BENGALURU, INDIA — Leading nasal health brand Otrivin, owned by global consumer health company Haleon, has launched a pioneering clean air initiative called “Otrivin Pollution Capture Pencils.” The innovative project collects pollution by-products and uses them to make (certified non-toxic) pencils for underprivileged children in Bengaluru, India.
The initiative is driven by the fact that 98% of children in India breathe toxic air, according to research by the World Health Organisation (WHO), not only outdoors, but also in their classrooms where children spend up to 8 hours a day.
Developed in collaboration with creative agency Wunderman Thompson Singapore as part of WPP Team GSK/Haleon for the “Otrivin Actions to Breathe Cleaner” program, the project has focused on Bengaluru, where inhabitants breathe air that is considerably more polluted than WHO guidelines, and started in three low-income schools in the industrial areas of Peenya, Hegganahalli, and Mallasandra, which are the areas with the poorest air quality. Air pollution also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma and childhood cancer.
“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
For this initial phase of the project, twenty-two air purifiers, with the ability to wipe out up to 74% airborne pollutants, were installed both inside and outside the school buildings to improve air quality for over 1,500 young students.
Over two months, the specially designed purifiers, which use revolutionary soot cleaning technology developed by Indian innovation company Panjurli Labs headed up by CEO Ashik S.V., cleaned over 2 billion cubic feet of toxic air.
The resulting pollution residue was gathered and mixed with graphite to create the core of 10,000 custom-designed pencils. Certified non-toxic, “Otrivin’s Pollution Capture Pencils” were distributed to students, and will also act as fundraising tools for the installation of more air purifiers in local schools – thereby creating a self-sustaining ecosystem for change.
Farhad Nadeem, Otrivin Global Marketing & Digital Director, said, “We at Haleon and our creative partners are led by our purpose – to help people breathe cleaner. The Otrivin Actions To Breathe Cleaner initiative is built on the premise that no action is too small when it comes to reducing our exposure to air pollution. The Otrivin ‘Pollution Capture Pencils’ pilot in India is one such action that attempts to convert air pollution into positivity. We hope that this initiative, while not solving India’s pollution challenge, inspires people to take simple actions to make the world a better place to live in and breathe.”
The collaboration is supported by a launch campaign developed by Wunderman Thompson Singapore, working in conjunction with a wider team at WPP including Wunderman Thompson India and Grey London. The film was produced by Tandem Media Labs with director Shamik Sen Gupta.
Wunderman Thompson Singapore Creative Director Aarti Nichlani, who has been involved with the project from the start, said, “Air pollution is not going away in a hurry. Meanwhile, it’s the poorest children who bear the greatest burden. An innovation like Pollution Capture Pencils helps make a change at a time when children need it most… today.”
Wunderman Thompson Singapore Chief Creative Officer Mateusz Mroszczak shared, “The biggest reward for any creative agency is to deliver an idea that works both for the client and the greater good. An opportunity like this doesn’t come by often. We’re really proud to have partnered with Otrivin to take a small, but meaningful step to help bring cleaner air to India’s children.”
The Importance of Design
Matching the innovative technology of the air purifiers, the design, and packaging of the “Otrivin Pollution Capture Pencils” are equally imaginative, featuring vibrant artwork created by Indian multidisciplinary artist Gautam Dutta. Dutta has drawn on his background in graphic design, infographics, and illustration to produce three distinct designs which represent the three schools involved in the project. Each design has many small joyful details, specific to each school, to fully capture the children’s imagination.
Gautam Dutta said, “Before I started designing, I went to visit the schools to research and draw inspiration. I was deeply moved by the adversity that these children go through whilst trying to study and shape their future. Despite this, the children have some of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen! With my illustrations, I not only tried to capture the essence of positivity and resilience of the children – but also hope for a brighter future where they can breathe in cleaner air.”
Agency Creative – Wunderman Thompson Global
Bas Korsten, Global Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson
Daniel Bonner, Global Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson
Agency Creative – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Mateusz Mroszczak, Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson
Jon Loke, Executive Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson
Aarti Nichlani, Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson
Tulika Shanker, Associate Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson
Nuttawee Pisanprechatam, Art Director, Wunderman Thompson
Agency Account Management – Grey London
Hanna Essinger, Global Account Director, WPP/ Grey London
Agency Project Manager – Grey London
Lisa O’Brien, Senior Project Manager
Agency Account Management – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Jaimesha Patel, Managing Partner, Client Services
Agency Account Management – Wunderman Thompson Delhi, India
Bhavana Dogra, VP & Executive Business Director, Wunderman Thompson
Rahul Singh, AVP & CSD, Wunderman Thompson
Arjun Bhutani, Brand Manager
Agency Production – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Kimie Ong, Executive Producer
Farhad Nadeem, Global Marketing & Digital Director, Nasal Health/OTC
Ahsan Malik, Global Marketing Manager
Gautam Dutta, Illustrator
Production House: Tandem Media Pvt Ltd ( India )
Director: Shamik Sen Gupta
Producer: Danny V Lobo
DOP : Yashveer Singh – Yogi
2nd Unit DOP : Nishi Dugar
Project Manager: Santosh Gowda
Editor: Abhilesh Shivalkar
Animation Director: Spectrum Studios
VFX Director : Mukesh Sinha
Colourist : Swapnil Patole
Composer: Rohit Chaturvedi
Music Producers: Rohit Chaturvedi and Sanoli Chowdhury
Mix and Sound Design: Sanoli Chowdhury
VO: Archita Trisal