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"Partnering with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was a seamless brand fit": HUL's Vandana Suri

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Last updated : June 04, 2015
Surf Excel's latest digital campaign, woven around the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan idea, is all about getting one's hands dirty to keep India clean.

Surf Excel is back with its 'Daag acche hain' proposition, but this time it strives to create a bigger impact by partnering with mothers and young children to promote the popular cleanliness drive, "Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan".

The idea behind the campaign is that though people are particular about keeping their homes clean, they do not hesitate in throwing garbage outside. The brand communicates the 'Keep India Clean' message through young foot soldiers in action.

Hindustan Unilever's detergent brand created a peppy video anthem and promoted it on social networking platform, Facebook. Executed by Jack In The Box Worldwide, the video features young children picking up garbage in a locality and shaming people who throw garbage out in the open.

In a bid to give the campaign even more momentum, the brand has created a microsite where it urges consumers to invite them to nominate their locality. Surf Excel will then pick a locality, choose a day to come visiting and attempt a transformation.

Promoting responsibility

Vandana Suri

Abhishek Razdan

Vandana Suri, category head, premium fabric wash, Hindustan Unilever, says that the campaign aims to spark a sense of responsibility by giving users a chance to come forward to nominate their localities and then partner with them to help clean up in the spirit of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

"We picked up 143 communities in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai where we facilitated the cleaning up along with the local residents. The activity has been completed across all the 143 communities between April 5th to April 28th," she informs.

Suri reiterates that Surf Excel believes that if doing something good gets kids dirty, then dirt is good. She believes that it was a seamless fit for the brand. Kids displayed responsibility by keeping their community clean and urging others to do so as well. "We realised how the simple act of painting a wall can act as a deterrent for people from dirtying it. Acting with that belief, the clean up squad painted common walls that were previously dirty in certain localities," she adds.

Abhishek Razdan, EVP and national head, Jack In The Box Worldwide, says that the execution stemmed from the basic insight that a vision for Clean India can be realised through collective responsibility. "We felt that lending this thought a voice in the form of an anthem would resonate well with the digital audience," he explains.

The campaign was shot in Mumbai's Goregaon East in a day. It was a creative enactment to bring alive the work done by the kids and their families in the 143 locations across India and promoted heavily across social media platforms.

Never too late

Jagdish Acharya

Jayanto Banerjee

According to Jagdish Acharya, founder and creative head, Cut the Crap, it is never too late to join a well-meaning mission like Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. However, to make an impact one needs a fresh approach and this spot does not get a tick in that box. "The execution takes the lazy path of montage instead of trying for a build-up. Hence the flat narrative which a decent track tries hard to salvage," he notes adding that HUL's previous Lifebuoy ad, Little Gandhi, made a clean sweep of the idea many years ago.

Acharya believes that it would have been refreshing to see kids changing their parents instead of battling stray uncles on the road. Meanwhile, Jayanto Banerjee, national planning director, Hakuhodo Percept says that HUL has been one of the first ones to talk about Keeping India clean (Little Gandhi campaign) even before the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan was established. He finds the campaign good but one which will probably not break clutter.

"Lifebuoy was doing 'Clean India,' Surf tried the 'Two buckets of water' campaign. There definitely is a shift in the social cause. Now the brand spaces are all getting jumbled up," he notes. According to him, Surf Excel should stick to its 'save water' cause, an issue, he feels, is equally relevant.

For feedback/comments, please write to newsteam@afaqs.com

First Published : June 04, 2015

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