double-sided center-spread ad in the shape of a plate covering, we went beyond a simple wishing ad as corporates usually do, marking the largest cultural festival in the country by encouraging the act of consolidating unity which is an underlying theme of the festival through the physical interaction with our piece that asked each Sinhalese and Tamil people to share sweets unique to each culture with each other. Pertaining to the promo aspect, the unique creativity of the ad and its action promoted Mawbima towards standing out amongst other newspapers and being viewed by the Sri Lankan public positively as a newspaper that was against the sensationalization of racism as opposed to other newspapers in Sri Lanka.

The Brief

30 years of war has left a multi-racial society in Sri Lanka emotionally scarred. So, to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Mawbima’s objective was to create a piece that would epitomize the values of harmony synonymous with the festival. So, we transformed a part of our own paper into a unique double-sided center-spread in the shape of a plate-covering with instructions, asking Sinhala and Tamil citizens to offer a plate of their own unique sweets covered with the ad to each other as sweets was the one common element in their respective cultural celebrations.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

On April 13th, the last publishing date before Avurudu on the 14th and 15th (considered non-publishing dates); when all other newspapers reduced their print run by 30-40 % due to low demand, we increased ours by 20%! As a result, approximately 140,000 copies printed on that day were all SOLD OUT with ZERO RETURNS. Moreover, the Sri Lankan population came forward in appreciating Mawbima for setting off a nationwide movement of social change and behavior that unified both ethnic groups through the simple and innocent act of sharing sweets. Significant PR was also generated on the day locally thanks to major morning TV Talk Shows telling the nation of our ad and online, due to shares and posts on social media.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

The creative execution was relevant to the product because this particular Promo/Activation piece aimed to bring the Sinhala and Tamil races together through the act of sharing. Accordingly, we informed the public of our unique double-sided center-spread food cover 4 days earlier, via a teaser campaign that covered TV, press and online mediums depicting uniquely Sinhala and Tamil sweets, suggestive of their similarity. The campaign ran according to the original plan until April 13th - the launch date - when major morning talk shows picked up and broke the story to the entire nation, which earned us significant free PR.