Awez Darbar was recently seen taking part in the Lifebuoy handwash challenge on TikTok, only days after dancing in a similar video for Dettol.
The rapidly spreading Coronavirus has created panic throughout the world. There is still no vaccine for it, but there is one effective way of combating the virus - by washing your hands. With this piece of information, personal hygiene brands started making ads. Dettol and Lifebuoy, the two biggest brands in this space, have been advertising and urging people to wash their hands with their products. Or, with any product for that matter, as long as they're staying safe.
Now, sombre messages are slowly taking a backseat. The two brands recently took to popular short form video platform TikTok to create two different types of content. Last week, afaqs! reported on Dettol India's handwash challenge - a social media campaign that was run on TikTok. A press note from Reckitt Benckiser's (RB) team mentions that Dettol’s #HandWashChallenge campaign saw over 18 billion views in a week. To bring the challenge to life, the brand made a hashtag filter available - which could be added to the videos. Adding the filter meant that a strip would appear across the top of the video with Dettol's hashtag in the brand's signature green shade.
One of the participants of the challenge (pictured above) was Awez Darbar, one of TikTok's most popular Indian content creators. Lifebuoy has also released a similar challenge on the platform - involving a hashtag, along with a signature track that ends with Lifebuoy's musical jingle. While Dettol's challenge was more 'action oriented' (with emphasis on the style of handwashing), Lifebuoy's challenge emphasises more on the brand itself - and how it can be used to curb the spread of the disease. It wasn't a surprise to see popular Indian rapper Badshah featured prominently in the challenge - but it was slightly surprising when a video of the challenge was posted on Darbar's profile, too. The Lifebuoy handwash challenge has been created in association with the agency Lowe Lintas.
Darbar confirmed that both the videos were a branded content association and informs us that the work was for the content agency nofiltr, which manages him, and other popular TikTok influencers. Before the popularity of digital and social advertising, it would have been unthinkable to imagine a popular media personality to endorse two opposing brands in a period of 2-3 days, and yet, here we are.
In traditional advertising, once a celebrity/sportsperson is signed on as a brand ambassador, he/she can't be seen endorsing a rival brand, for a period of time as specified by the contract. In Indian advertising, the most famous example of a celebrity endorsing two rival brands in quick succession is of actress and former 'Miss World' Aishwarya Rai. She was signed on as Pepsi's brand ambassador in 1994 (shortly after she won the Miss World title), and starred alongside Mahima Chaudhury and Aamir Khan in an ad.
A few years later, in 2003, Rai was seen endorsing rival beverage brand Coca-Cola.