New Campaign Using AI Technology Featuring David Beckham Aims to Reinvigorate Public Interest in the World’s Oldest Disease

London, April 9th 2019: Leading non-profit organization Malaria No More UK is pleased to announce it has partnered with R/GA London, RSA Amsterdam, London tech company Synthesia, and Dentsu Aegis Network on the launch of phase two of the global campaign Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live.  Using emerging AI video synthesis technology, the campaign taps into the cultural zeitgeist to deliver non-conventional creative to inspire support to end malaria from public and political leaders in regions of the world past and present affected by the deadly, preventable disease.

Creatively concepted and led by R/GA London, the resulting campaign featuring David Beckham, is themed on the power of a voice, harnessing the upward trend of voice technology in everyday life. The call to action is a 30 second ask to participate in the world’s first Voice Petition to end malaria.

This aims to deliver a sense of public mandate for urgent political action at the critical Global Fund replenishment meeting in October this year.  It follows the successful launch of the campaign in February 2018 in the run up to the London Malaria Summit, that was held during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2018. The campaign and Malaria Summit helped achieve commitments worth over $4.1bn to fight malaria and led to a historic CHOGM commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023 by 53 world leaders.

Kate Wills, Director of Partnerships and Communications at Malaria No More UK says: “We deliberately sought R/GA as our creative partner as their ability to deliver transformational marketing can help us shake up and reframe public and political perceptions of this global killer. This phase of the campaign is critical to ensure we get ahead in the global fight”.

The Voice Petition is being launched through a 55” film produced by a world class pro bono team convened by charity Malaria No More UK, the organisation behind Malaria Must Die: RSA Amsterdam with Director Juriaan Booij in partnership with R/GA, London based Technology Company Synthesia and Dentsu Aegis Network.

“Malaria is the world’s oldest disease, still a child dies every two minutes from it. Yet people are still deaf to this message. So with this campaign, we wanted to combine our innovative approach to communications, design and technology to get malaria firmly back on the agenda.” said Matt Lodder, EVP Managing Director of R/GA EMEA. “It’s our responsibility as professionals working in the creative industry, to make people sit up and listen, which is why we harnessed the power of voice as the medium in this work.”

In the short film, David appears to speak nine languages as he invites people to add their voices to help end one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases. But the voices are not all his own. Instead, using emerging AI video synthesis technology, we hear David speaking the voices of men and women from around the world, including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease.

Through David, we hear nine global languages spoken and the voices of eight others, including Dr Elvis Eze, Marie Murorunkwere, Hussein Omar and Jean Bosco Niyonzima, who have survived malaria and are using their stories to help raise awareness about malaria’s devastating effects.

Each language and voice represent a part of the world affected by malaria, past or present; from the UK, which was historically affected my malaria, to China, a country on the brink of elimination, to Nigeria, where the malaria toll is the heaviest with close to 300 lives lost every day, mainly young children. 

The ‘Malaria Must Die’ campaign is designed to amplify the voices of those affected by malaria and gives everyone the opportunity to speak out. Each voice collected via the petition will contribute to a unique piece of audio art known as a sound sculpture, grabbing the attention of leaders in a unique and memorable way. It will be delivered to world leaders ahead of critical funding decisions for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in six months’ time. 

David Beckham is a founding member of Malaria No More UK Leadership Council and a committed champion in the fight against malaria with over a decade of support for Malaria No More UK. In his long-term role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador he has seen the impact of malaria on people’s lives in countries such as Sierra Leone. 

David says: “I have been working with ‘Malaria No More UK for over 10 years and to be a part of this campaign and to help share some of the real stories behind malaria is really important to me.  Dr Elvis Eze who was with us on set has suffered with malaria many times and as a doctor, he has seen how dangerous this disease can be. For me, it was so important to learn how he is using his experiences to raise awareness of malaria with young people in the UK and abroad. It’s unacceptable that malaria still kills a child every two minutes so please add your voice to the petition.”

 

The script:

English by David Beckham: Malaria isn’t just any disease. It’s the deadliest disease there’s ever been

Spanish by Juan David: It is said to have killed half the people who ever lived

Kinyarwanda* by Marie Murorunkwere: More than 50 billion of us

Arabic by Hussein Omar: And it still kills a child every two minutes

French by Jean Bosco Niyonzima: But we can end it. We have the knowledge. We have the opportunity

Hindi by Subrhanil Banerjee: We just need more action

Mandarin by Xiaxiuan Zhu: We need to make the world’s leaders pay attention

Kiswahili** by Judith Mwaya: So we’re launching the world’s first voice petition

 

Yoruba*** by Elvis Eze:  Your voice can help end malaria.

English by David Beckham:

Speak up and say ‘malaria must die’.

One voice can be powerful

But all our voices, together?

Then they will have to listen”.

Add your voice to the Voice Petition at www.malariamustdie.com

 

*Kinyarwanda is a dialect spoken in Rwanda, a country that has made great strides in the malaria fight and which co-hosted the Malaria Summit, London, 18.04.18

**Kiswahili (Swahili) is a major Bantu language spoken in 7 African countries including those with high malaria burdens Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda.

***Yoruba is a language spoken in Nigeria – the country carrying the heaviest burden with 25% of all cases and deaths