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Problem Solved: iProspect and Dentsu’s Malaria No More Reminder



Brooke Steinberg, global planning specialist at Dentsu, on how the agency’s ‘Draw The Line’ campaign for Malaria No More is aiming to eradicate the disease by 2030

Problem Solved: iProspect and Dentsu’s Malaria No More Reminder

Global agency Dentsu worked together with non-profit Malaria No More (MNM) to create a global brand, campaign and movement that would influence world leaders to reaffirm their commitments to end malaria by 2030.

Using a non-traditional global campaign that bucks the traditional charity advertising stereotype, Dentsu teams unlocked over $3 million dollars worth of free media space and drove over 1.4 billion campaign impressions to truly create a movement. 

This is history in the making and the proof of the power of art and culture to combat one of the world’s deadliest diseases. 


Malaria is a disease that’s been around since the dinosaurs, and yet it is still a disease that is stealing our future. Despite huge progress since 2000, a child still dies every two minutes from malaria – and it is a preventable disease. Those most vulnerable to malaria are children, and those children will create our future. 

World leaders have made previous commitments to decrease malaria by 50% by 2023, but continued progress toward ending malaria is stalling – even prior to Covid-19. With over 41% of the population aged under 25, the youth are powerful agents of change. We needed a campaign that would represent a rallying cry for them to step up/act in the fight against malaria.   

We were also navigating in a world where consumers are conscious of being marketed to, and the ways they participate with charitable organisations is changing:

  • Distrust of ads is growing / adblockers - an increasing, global issue for advertisers; ads are seen as ‘pervasive, intrusive, irrelevant, creepy’
  • Consumers demanding authenticity of all brands - Transparency is now expected rather than something that sets one brand apart from another. 
  • Evolution of charitable giving - More consumers are giving their time and voices, aiming to be a part of the changes in society they wish to see 

Traditional charity campaigns therefore would not hit home, and we needed new/authentic ways to reach our audiences and to be transparent about why we were there and why we needed their support.


Malaria No More (MNM) is determined to end malaria by inspiring the public, businesses and the government to fight for a malaria-free world. Dentsu has supported MNM as a global pro-bono client for the last four years, and several national local campaigns had previously been executed to support MNM’s efforts to eradicate malaria. 

In 2021, key political events across global platforms would provide a tremendous opportunity for MNM to deliver a strong global message to world leaders on the importance of prioritising their commitments to help end malaria for good. Across Dentsu teams, an impactful new global brand and campaign were created to help MNM raise awareness, galvanise communities and influence world leaders to take immediate action against malaria. 

Our global campaign’s objectives:
  1. Ahead of upcoming key global political events, galvanise the influential global youth audience to create a sense of a movement encouraging world leaders to move malaria up the political agenda and deliver on commitments to end malaria by 2030
  2. Inform and engage the general public in ending malaria as an investment in pandemic preparedness and support in fighting Covid-19
  3. Inspire young people to believe they are the generation to end malaria (attitudes and awareness) 

To buck the traditional charity campaigns that would likely fail to sway the discerning global youth and wider global public, we looked to the world of art, music, fashion and entertainment to connect on a cultural level, highlighting the energy, creativity and positivity of Africa. 

We partnered with Nigerian artist, activist and lawyer, Láolú Sebanjo, known worldwide for using his patterns to start conversations and shed light on important issues.  

Together we created the Muundo, a modern celebration of Africa's oldest art form: traditional line painting. Our ground-breaking campaign tapped into cultural zeitgeists where new generations were claiming their futures back from this deadly disease. Launching a bold, new digital platform, activation and powerful film allowed the campaign to venture into new spaces and capture audiences’ hearts and minds. 

Every element of our creative solution aligns with our audience and market nuances: 

  • Highly visual – Vibrant and eye-catching 
  • Look less like a charity – Our creative look and feel makes us unrecognisable from traditional charity cause campaigns 
  • Social-first – Everything designed to be participatory and shareable 
  • Light-bandwidth – to cater for coverage differences (3G vs 4G) across markets  


We used the Muundo to create a modular system that allowed people from all over the world to draw the line and end it for good…. and to show their support by adding their own line to a crowdsourced piece of art, a collective call to end malaria.  

To spread the word and mobilise action we also created a star-studded hero video, directed by acclaimed Nigerian music video director Meji Alabi, and featuring Láolú Sebanjo and captivating talent and energy emanating out of the African continent, including: 

  • Dr Omotola J Ekeinde, Nigerian actress and philanthropist 
  • Osas Ighodaro, Nigerian American actress and producer 
  • Saray Khumalo, South African explorer 
  • Eliud Kipchoge, Olympic Gold-medallist and marathon world record-holder 
  • Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks, South Africa’s World Cup winning rugby team 
  • Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer 

Finally, we developed a suite of assets adaptable by media partners around the world: 

  • Hero video 
  • An animation, telling the story of the Muundo 
  • A suite of modular digital artwork which media partners could adapt to suit any media platform

There was one inescapable challenge to amplifying this campaign across the world: We had ZERO media budget. Every TV spot, OOH billboard, print insertion and digital impression had to be negotiated pro bono. 

Therefore, not only did we need a media strategy to deliver consistent global amplification, but more importantly, it had to be designed to cater for any free media that generous partners were able to donate. Our message and The Muundo told a truly global story that could be brought to life in so many new/authentic ways to reach out to audiences whilst being transparent about why we were there and why we needed their support.

This influenced and informed our global media strategy: Weaving our message into the fabric of modern culture

Our media approach had three objectives:

  • Drive views of our hero video, showcasing our mission and demonstrating the global support behind it
  • Iconic, fame-driving media to bring mass attention to our cause and provide surround sound to encourage leaders to act
  • Weave our assets and The Muundo into the fabric of modern culture – more pointedly, hacking screens and blank canvases to include our creative

To reach those who could rapidly and easily multiply our message, create a sense of public mandate to give leaders a sense that action on malaria has political cover and reward, we targeted:

  • The wider global public (notably the global youth aged 18-34 – the generation that could end malaria)
  • The malaria community and global partners
  • Global leaders/decision-makers

Media was run across markets most burdened by malaria - countries across Africa and in India; and also in markets whose governments contribute significant aid - the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.


Even during a time of significant disruption across both the global advertising industry and the world itself, an army of over 100 agency volunteers across Dentsu worked together to successfully unlock over $3 million worth of media on a pro bono basis to support and amplify the campaign. 

The campaign ran during key global leadership summits, including the African Union Summit, and relevant global moments including World Malaria Day, with millions of premium placements across outdoor, digital, print, TV and radio, driving over 7.5 million video views and over 2 million website visits.   

The media was supported with internal and external PR and social initiatives which drove further owned/earned support for the campaign. Malaria No More and their cause has been featured in coverage across BBC World Service, CNN Changemakers, Sky News, CNBC Africa, Global Citizen, NTV Kenya, The Drum, iAfrica, AdAge, and many more. 

Additionally, MTV Africa promoted the campaign as part of an Africa Day Concert partnership and featured the hero and animation films on air during the concert.  The campaign and The Muundo have created a movement, with over 1.4 billion campaign impressions to date. But most importantly, even in a year dominated by Covid-19, world leaders have listened and reaffirmed their commitment to halving malaria by 2023 and ending it by 2030.  

To support this work, Malaria No More has produced the Commonwealth Malaria Tracker to help visualise the progress required to reach the target of halving malaria.  And this is only the beginning…  

By weaving our movement into the fabric of modern culture, not only have we demonstrated the power of media in influencing positive real-world change, the campaign also inspired and emboldened a generation to believe in a future without malaria – 69% of youth surveyed believe that malaria can be eliminated in their country. 

This is history in the making and the proof of the power of art and culture to combat one of the world’s deadliest diseases.


Agency / Creative
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Genres: Dialogue, Storytelling, People

Dentsu Inc., Wed, 27 Oct 2021 15:47:00 GMT