Mawbima: The newspaper that stopped dengue in its tracks

Murtaza A. Tajbhoy

Campaign details

Brand owner: Ceylon Newspapers
Leading agency: Leo Burnett Solutions
Budget: Up to 500k
Country: Sri Lanka
Industry: Newspapers
Media: Events and experiential; Newspapers; Outdoor, out-of-home; Social media

Market background and cultural context

Background to the industry: a crowded category facing a decline

The newspaper industry in Sri Lanka is highly cluttered, with over 200 registered publications reaching 18 million readers1. The highest readership is enjoyed by the well-established Lankadeepa, reaching almost half the adult population. Sixteen other Sinhalese dailies compete directly with Mawbima2.

Moreover, out of the total adult population, only 57% are newspaper readers. And the category is shrinking fast, recording a growth of only 11% in the previous year3. This was mainly due to the most influential segment – the urban professionals – turning to other media for their daily dose of news. Although this segment accounts for approximately 20% of the adult population of Sri Lanka, not many of them are regular newspaper readers. For example, readership of the most popular newspaper, Lankadeepa, was only 8.5% among this segment4.