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This Lifebuoy print ad urges customers to use competitors too

This Lifebuoy print ad urges readers to wash their hands, irrespective of the brand involved in the process.

The ad first appeared in the Mumbai edition of the Hindustan Times. The brand that commissioned the ad is none other than Hindustan Unilever's Lifebuoy. The copy of the ad urged users to practice proper handwashing technique in the light of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Lifebuoy's print ad in Hindustan Times
Lifebuoy's print ad in Hindustan Times

India has recently confirmed the first ever case of a patient with the virus in the country. The Hindu reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus in the country, outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

The ad by the FMCG giant came on to our radar when consultant and former adman Ambi Parameswaran took to Twitter to share an interesting ad that he came across.

In this case, Lifebuoy has taken the brand's cause of preserving health and preventing disease to the next level by also mentioning competitors in their ad copy. It is a clear way of placing emphasis on keeping consumers safe from the disease, rather than making sure that a product/item is sold. This is not the first time that a cause has prompted an organisation to put out an ad that is not against its rivals, but a way of speaking collaboratively with them.

In April 2019, election season was about to begin. In an effort to maintain and reiterate their credibility, four rival print media groups - Dainik Bhaskar, The Times of India, The Hindu, and Hindustan Times - came together to carry full-page ads that highlighted the credibility of print as a news medium.

This Lifebuoy print ad urges customers to use competitors too

The ad ran in all four newspapers including TOI's Mumbai and Delhi editions and HT's Mumbai edition on April 8, 2019. The main purpose of these ads were to draw emphasis to the discipline of fact-checking in the print medium with the ease of deleting/editing content on social media. The agency 'Famous Innovations' created this campaign pro-bono.

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