Leo Burnett wins coveted first gold award for Sri Lanka at Spikes Asia


Friday 24th 2014, Colombo: Leo Burnett Solutions Inc., (LBSI) the local office of the global advertising network Leo Burnett Worldwide, created history by winning the first-ever gold metal for Sri Lanka at Spikes Asia 2014. The highly coveted gold award was won in the Public Relations (PR) category for the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ which was launched to combat dengue in Sri Lanka. The Spikes Asia Awards brought together over 1,000 delegates from Asia Pacific’s creative community to the Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, for a spectacular four-day celebration of creativity in communications.
From 4,984 entries across 18 categories, jurors chose a total of 472 entries to be awarded with prestigious accolades. Commenting on the work, jury president Ted Royer said, “There was some really great work this year. Work that will inspire for years to come. It’s great to see Asian creativity thriving.”
The Leo Burnett network showcased its prowess with 36 prestigious Spikes awards including Sri Lanka’s coveted gold award, 21 silver and 14 bronze awards. The eight offices which contributed to the outstanding creative performance included Sri Lanka, Sydney, Melbourne, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh. LBSI walked away with glowing honours and reinforced its standing within the network by being the only Leo Burnett office in the network to win gold at Spikes Asia 2014. The agency was also awarded four silver awards in the Media, Branded Content, Healthcare, Promotion and Activation categories for the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’.

Highlighting the importance of the win, Mark Tutssel Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide stated, “I am very proud of the Leo Burnett network and what they have achieved. Leo Burnett Sri Lanka’s historic win at Spikes Asia 2014 highlights the agency’s exceptional work and commitment to creative excellence. We are really delighted by Leo Burnett Sri Lanka for bringing this level of international recognition at Spikes Asia 2014.”

Commenting on the win, Ranil de Silva, Managing Director, Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. stated, “We are delighted that our office won this recognition not just for us but for the country and the network. It is also for a worthy cause such as dengue which is currently pertinent to Sri Lanka and to many parts of the world. The reach the campaign has gained has been outstanding and highlights the importance of addressing a global issue such as dengue. I congratulate my team members for their outstanding contributions which made this gold award and the four silver awards possible.”

Dengue, the deadly mosquito-borne disease had reached epidemic proportions in Sri Lanka. With over 40,000 people infected in the country in early 2013, the disease had claimed too many lives, including the lives of young children. People read the newspaper in the early morning and evening – the very time the dengue mosquito is known to strike. This led to the idea that if the ink used to print the newspaper was infused with citronella oil – a natural mosquito repellent, each letter of every word printed in the newspaper would help eradicate the threat of dengue. On the last day of National Dengue Prevention Week, which was also World Health Day, the world’s first mosquito repellent newspaper was published in an effort to communicate and demonstrate how to prevent dengue. Newspapers are traditionally a source of information, but for the first time a newspaper carried both information and an active method of dengue prevention.

The ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ has been recognized at many international shows and recently won a Cannes finalist, two bronze awards at CLIO and was shortlisted at the London International Advertising Awards which will soon announce the award winners. The ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’ campaign has also been recognized by the world’s leading blogs and online newspapers including The Business Standard, The Huffington Post , The Independent, BBC, The Little Black Book and The Wall Street Journal to name a few.
The Spikes Asia festival took place in Singapore from 23 to 27 September and is the region’s oldest awards show for excellence in the creative communications industry. During the awards show, this year’s Advertiser of the Year Award, sponsored by Airbag Productions, was presented to The Coca-Cola Company – Asia Pacific. Winners of the Young Spikes and student competitions were also announced at the awards. In the Young Spikes Integrated competition (sponsored by JWT), The Philippines took the gold medal and Indonesia won the Young Spikes Media competition, whilst South Korea won gold in the first Young Spikes Digital competition (sponsored by Innocean Worldwide). The awards won by Leo Burnett mark a significant milestone for the agency and the Sri Lankan advertising industry at large. The record breaking number of entries from across the region also indicates a clear positive growth in the region’s communications industry. Spikes Asia is conducted by Lions Festivals and Haymarket in an effort to bring together the finest creative thinkers from around the world.