afaqs! news bureau

HUL collaborates with UNICEF and invokes the freedom struggle in a new campaign

The ads (against the virus) will cover themes like social distancing, handwashing and generosity.

“Once, we stepped outside our homes and won independence. This time, we’ll stay inside our homes and win independence from Corona,” says the opening line of an ad from HUL’s new mass media campaign in collaboration with UNICEF.

The mass media campaign is titled ‘#BreakTheChain’ / #VirusKiKadiTodo’

The FMCG giant said in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), it will “…undertake a mass communication campaign and to inform and empower the general public against COVID-19.”

Bringing together “…the marketing expertise and scale of HUL and the technical knowledge of UNICEF to create engaging communication tools that can help people change behaviours and stay safe during this time of the pandemic,” it further added.

The campaign will feature 5 and 15-second powerful clips based on three key themes - Social Distancing, Handwashing and Generosity.

Three clips have been released till now.

An interesting aspect in all three clips is the clear link to the freedom movement - likening it to the present battle against the virus.

The first clip talks about people leaving their homes to struggle and eventually gaining independence but this time around, we need to stay indoors to gain independence against Coronavirus.

This clip talks of how our fists (a metaphor for unity) won us our first independence. This time, we washing our hands with soap and water will help us win against Coronavirus.

In this clip, there's mention of us using our hands to spin the charkha in our freedom struggle. This time, we must lend our hands and donate to the needy during the health crisis.

Also, most ads these days feature either still images or video footage from archives with a voice-over. If not these, then an amateur home video. But, this was expected because there is no possibility of a shoot taking placing during a lockdown.

Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and MD, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “The need of the hour is simple and effective communication across both urban and rural India to help fight COVID-19 and our partnership with UNICEF aims to do just that. Furthermore, we need to come together as a nation and be supportive of each other during this crisis.”

He continued, “Our campaign will help address these challenges and at scale. Along with UNICEF, we are also committed to working with the government and making essentials like Lifebuoy soaps, hand sanitizers and Domex cleaners available across a wide geography which is the most critical need today.”

Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, India Representative, UNICEF, India said, “COVID-19 disease has thrown up many challenges and among them is getting the right information to everyone, no matter where they live and whatever their situation, in the shortest time possible.”

“Our partnership with Hindustan Unilever Limited is important as it leverages HUL’s communications strength as well as rural marketing outreach with UNICEF’s technical expertise and messaging. We hope that through this effort, we are able to bridge the communication gaps by sharing information to contain the spread of the disease.”

In the press release, it was also mentioned that the campaign will seek support from media organisations, macro and micro social media influencers thought leaders and celebrities in spreading the message.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 5,095 active cases, 166 deaths, and 472 recoveries as of April 9, 2020.