Product / ServiceAIA - INSURANCE
CategoryB04. Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale
Idea Creation TBWA\SRI LANKA Colombo, SRI LANKA


Name Company Position
Subhash Pinnapola TBWA\Sri Lanka Chief Creative Officer
Sachithra Gunarathna TBWA\Sri Lanka Associate Creative Director
Sohan Ratnaike TBWA\Sri Lanka Copywriter
Mohamed Ikram TBWA\Sri Lanka Agency Producer
Tharindu Deshapriya TBWA\Sri Lanka Assistant AV
Saminda Rupasinghe TBWA\Sri Lanka Studio Manager

The Campaign

Our creative idea was to turn the traditional decoration used to adorn funerals in Sri Lanka our warning sign, to mark off all the hazardous bathing areas around tanks in the city!

Creative Execution

The Sign of Death which was a ‘Gokkola’ or Coconut leaf barricade we used to mark off all the hazardous bathing spots around the ancient tanks which excite bathers to get into the water, ignoring unattractive warning signs. Here, the cultural significance of this design piece was that it was the traditional decoration used to adorn funerals in Sri Lanka that we turned into our warning sign! It was set up a few days before the festival’s start around tanks all over the city.

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

For the first time in many years, not a single case of drowning was reported thanks to our Sign of Death. What’s more, it succeeded in making an undeniable cultural impact, as Sri Lankans came together to appreciate AIA for their efforts and accepting them with a perception change, as one of their own – a truly Sri Lankan ‘real life company’.

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

This piece is relevant to this particular category because the execution actively engaged people by inducing an action and as a promo, demonstrated the brand’s values to our target audience. In this case, our Sign of Death, succeeded in turning away over 500,000 pilgrims from bathing in hazardous areas around ancient tanks during Sri Lanka’s largest religious gathering – the Poson festival.

Our idea was relevant to the brand because AIA Insurance was in need of an exercise which would bring them closer to their local market as the company was perceived by Sri Lankans as knowing little about their way of life. Therefore, we put-up our Sign of Death around all the ancient tanks in the city of Anuradhapura preventing our target audience of over 500,000 pilgrims, from getting into the water from hazardous bathing spots and drowning.