"Pollution Pencils"

Client: Haleon
Product: Otrivin
Title: Pollution Pencils
Media: Event
Country: India
Date Of Campaign: 10.11.2022

Background: The WHO says as many as 98% of India’s children breathe toxic air, not just outdoors but indoors too. And the poorest are the worst impacted. The polluted air in low-income schools can exceed WHO limits by 4 times, and children spend up to 8 hours a day in these classrooms. Breathing bad air can cause fatigue, poor concentration, asthmatic flare-ups, illness, and absenteeism. Otrivin is a world leader in nasal health. Its mission? To help every child breathe better. In 2021, the brand launched a worldwide campaign – ‘Actions to Breathe Cleaner’ – to mitigate the impact air pollution has on children, and was looking for a way to make a difference in India.

Idea: To turn air pollution into something useful for children: Pencils! 3 schools with the poorest air quality were identified in Bengaluru – India’s asthma capital. Here, low-cost, self-cleaning and sustainable air purifiers were installed, and over 2 BILLION cubic feet of air was cleaned in 2 months, helping over 1500 children breathe better. The toxic particles harvested were combined with graphite to create 10,000 child-safe Pollution Pencils.The pencils were distributed to the schools’ students. And were also used as a fundraising tool, bringing in money through donations and pencil sales. This meant the project could buy and maintain more purifiers, harvest more residue, and make more pencils for sale.

Results: 2 billion cubic feet of air was cleaned in the first 2 months.10,000 Pollution Pencils made with the residue harvested.4.5x the original investment received through pencil sales and donations. 1500+ children are breathing cleaner air in Bengaluru. And 6,800+ children in Delhi schools to benefit once the second batch of air purifiers is installed.241 million media impressions to date.

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