From that slush-smeared footballer directing the ball towards the goal-post to a
bespectacled diminutive early-teen cleaning up his neighbourhood, the Lifebuoy brand has taken giant leaps to remain relevant. The brand that once offered physical protection against germs now inspires a confidence because hygiene is now a state of mind, and not just concerns the body.
The latest ad on Lifebuoy by Lowe underscores this new Lifebuoy-confidence through a school-going kid, who one day (on a holiday, presumably) decides to clean up the garbage-strewn streets of his neighbourhood.
The ad opens on our little hero, who wakes up from the bed with a mission, wears his glasses, fetches the broom and ties a piece of cloth around his forehead. He scans his garbage-littered surrounding and plunges into some serious action. In the process, he drags a cardboard box, dumps the waste into it, and shoos off disturbing elements such as a nosey dog.
Seeing him, other kids of the neighbourhood and the janitor join in the cleaning up mission. A woman expresses her concern for the children's hygiene, but a confident mother simply says 'Koi Dar Nahi' (There is no fear).
The joint effort transforms the once litter-strewn streets into clean ones. In return, the community gives the kids a good open-air bath. Herein comes the actual protagonist. The mother chucks the Lifebuoy bar at our little hero. The ad closes in on the boys, all dressed up for school, giving their parting shot - 'Koi Dar Nahi'. (Please comment)
The insight 'Koi Dar Nahi' came about from the understanding that a well protected family has no reason to fear anything. "Lifebuoy promises protection. So, by that logic, if a family is well protected, there is no cause for fear. Mothers are especially confident as children's hygiene is no longer an issue" explains Balki (R Balakrishnan), executive creative director, Lowe.
The reason for elevating the functionality of Lifebuoy from being a mere germ protecting bar to a cohort is part of the continuous effort to make Lifebuoy a health icon for the nation. "The objective has been to take the 110 year-old brand further from protection to motivating people to bring about a positive change in their lives and their environment without any fear from germs," explains Ashok Venkatramani, vice-president, skin-care, HLL.
Lifebuoy, over the last few years, has established itself as a brand that stands for 'health' and 'vitality' for the family. And reiterating the brands' claim were a series of ads on hygiene tips dished out by mothers. "The idea then was to establish the hygiene credentials of Lifebuoy and therefore, the communication was modeled on the problem-solution method," says Balki.
But as consumers evolved, so did the perception of hygiene. "After having established itself as a health brand through its communication, the brand felt the need to escalate this to a platform where consumers will start believing that if they have good health and hygiene on their side, each one of them can make a difference. Good health and hygiene habits are synonymous to confidence. And this confidence actually leads one to do things that make the environment a better place to live in," says Venkatramani.
Thus, from being a 'problem-solution' brand, Lifebuoy is now a 'no-problem' brand. "So children can go about changing the world in their little ways with no fear," concludes Balki.
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