Cannes Lions

Sign of Death

TBWA\SRI LANKA, Colombo / AIA / 2016

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To create impactful communication, we needed to instill a sense of fear among the bathers. With that we created ‘The Sign of Death’ which was a simple coconut leaf or in Sri Lankan, ‘Gokkola’ decorated barricade we used to mark off all the hazardous bathing spots around the tanks. This decoration is usually used to adorn funerals in Sri Lanka, a fact known to every Sri Lankan – which acted as our unique insight.


‘The Sign of Death’ was implemented on ‘Poson’ Day itself as that was the key time that the ancient city were overrun with people and the most likely period when people would bathe in the tanks.


The results were profound with no drownings reported this year during the time of the festival. And more importantly ‘The Sign of Death’ communicated to the people that AIA understood local culture and thereby changed the perception and mindset about the company.

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