Lifebuoy "Swasthya Chetna": Unilever's Social Marketing Campaign

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG147
Case Length : 21
Pages Period : 2001-2006
Organization : Hindustan Lever Limited / Unilever
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : FMCG

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Lifebuoy Leaves its Stamp on India Contd...

And we are working with parents and children, health educators, teachers, community leaders, and government agencies to spread the word,”5 said Caroline Harding, Global Brand Director, Health Brands, Unilever. In the process, HLL sought to increase the sales of Lifebuoy soaps by convincing these people to use soaps more frequently and also to create new users for its brand.

HLL launched the LSC program in villages where media penetration was negligible. The people of these villages were educated through lectures, demonstrations, visual aids such as flip charts and interactive quizzes. Various media vehicles were used in the program including cinema vans, wall paintings, weekly markets, fairs, and festivals.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

The initiative started with communication to schoolchildren, which was extended to their parents and other adults, and culminated in the formation of sustainable health clubs by the local people. The whole process took around two to three years.

HLL had committed US$ 5.4 million for this five-year program.6 The program was implemented by Ogilvy Outreach7, while Weber Shandwick (WS),8 one of the largest public relations (PR) agencies in the world, provided the PR support.

By the end of 2005, HLL had covered more than 18,000 villages in these eight states. The sales of Lifebuoy grew by 20 percent in 2003-04 with strong sales reported from the eight states where the program was being implemented. In 2005, the Lifebuoy brand grew by 10 percent and this growth was expected to continue in 2006. The program also received a lot of positive media attention...

Excerpts >>

5] "Have No Fear with Lifebuoy,", 2006.

6] "India: Lifebuoy Promotes Handwashing with Soap to Improve Health,", 2006.

7] Ogilvy Outreach was the non-profit arm of Ogilvy & Mather, a leading advertising agency in the world with a presence in more than 120 countries. It was set up in 1994 with the objective of reaching people who lived in the media dark corners of rural India.

8] Weber Shandwick is one of the leading PR and communications management firms in the world, with a presence in 72 markets. (Source:

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