Sunlight: This Campaign Helped Saree Weavers in West Bengal Earn Revenue During a Tough Time


Campaign Summary

Detergent brand Sunlight was able to increase its market share and drive revenue with a campaign in which the brand partnered with a popular designer and West Bengalese clothing weavers to create custom, colorful sarees.



Sunlight, a 100-year-old regional detergent by Unilever, was struggling to retain market share and saw slowing sales in West Bengal. Being the market leader in the region, there was an opportunity to reach a bigger audience. The objective was to build brand love and thereby increase market share with the brand purpose of "enabling people to bring back colors in their lives."

Target Audience:

Sunlight is Unilever's oldest brand in India and has been keeping colored clothes bright ever since its launch over 130 years ago. It is a heritage brand that has proudly reigned in the markets of West Bengal and Kerala. Targeted toward females over the age of 15 and especially homemakers, the brand has developed a regional and rural appeal over the years.

Creative Strategy:

Because Sunlight has been a household name in West Bengal for many years, the campaign's strategy was to engage the audience and increase brand love with a communication that struck the right chords while staying true to the brand's purpose and positioning. The aim was to activate the brand purpose around a cultural aspect for which the audience had deep feelings: Sunlight noticed that the handloom weavers in West Bengal, who have been an integral part of the fashion culture in India, were struggling due to the rise of power looms, fake imitations, and COVID-19. The average wage of just $94 a month had dropped to $27 a month in the last few years. The minimal profit that these weavers make with every masterpiece is shared with multiple partners in the supply chain, leaving close to nothing for the weaver.

Pujo is the biggest shopping festival in West Bengal and was a backdrop for Sunlight to revive the community and the art of weavers. The brand brought together the power of West Bengal's biggest Fashion designer — Parama Ghosh — the iconic art of weavers, and media to introduce "Tantir Rong," which translates to "Colors of Weaves."

With the weavers on board, Sunlight created fashion labels with the name of the weaver and stitched them into the sarees these underappreciated artists created. This was the first time in the history of Indian fashion that weavers were acknowledged in this way. Importantly, on the custom labels, the weaver's name always preceded the designer. For instance, a label for a weaver named Balaram read, "Balaram X Parama," with the Parama designer name coming behind the weaver's.


Sunlight has been keeping colored clothes bright ever since its launch over 130 years ago. Over the years, the brand has been an integral part of West Bengal's biggest festivals, Durga Pujo and Poila Boishakh. With this campaign, the brand took the responsibility to bring about a change in one of the most important cultural aspects of West Bengal.


Overall Campaign Execution:

With a 360-degree execution, the idea was to drive maximum impact and thereby increase brand love and market share for Sunlight. To start, Sunlight launched the "color of weaves" package design and immediately made an impression in millions of households within a few days. The pack had a QR code that could be scanned and that took people directly to the campaign website, where they could explore and buy from the exclusive collection.

A microsite was created, living within a prominent tab on Parama's e-commerce site, which spoke about the initiative and the weavers involved and that listed their creations under unique labels.

A short film was also produced and released on Sunlight's YouTube channel. A shorter version of the short film also ran on traditional TV and became a unique "shoppable" spot on TVC with the addition of a QR code.

To drive home the digital activation, the brand partnered with influencers to create content in which they spoke about the initiative and showcased the sarees to support the cause. They also gave due credit to each specific weaver and his or her label while displaying the sarees.

On the day of Mahalaya, when radio listenership exceeds TV in West Bengal, Sunlight ran shoppable audio ads. The ad said, "Ok google, take me to 'Sunlight Tantir Rong' website."

Finally, India's largest TV, print, and digital channels spoke about the campaign, interviewing Parama and the local weavers.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The campaign performed as impressively for the brand as it did for the weaver community of West Bangal. Results included:

  • A 3 percent increase in market share
  • A 210 percent increase in e-commerce search volume
  • A 450 percent increase in digital conversation
  • A 40 percent increase in searches as a result of the radio activation on Mahalaya

The campaign was a boon in the lives of the entire weaving community in West Bengal, as it:

  • Generated seven times the average monthly income for weavers
  • Increased saree sales by 150 percent for Parama, thereby providing more income to weavers

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Cross Platform — All Media | Awards: X Global Gold Winner