Amid Coronavirus scare, Lifebuoy’s ad reinforces its stature as leader

The Coronavirus epidemic has reached India and has people in panic. As alarmists scamper in search of face masks and elaborate preventative healthcare measures, a soap brand has a simple message for its consumers.

Like any other infectious disease, Coronavirus endangers consumers via the same channels. Basic hygiene like washing your hands, covering your cough and staying updated with the latest information goes a long way in checking the spread of the disease.

Lifebuoy has released a print advertisement, which first appeared on January 31, 2020 in the Mumbai Edition of Hindustan Times, lauded for its simply phrased communication and shoutout to fellow soap brands.

Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, the long-time creative agency of the brand, the advertisement first came to our attention when advertising veteran MG Parmeshwaran posted the following Tweet:

Creative Viewpoint

Ambi Parameshwaran
Ambi Parameshwaran

Ambi Parameshwaran, Brand Strategist & Founder, Brand-Building

"I think it is a good move by Lifebuoy to remind consumers about the importance of hand wash. What I thought was unique in the ad was the fact that they called out all the leading soap brands, not just the HUL ones. So the ad released by HUL for Lifebuoy mentioned Lux [HUL brand], Santoor [Wipro Consumer Care], Dettol [RB] and Godrej No1. I am not sure if I have ever seen an ad mentioning all the competitors in a good light. It was even more special for me since I worked on brand Santoor [during my innings in FCB Ulka] for over twenty years to help make it the No2 soap brand in India."

Sumanto Chattopadhyay
Sumanto Chattopadhyay

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, 82.5 Communications:

“Lifebuoy appropriated the high ground with this communication. Not only did it provide timely information at a critical juncture in public health, but magnanimously mentioned its competitors too. This reinforces its stature as a leader.”

Girish Upadhyay
Girish Upadhyay

Girish Upadhyay, Chief Operating Officer, Madison Media Infinity:

“When the heart of your brand narrative becomes a cause that can resonate with your customers and at the same time connects to your brand in some way, it creates a new tone to your marketing that’s sure to capture consumer attention. The Lifebuoy ad just does that and thus stands out. Additionally, they are not entirely profit-driven in their campaign – they are supporting a cause that has meaning for their business and brand, something which they have been doing successfully since the past few years.

Also, mentioning other brands in the ad just raises their status a notch more and demonstrates professional maturity. It shows that they are working for a common cause of safe and healthy India. And with the topicality of the message it has overall hit the right chords. In this evolving age consumers want to know the brands they're supporting have a real impact.”



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