Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Dettol out with first ‘home made’ ad film

While the ad drives home the effectiveness of soap against germs, core idea is a replication of a viral ‘soap trick’ video.

Antiseptic brand Dettol recently shot and launched an ad film demonstrating how soap keeps germs away. Amidst the national lockdown, the ad has been filmed inside the house (unlike in studios and sets) without people having to step out of their homes. It also has relatively better production value than most other communication from the lockdown period. The ad film has been crafted by McCann India.

As the McCann India team mentions in a press release. The advertisement was shot on mobile phones with minimal use of equipment and cast being family members of the creative team. The post-production of the video too was done by an editor and music composer from their respective homes. The grading was done from Poland.

The McCann team got in touch with directors, who could produce this video from the confines of their homes by shooting it on their mobile phones with little or no equipment at their disposal. And not just that, they had to cast their own family members.

However, apart from its ‘executed in home’ nature there are a couple of things about the video. First, the idea in the ad film is a replication of the viral ‘soap trick’ videos on the internet. In the viral videos, parents are seen teaching kids about how viruses run away from soap. A bowl of water has floating pepper particles. The particles disperse rapidly as soon as a soap covered finger is dipped in the bowl (because pepper particles are hydrophobic and soap disturbs surface tension of water). So, if Dettol rides the viral wave or just disappears among the crowd, remains to be seen

Secondly, despite the extreme close up visuals of Dettol soap bars, the mother (in the ad) suggests that washing hands with ‘any soap‘ does the job. This reminds of archrival Lifebuoy’s recent campaigns mentioning many of its competitors in good light. With this, the Dettol has also made its attempt at gaining the moral high ground.