Lifebuoy: Bond of Love on Mother’s Day

Campaign Summary

As Lifebuoy Shampoo began to lose market share in an increasingly crowded marketplace, the brand noticed another trend in the region: the bond between mothers and daughters had begun to weaken, partially due to mobile technology, which allowed girls to spend time with their friends even when they weren’t together. The brand was determined to “take over” Mother’s Day, and used an interactive voice response service that enabled daughters to leave loving messages for their moms to be delivered on Mother’s Day.


Objective and Context:

In Pakistan, moms are at the center of the family, and mothers and daughters share a special relationship in the local culture. Lifebuoy has been celebrating this special bond for years, yet the brand recently experienced a disconnection from its consumer base in an increasingly-crowded category. As a result, Lifebuoy Shampoo, one of the leading haircare brands in Pakistan, was seeing a decline in its market share.

The brand’s overall market share was declining by 9 percent (Q1 2014 vs. Q1 2013), and its brand equity scores were also falling by 9 percent (April 2014 vs. April 2013). Even more alarmingly, the brand was losing share from its herbal shampoo line, which normally contributes over 60 percent of the brand’s sales.

A TV ad alone was not enough to re-establish the brand’s link with consumers. The challenge was to reignite the mother-daughter relationship while also creating emotional engagement among consumers.

The goal was to have a positive impact on brand scores and sales performance while re-establishing the herbal shampoo line’s leading position in the market.

Target Audience:

In Pakistan, moms play a major role in household culture, particularly among lower income consumers. Lifebuoy Shampoo targeted mothers and daughters who represented the working class of Pakistan, who aspired for bigger things in life.

Creative Strategy:

Mother’s Day has been celebrated in Pakistan for the past few years with tremendous zest. People send flowers, cakes, cards, mugs, sweets, and other gifts to express their love and affection for their mothers. Lifebuoy’s strategy was to “own” Mother’s Day every year by giving daughters an opportunity to show appreciation for their mothers.

With 88 percent of its target audience on mobile, Lifebuoy had an opportunity to drive business through mobile innovation. Lifebuoy Shampoo launched its first-ever “Missed Call” campaign in Pakistan to reach a nationwide audience.


Overall Campaign Execution:

The campaign was launched simultaneously across all channels, including TV, radio, print, cinema, out-of-home, mobile, and social media, inviting daughters to place a “missed call” to a special number to prerecord a personal message for their mothers.

Lifebuoy sent text messages to its core audience, inviting them to give a “missed call” to a special number free of charge. All they had to do was say their name and register their mother’s mobile number, and then record a special message for their mother. The message would then be sent on Mother’s Day through the interactive voice response service. Consumers who participated were also entered into a sweepstakes that gave away exciting prizes.

Engagement with “Missed Call” started pouring in instantly and increased exponentially up until Mother’s Day. To further amplify the campaign, Lifebuoy invited famous mother-daughter celebrities to go on a show produced and sponsored by the brand to discuss their special bond of love and the importance of their relationships. Live calls were taken during the show where consumers made dedications to their mothers. In just 12 days, more than 650,000 calls were received, representing the highest ever engagement for Lifebuoy on any platform in Pakistan.

Building on the success in 2014, Lifebuoy reconnected with those participants through texts and personalized calls, and integrated the dedications recorded in the previous year in the brand’s radio ads. Using the same approach at a larger scale than 2014, the “Missed Calls” campaign received a total of one million calls.

Mobile Execution:

Mobile penetration in Pakistan is more than 80 percent, and low range phones (non-Internet phones) constitute over 70 percent of the entire market. Texting and calling are the major ways of communication in the region.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)


Mom is a girl’s first and best friend, with whom she shares everything. However, in these changing times of mobile connectivity and social networks, daughters were more often choosing their friends over mothers. With the mother/daughter bond becoming strained, Lifebuoy decided to step in and reignite the relationship.


This was the first ever “missed call” mobile-driven integrated engagement campaign by a Unilever brand in this market, and it generated extraordinary results.

The campaign drove more than 650,000 missed calls in 2014 and more than 1 million calls in 2015. Market share grew by 17.6 percent, average consumption grew by 11 grams per month, and top-of-mind consideration grew by 36 percent.

Key attributes linked to brand perception also grew significantly. Consumer agreement that Lifebuoy was “suitable for the whole family” rose by 35 percent, and the belief that it “makes your hair stronger” grew by 10 percent.

Market Impact:

For the first time for Lifebuoy Shampoo, mobile was taking the lead in an integrated engagement campaign. The call to action across all channels served to direct the audience to an engagement platform on mobile. This approach has earned the brand the highest ever engagement on any platform in Pakistan and delivered amazing commercial results.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Relationship Building/CRM | Awards: Bronze Winner