Lifebuoy- Soap of India

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Prepared By – Dhawandeep Singh(331) & Neena Sankhyan(325) | NMIMS

The LifeBuoy Story

While brands have managed to upgrade their image and evolve together with their consumers – Lifebuoy is a great example, having moved from a carbolic, sweaty association to desirable health imagery – there has been no example of a brand that has moved to the top of the pole after residing at the bottom. The relaunch of the soap in 2002, 2004 & again in 2006 have been turning points in its history. In 2004, Lifebuoy’s product offering was revamped with contemporary packaging and an upmarket look. While that went down well with existing users, new users were still elusive; they continued to perceive the product as a ‘cheap soap for poor people’. That perception had to be changed without alienating the Lifebuoy loyalists. The objective for HUL was to launch a campaign that helped the soap shed its old-fashioned image and gain an entry into two million urban households. A survey by HUL showed that mothers stop kids from indulging in activities that are unhygienic. Further, healthcare brands tend to harp on the fear factor, talking of the ills of dirt. It was decided that Lifebuoy, as health soap, needed to do something radically different. Hence, Lowe(Lifebuoy account holder) took the creative route of a Little Gandhi, a boy who takes the initiative of sweeping his street one day, just to make a difference to society in his own little way. Other boys join him in this social act. Mothers are shown encouraging their children to do so, which is a step away from the regular ‘stay away from germs’ kind of soap advertising. There was a series of TVCs for this new campaign: Little Gandhi ad showing a young boy leading young children to clean the streets; a young girl playing football with the boys to young children helping in a cricket stadium on a rainy day. There was a common thread in all the commercials – toughness shown by young children and women. Campaign Dissection...
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