New Delhi – It is not every day that a brand promotes its direct competitors.
Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest marketer of consumer products, transcended typical marketing strategies and promoted public health above all else in a recent advertisement for its Lifebuoy soap.
A brand strategist and founder of Brand-Building.com discovered a public campaign for Lifebuoy printed in the Hindustan Times and shared his discovery on Twitter.
“Great initiative to advertise the importance of hand wash,” wrote Mr Ambi Parameswaran about the statement that it was not an ad. “This is a public service message,” said Hindustan Unilever.
Created by advertising agency Lowe Lintas, which handles over 300 brands, the campaign focuses on a guide that “F.I.G.H.T.S” the Covid-19 outbreak.
F – Frequent handwashing with soap
I – Instant germ-kill with alcohol-based sanitizer when out of home
G – Go to the doctor when you have a cold or cough or fever
H – Home rest if you are feeling unwell
T – Tissues and masks to be used when you cough or sneeze
S – Stay away from raw meat and wild/live farm animals
It is the following request that is surprising:
“Please use any soap nearest to you. Not just Lifebuoy, but any soap like Lux, Dettol, Santoor or Godrej No.1.”
“A big hurray for mentioning other leading brands of soap in your ad,” commended Mr Parameswaran. “First time one has seen this!,” he added.
Numerous Twitter users were impressed by the initiative and commented that the mature marketing conveyed a social message for the public’s benefit and positioned Lifebuoy as a market leader at the same time.
One netizen noted that the same kind of “opportunistic marketing” would be frowned upon in the West, to which Mr Parameswaran replied that his tweet was not a critique but a “hat tip to the initiative”.
User @swmonsoon wondered if Unilever could print a similar ad in other places like Singapore or the Netherlands. “Would be more than curious to see it in this interconnected world,” added the Twitter user.
Nonetheless, it was a noble move for the Lifebuoy maker to promote other brands in solidarity against the epidemic.
@HUL_News Great initiative to advertise the importance of hand wash @htTweets. And a big hurray for mentioning other leading brands of soaps in your ad. First time one has seen this! @SantoorOfficial @DettolIndia @GodrejGroup pic.twitter.com/UAhiMvDWPL
— Ambi Parameswaran (@ambimgp) January 31, 2020