Lifebuoy: Hand Hygiene Delivered


Campaign Summary

In India, handwashing before meals isn't common practice. Lifebuoy, a liquid handwash brand, wanted to promote its product and increase usage in this market. However, the campaign's purpose became even greater when COVID-19 hit, and handwashing became a matter of life or death. Lifebuoy connected with its target to instill the importance of handwashing as part of a partnership with the country's most popular food delivery app.


Objective and Context:

Lifebuoy liquid handwash faced the challenge of educating people on the importance of washing hands before eating meals. Despite heavy investments in varied media and distribution strategies, the household penetration of Lifebuoy liquid handwash was a mere 7 percent. This slow growth was attributed to the challenge of breaking consumer inertia towards washing hands. The brand had to build relevance and increase penetration for Lifebuoy liquid handwash by bringing a behavioral change related to hand hygiene. Lifebuoy would do this by reaching consumers at the moment of truth: right before they consumed meals.

Be it rich or poor, old or young, male or female, Indians traditionally eat with their hands, but washing hands before meals is not a habit that comes readily to Indians. According to a survey from the National Statistics Office, 35.8 percent of Indian households wash their hands with soap prior to eating. The reason why washing hands before meals is important is because this simple act can help save lives. Eating with dirty hands is the prime cause of ailments like dysentery and diarrhea, among others.

Then, a catastrophe struck the world when COVID-19 happened. The global pandemic made washing hands mandatory as per the guidelines set by the World Health Organization. Washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. There was a global emergency to create awareness of this within the urban metros, which were viral hotspots. The task at hand was to educate everyone on the correct ways to wash their hands.

Conventionally, Lifebuoy relies on traditional media to reach households. While that strategy is effective it wasn't impactful during COVID-19. To truly change hygiene behavior, the brand had to nudge the consumer at the right moment.

The lockdown led to a gradual increase in screen time usage and prompted a surge in food deliveries. Lifebuoy saw this as an opportune moment to convey its critical message of hand hygiene.

Target Audience:

Traditionally, Lifebuoy has always targeted homemakers to get them to buy the product. However, to truly drive behavioral change, the targeting boundaries were expanded. Handwashing was now essential for the entire family including all age groups and genders. With the meteoric rise in COVID-19 cases across metropolitan cities, Lifebuoy focused on targeting the digital-savvy urban audiences.

Creative Strategy:

The country was in the midst of a national lockdown and many elements of life were changing, yet some were staying the same. Lifebouy examined life during the lockdown.

  1. Culture. People are continuing to eat with their hands
  2. Consumer. People stopped visiting restaurants, and instead ordered in, which created a surge for online food ordering apps.
  3. Context. Because of COVID-19, it was now more important than ever to remind consumers of the simple lifesaving act of handwashing.

Due to the pandemic, dining out had given way to dining in. Ordering food online became a necessity during the lockdown. Food technology is one of the fastest growing sectors with a reach that has grown six times in the last few years. More importantly, the user profile has changed. Food apps are accessed by every member of the family.

The top three food delivery platforms account for 1.25 billion food orders per year, making them a perfect platform to deliver Lifebuoy's hand hygiene message.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Lifebuoy struck an alliance with Swiggy, India's No. 1 food delivery app. Swiggy delivers 1.6 million food orders daily through 210,000 delivery people. With every order delivered, Lifebuoy included a ready-to-use Lifebuoy handwash pack. The delivery people became "Ambassadors of Change" who "Hand delivered the message of Hand Hygiene."

Mobile Execution:

Swiggy's own technology platform and app powered by routine algorithms allowed Lifebuoy to remind consumers by nudging them at every level of the food order journey.

  • In App. Using Swiggy's app, Lifebuoy built awareness by running a non-skippable 10-second non video on the order tracking page.
  • Last Mile Delivery. Swiggy has more than 210,000 delivery people serving food daily. They are responsible for pick-up and delivery of food orders. As part of the campaign, they delivered Lifebuoy Liquid Handwash Packs with every order. The packs included a message to wash hands before and after consuming meals.
  • Push Notifications. Lifebuoy used Swiggy's in-app technology to engage with consumers by serving a reminder to wash hands after receiving their food delivery.
  • Feedback Nudge. Lifebuoy solicited feedback from consumers to understand their intent for purchasing Lifebuoy liquid handwash in the future.
  • New Commerce Channel. Lifebuoy led the "Hygiene Agenda" by partnering with Swiggy's business-to-business platform "StaplesPlus," a one-stop app for restaurants' everyday needs. Lifebuoy's hygiene products, including hand wash, hand sanitizers, and multi-surface germ sprays, to restaurant chains during COVID-19.

As part of the 360-degree approach, Lifebuoy also ran activations on channels such as TV, print, and digital media to target each income strata, reinforcing Lifebuoy as a hand hygiene expert.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The partnership with Swiggy has become an integral part of Lifebuoy's annual media mobile strategy.

  • Brand penetration increased by 200 basis points.
  • About 1.8 million ready-to-use liquid hand wash packs were distributed as part of the program.
  • The 10-second non-skippable in-app video reached more than four million consumers.
  • Push notifications gathered positive feedback from users and influenced their intent of future purchase via a special e-commerce offer.
  • Lifebuoy products are now available across seven major cities catering to more than 75,000 restaurant partners with an average monthly order value of $10,000.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Cross-Media, Lead Generation/DR/Conversion | Awards: X Gold Winner, X Silver Winner