Lifebuoy’s rural activation saves children's lives


In 2013, Lifebuoy launched their ‘Help a child reach 5’ campaign to announce their effort to adopt Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh, to help every child living there reach their fifth birthday. The effort was initiated to improve the hygiene standards in the village and the brand took to educating families about the importance of using hand wash to beat diseases.

One year down, Lifebuoy has reported that diarrhea in the village has dropped from 36% to 5%, a whopping 31% decrease. The verdict was revealed by an independent evaluation of 1485 households with children aged below 12 years, conducted by research agency Neilsen. The results also show that the hand washing programs have a significant positive impact on the behavior and health of the community.

 Sanjeev Mehta, CEO & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. said, “Lifebuoy Help a Child Reach 5 has demonstrated excellent results in Thesgora and will scale up this campaign to reach 45 million people in India. The results of Lifebuoy’s efforts so far prove that when a social mission is embedded into a successful brand’s core values, significant and indeed lifesaving change can happen fast. So far, Lifebuoy has impacted hand washing behaviours of 183 million people in 16 countries and 58 million people in India.”

This is what Samir Singh, Lifebuoy Global Brand Vice President, says: “Our goal is to change the hand washing behaviours of 1 billion people by 2015; we have reached 130 million people so far. This film tells the world what Lifebuoy has been doing as part of its social mission for the last ten years and invites the world to join in by pledging its support.”

This is an outstanding achievement for a village that has one of the highest rates of diarrhea in the country. As for the brand, they can proudly flaunt the results. After all it is one of the few ‘social good’ campaigns that has displayed a rare sincerity and lived up to its promise.

Another reason for Lifebuoy to be proud of the campaign is the interesting mix of rural activations and online advertising. The on-ground efforts were beautifully complimented by the story of Gondappa, a video that found its way to social networks. Added to this, a live tracker on the YouTube channel page also displays the number of children reached through the campaign so far. It surely will serve as a great case study for brands willing to explore such unconventional combinations.

Tags assigned to this article:
digital hindustan unilever research rural

Around The World

Our Publications