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Watchout: Bubble Boys and Bubble Girls in Bangladesh!

I’ve just spent an interesting week in Dhaka, talking to various advertising agencies about how we are going to moblise affluent youth in the country around the issue of child survival.

Bangladesh is largely on track to meet the millenium develpoment goal which seeks to reduce child mortality by 2/3rds. But, there are remote pockets where babies still die due to easily preventable causes. We want to make sure that we don’t leave them out.

Our task is to make the death of a baby due to preventable causes unacceptable to EVERYONE in mainstream society. “I want the “bubble” boys and “bubble” girls to care about this issue,” said my colleague Fariha, refering to the group of youngsters who live in the poshest parts of Dhaka, including Gulshan and Dhanmondi. “They tend to grow up completely insulated from and mostly indifferent about this issue.”

The advertising agencies came up with a slew of ideas: Bangladesh is a politically aware country, we think a mock election will work as a big draw! We’ll make people vote for child survival. We’ve got to do a big rock concert! That’s what bubble boys care about! Cool merchandise is the answer! We can design a special thumb-glove and get all the celebrities to sport it. A football match!! Because more people know Pele than our own President!

Which idea will we go with? The decision is making us a little crazy at the moment 🙂

But we know that we’ve got to act fast.  As one of the agencies reminded us: Every day we lose another 640 children in this country to easily preventable diseases. That’s just outrageous.

So: watchout, “bubble” boys and “bubble” girls! We are about to disturb you!

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