By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

June 21, 2022 | 3 min read

‘The Killer Pack’ was designed to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases at breeding grounds like waste disposal sites in India.

VMLY&R Mumbai has scored a Health & Wellness Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for its work in developing an innovative, 100% biodegradable packaging solution designed to kill mosquito larvae. The packaging, when disposed of in landfills or in stagnant water, can help combat diseases like malaria and dengue in India.

The campaign, dubbed ‘The Killer Pack,’ was created for mosquito repellent brand Maxx Flash. In a hero spot for the campaign, a narrator explains that India now sees an estimated 400m dengue cases a year — a 30-fold increase from 50 years ago. And while many Indian households use mosquito repellent coils within their homes to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases, the culprit is often found at garbage collection points and areas with stagnant water, where mosquitoes lay eggs in shallow water.

To combat the problem, VMLY&R Mumbai worked with Maxx Flash to develop a new kind of packaging for mosquito repellent coils. Biodegradable cardboard packaging is lined with probiotic bacillus thuringiensis, or sereotype H14, a group of human-safe bacteria that can kill mosquito larvae. While the non-toxic coils inside the package can be used to repel mosquitoes indoors, the packaging itself can be disposed of — and will then work to control the mosquito population within a 45-foot radius. The packaging itself will then disintegrate in water or moist environments like garbage bins, storm drains, stagnant water and more. It’s harmless to animals including dogs and birds.

“It works like an automated process,” said Jignesh Mathur, an entomologist at the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control in India, in the campaign’s hero film.

The packaging has received approval by WHO, as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Indian Council of Medical Research. The pack was initially made available in hotbeds of mosquito-borne diseases across India, including Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra and other regions.

‘The Killer Pack’ is second campaign that earned a Grand Prix for VMLY&R on Monday; the agency also clinched the Pharma Grand Prix for its ‘I Will Always Be Me’ campaign for Intel and Dell Technologies.

“We are so happy and humbled to kick off the week with two bangs and collect our first Grand Prix in these important categories,” said VMLY&R global chief creative officer Debbie Vandeven.

The Cannes Lions Festival is back after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. It will run through June 24.

Check out all the big winners at Cannes this year.

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