Dentsu international has partnered with global NGO Malaria No More UK to launch ‘Draw The Line Against Malaria’, a star-studded creative campaign that invites young people from across Africa and the globe to join the movement to end the world’s oldest deadliest disease. The global integrated campaign is the latest in a three-year pro bono partnership involving creative and media agencies from across the Dentsu international network, aimed at ending a disease that kills a child every two minutes.
The groundbreaking campaign taps into a cultural moment where new generations are claiming their futures back from this deadly disease, combining a digital platform, activation and powerful film.
The campaign invites people to share the cinematic hero film, directed by acclaimed Nigerian music video director Meji Alabi, which showcases the 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; and Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer.
The stars are joined by global artist Láolú Senbanjo, and a team of malaria community champions who feature in different scenes to tell the human story of malaria and the devastating impact it has on their education, employment, health, and prospects. With 74% of Africans now aged under 35, the youth contingents are powerful agents of change and the campaign represents a rallying cry for them to step up action in the fight against malaria.
Dentsu teams from Amsterdam, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Geneva, London, Nairobi, and New York worked in close collaboration with a collation of agencies, including the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), the African Union Commission, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Impact Santé Afrique, Malaria No More UK, RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Speak Up Africa.
The creative and strategy was led by Isobar Amsterdam with Dentsu media agencies iProspect and Carat collaborating to drive media planning across multiple African markets including Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia as well as target donor markets including the UK, USA, Japan and Australia. The digital platform was created by Isobar in collaboration with Firstborn.
Muundo – Building a new movement against malaria
At the heart of the campaign is a fresh new universal visual language made up of lines, symbols and patterns, the ‘Muundo’ created by acclaimed Nigerian artist, activist, and human rights lawyer, Láolú Sebanjo.
The language is a beautiful, eye-catching visual representation of the actions that are needed to end malaria once and for all within a generation, from cutting-edge technology and innovations to increased investment and bold political actions.
The 'Muundo' has been designed to inspire young people to show their support for the malaria fight. Youth across cultures and continents are invited to add their unique line to the Zero Malaria website: www.zeromalaria.org and contribute to a collective message asking world leaders to step up the fight against malaria.
Each line will create a unique piece of art that is added to a globally crowdsourced mural. The artwork will be presented to world leaders as a collective message of solidarity powered by the people at the Malaria and NTDs Summit on 24 June 2021, on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The Summit is a milestone moment in the malaria fight and enabler of game changing political decisions including delivering the commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023.
Daniël Sytsma, chief design officer, Isobar and Creative, Dentsu said: “We worked with creators and makers from across Africa to design this campaign as a movement, one that celebrates the creativity and positivity from a generation that is ready to claim their future. With the Muundo we want to provide young people with the tools and the language to deliver a powerful message.”
The campaign is part of Dentsu International’s ongoing commitment to Malaria No More UK, a pro bono partnership that began in 2017, and part of dentsu’s commitment to use power of media and advertising to drive delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In April 2018, at the Malaria Summit in London, Dentsu International helped secure a $4.1bn pledge from governments, science and the private sector, which would help accelerate research and development of new tools for the malaria fight and expand access to life-saving tools. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London 53 heads of government committed to halve malaria in the commonwealth by 2023. To date dentsu has invested over 10,000 volunteer hours in the Malaria No More partnership and committed to reach over 300 million people with campaigns calling for an end to malaria.
Anna Lungley, chief sustainability officer, Dentsu International, said: “Malaria is one of the world’s deadliest diseases and kills a child every two minutes. Africa carries the highest burden and it is alarming that Covid-19 may result in malaria deaths rising by 50% as access to healthcare, medicines and essential services is interrupted. ‘Draw The Line Against Malaria’ is a stunning example of creative collaboration across Dentsu’s global agency teams that we hope will inspire a generation to unite and take action to end malaria for good. We are delighted to partner with Malaria No More on this campaign”.
Lilies Njanga, Africa director at Malaria No More UK added: “As young people face unprecedented new challenges around employment and health due to the pandemic, we must protect the fight against malaria. Africa's youth are too smart and too strong to let malaria steal their futures. The Kigali Summit will be a critical moment to galvanise renewed action to tackle malaria in the face of Covid-19 challenges. Never has it been more urgent to protect communities and to build a safer world for all. It’s in our hands.”
Dr Elvis Ikechukwu Eze, a young medical doctor and malaria youth champion from Nigeria said: “In terms of inequality, we know that malaria prevents more children from going to school than you can imagine. Getting an education is the first step to success and a good life. Malaria continues to deprive Africa of its prosperity and economic potential. The more we make efforts to eradicate malaria now, the more our future will be preserved in many ways.
“If my generation looks around, they will see how malaria affects them. We must unite to defeat this disease once and for all. We can educate ourselves, inform our friends and work within our communities to get rid of them locally. We must ensure that no avenue is overlooked to eradicate malaria.”
The dynamic youth-focused Zero Malaria ‘Draw the Line Against Malaria’ campaign film will premiere on 24 February 2021.