This Magazine Ad for Insecticide Kills Bugs the Old-Fashioned Way

A pretty fly concept from WMcCann

This ad really hits you over the head with its message, especially if you’re a mosquito.

A few months back, to introduce Mat Inset insecticide, WMcCann in Brazil created an insert for select issues of Veja magazine. “Discover two ways to kill insects,” the copy says. “Both are fragrance-free.”

Readers were encouraged to remove the insert and wrap it around the rolled-up magazine to create a facsimile of the product’s spray-bottle packaging—which in turn could be used to bash pests. (Like mosquitoes. Or obnoxious American tourists in Rio.)

“Brazil was experiencing a major outbreak of dengue fever, a disease caused by the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito,” says agency creative director Sérgio Franco. “We used as creative inspiration the fact of people often getting rid of mosquitoes and insects in general by using a roll-up newspaper or magazine. However, after rolling the magazine, we realized that it had the same shape of our product’s bottle.”

Wait, you can use rolled-up print media to swat insects? Cancel our online subscriptions!

Click the image below to enlarge:

Now, magazine ads have gotten pretty high-tech in recent years, with humble print pages housing hologram projectors, phone chargers and live Twitter feeds.

The brutal beauty of WMcCann’s effort, however, is its utilitarian simplicity in harnessing the medium to cleverly reinforce the brand proposition.

“There was definitely no need for technology or apps to explain a gesture that people know, such as getting rid of mosquitoes with a roll-up magazine,” says Franco. “This is not augmented reality—it is just reality. And that [is something] everyone understands.”

You’ve gotta love it. (Unless, of course, you’re a bug.)

Agency: WMcCann
Client: Flora
Product: Mat Inset
Name of the campaign: Bug Killer Magazine
CCO: Washington Olivetto
Creative Director: Sérgio Franco
Creatives: Ronaldo Ferreira e Ricardo Velloso
Planning: Débora Nitta, Luciana Padovani e Marília Duran
Client Service: Rafael Carmineti, Ana Paula Amadio, João Paulo Araújo
Media planning: Horácio Rosário e Fabiana Ferreira
Production VP: Marcelo Hack
Graphic Producer: Ricardo Rodrigues
Projects: Jaqueline Travaglin, Júlia Soares, Margaret Siewerdt
Client approval: José Vicente e Daniel Bellon

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.