OK, I worked at Unilever and know the geniuses behind this campaign, so I’m biased. Nevertheless I’ll say it: I think Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ is one of the very best social impact campaigns ever created.
Worldwide, 1 child dies from diarrhoea or pneumonia every 15 seconds, which adds up to over 2 million deaths each year. Handwashing with soap is the most cost effective way to prevent child deaths and contribute to Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) towards reducing child mortality.
A number of disinfectant soap brands contribute to this goal, and why not? The more soap they sell, the more lives they save. However Lifebuoy reaches almost as many people as Coca-Cola, and Unilever has set a huge goal – to educate a billion people to wash their hands by 2020.
Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 campaign was launched with a focus on Thesgora, a 1,500-home village in Madhya Pradesh with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in India. The three-minute launch film showed a grandpa walking on his hands through town to celebrate his grandchild reaching 5 years old.
Thesgora saw a huge drop in incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5%, and gave Unilever the confidence to accelerate the campaign throughout India and many other countries, combining handwashing programmes with product innovation and more highly emotive brand comms.
‘Chamki’ (below) was the third film in the campaign. Warning: tears will flow.
Read more: Lifebuoy website