Manulife and TBWA Singapore combat mosquitos with handcrafted plant pots that repel

Life saving pots.jpgWith last year's Zika outbreaks and an increasing number of dengue cases, Singapore has been looking for new ways to reduce mosquito populations. These range from identifying areas most at risk using data and machine learning to releasing bacteria-carrying male mosquitoes that mate with females to produce eggs that do not hatch.

Now, in an effort to prevent illnesses and protect communities, Manulife Singapore has taken an unexpected new step in the fight against mosquitoes with the "Life Saving Pots" - the world's first plant pots that double as mosquito repellents.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant pools of water. In tropical countries like Singapore, these pools can often be found in overwatered plant pots. To deny mosquitoes their favourite breeding ground, each Life Saving Pot is coated in a special paint that contains permethrin, a non-toxic insecticide that repels mosquitoes. The paint has been tested to repel up to 80% of mosquitoes, including Aedes mosquitoes, which carries dengue and Zika viruses.

The paint works by disrupting the nervous systems of mosquitoes, knocking them unconscious when they attempt to land on the pots.

Manulife Singapore worked with TBWA\Singapore to create handcrafted plant pots in three different sizes with three unique designs. The creation melds art, age-old traditions and technology to combat a long-standing concern in Singapore.

The pots are first fired at The Dragon Kiln, one of the last surviving wood-fire brick kilns in Singapore. Unlike modern day gas and electric kilns, the ashes from the wood react to create unpredictable finishes that make each pot one-of-a-kind. Once the pots have cooled, they are layered with two coats of the mosquito-repelling paint.

Each Life Saving Pot is then brought to life by traditional ceramic artist, Shee Bee Heo, formally trained at Ming Village Ceramics. Over several months, she painstakingly painted the designs on each pot by hand. Her swift and elegant ink strokes come from over 30 years of experience and dedication to ceramics and traditional Chinese painting. At first glance, the pots appear to be intricately painted, traditional Chinese-style works of art. A very different story is revealed on closer inspection: the delicate flowers upon the long, fine branches depict fallen mosquitoes, with their upturned wings resembling petals.

Kwek-Perroy Li Choo, Chief Customer Officer of Manulife Singapore says, "Given our climate and population density, Singapore is uniquely vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases. We believe in encouraging our customers to actively take precautions with their health. We wanted to get to the root of the problem by preventing the mosquitoes from breeding in homes in the first place. The creation of these Life Saving Pots is a simple and elegant solution that helps Singaporeans to keep their homes safe."

With the help of its employees and agents, Manulife Singapore distributed 80 Life Saving Pots to senior communities in Singapore's Punggol neighbourhood.

Ms Sun Xueling, Member of Parliament, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC was present to help distribute the Life Saving Pots, and provide advice and precautions to the residents of the Punggol neighbourhood, who have been affected by dengue and Zika outbreaks in recent years.

Manulife Singapore will also be hosting a contest on its Facebook page ( to give away Life Saving Pots to the public.


Creative Agency: TBWA\Singapore
Gary Steele, Executive Creative Director
Hagan de Villiers, Executive Creative Director
Jimmy Neo, Creative Director
Tattoo Yar, Creative Group Head
Kenneth Choong, Senior Writer
Claudia Ribeiro, Senior Writer
Weicong Chong, Art Director
Nastasha Gotangco, Account Director
Shee Bee Heo, porcelain artist, Ceramic House
Tan Teck Yoke, Dragon Kiln


Really?? said:

The Life Saving Pot. LOL

Scamoush said:

Doesn’t kill mosquitoes just repels them. What the use of that? Come on guys. TBWA Manila did the freeway absorbing paint that cleaned up dirty air which was just as scammy. Do real work for SIA or STB or SCB.

Are you SERIOUS?! said:

Come on guys. Do you know what's the progress of painting on porcelains?
So that artist need to back and fall heat the pot after painted?
I'm just curious she can produce how many pots per-day?

Such prototype piece of works

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