BBDO Cleverly Engineers a Mosquito-Repellent Motorcycle Exhaust Pipe

Special filter helps fight disease

Think of it as a citronella candle on wheels.

Mosquito-borne illnesses are a growing issue in Thailand's slums, with the incidence of dengue fever tripling in 2015. To battle the glut of diseased pests, a Thai charity, the Duang Prateep Foundation, and its agency, BBDO Bangkok, repurposed another abundant local feature—motorcycle exhaust fumes.

The result is Moto Repellent, an anti-bug filter that riders—ubiquitous in Thailand—can attach to their tailpipes. The filter contains mosquito repellent oil that, when mixed with the heat from the engine's spent fuel, produces a special smoke that can deter mosquitos for up to three meters. 

The case study video for the pilot run includes a few dubious moments, like when a local community leader praises the solution's nontoxic nature. (The bike still looks to be pumping carbon into the atmosphere—whether the filter reduces its adverse impact on air quality isn't clear.) Some of the anecdotal testimony on its overall effectiveness also feels a bit stiff, and therefore staged.

In fact, the tool is one of those things that seems like it shouldn't work, even if it does. Regardless—or perhaps because of that—it makes for a crafty bit of problem-solving. Duang Prateep hopes to expand distribution with government funding. (It also might want to consider selling a bunch to Brazil.)


Client: Duang Prateep Foundation

Agency: BBDO Bangkok

Chief Creative Officer: Suthisak Sucharittanonta

Executive Creative Director: Chalit Manuyakorn

Creative Group Head: Peter Oh

Art Director: Sithum Walter

Copywriters: Chalit Manuyakorn, Peter Oh

Designer: Sangvian Suwan

Producers: Jirapan Vasanabunsongserm, YadaBuachan, Yathip Thanitthanaphat

Client Service: Wachira Ampornpachra

Production House: Meour Production Co.

Director: Kasemparn Jujindalert

Assistant Director: Teewin Varapaskul