Last year, WHO announced a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment) as the demand for such products increased because of COVID-19. Colombia faced a drastic shortage of such equipment so much needed to address the pandemic. Because of this, the prices for medical equipment have increased as high as 10 – 20 USD (an average market price), transforming PPE into a luxury for a country with an average daily income of approximately 1.50 USD.

During this week’s #ThrowBrandThursday, we are reminding you of the way in which the largest bottling company in Colombia tried to address the problem: “Bottled Masks” were implemented by Postobón, aiming to keep people safe at an accessible cost.

Implemented with the help of agency Sancho BBDO — a member of BBDO advertising agency network part of Omnicom Group’s portfolio — and given that its family bottles are present at almost every corner store, the brand used its national presence to the advantage of Colombians. Bottled Masks represented an immediate and affordable solution, a DIY project for which one needed a 2L or 3L PET bottle and the company’s “How To” guide to turn a 0.1 USD bottle into a protective face shield.

To make their own masks, people only needed an empty bottle, scissors, and elastic band or shoelace. Four steps later, the face shield is ready to be used (alongside a face mask). The award-winning campaign got a boost through paid and organic national mainstream media, thus attracting national media coverage and opinion leaders and local sustainability activists showing their support.

A poster, printed in newspapers such as El Tiempo and Publimentro, was published to walk people through the process of creating their own face shields. Plus, the guide was also available online, allowing everyone to have access to the model.

Another Omnicom agency that has put creativity at work to support communities in these unprecedented times is BBDO Guerrero. The shortage of PPE endangered front-liners as well, which gave the agency the idea of addressing the lack of such products by encouraging people to use their time spent at home during quarantine to create face shields to help protect front-liners. The initiative — a project by the Philippine Chamber of Business and Professionals, Shanghai founder Carol Ong, and celebrity movie director Marlon Rivera — was amplified through some highly colored posters which included instructions on how to design shields using materials that are available at home.


Client: Postobón

Agency: Sancho BBDO

Chief Creative Officer: Hugo Corredor / Giovanni Martínez / Mario Lagos / Sergio León

Account Executive: Diana Vélez

Account Manager: Rodrigo Morales

Creative Director: Daniel Álvarez / Diego Contreras / Alberto Morales / Juan Aponte

Art Director: Wilson Valero / Alberto Morales

Copywriter: Esteban Henao / Juan Aponte

Other Credits: Andrés Vélez / Catalin Montes (Editors); Yesid Melendro (Craft)