Lifebuoy Soap

Lifebuoy Soap

Lifebuoy Soap Aravind T S


Case study on ‘Behavioural Change Programmes through Social Marketing related with Public Health by Lifebuoy Soap/Hand wash–A strategic perspective’


Today, more Adult and children are diagnosed with serious diseases caused due to bacteria, pathogens, and viruses that cause diseases, food-borne illness. Infections that may be transmitted through this route include salmonellosis, shigellosis, hepatitis A, giardiasis, enterovirus, amebiasis, and campylobacteriosis. Because these diseases are spread through the ingestion of even the tiniest particles of fecal material, hand washing after using the toilet cannot be over-emphasized.

The idea of social marketing is to motivate consumers or citizens to choose ‘healthier’ options using similar means to those employed by commercial companies (Kotler et al., 2002; Kotler & Zaltman, 1971) .Hand washing is the simplest, most effective measure for preventing the spread of bacteria, pathogens, and viruses. Recent studies by the American Society for Microbiology (2005) indicate that Americans do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom and before handling or eating food. In this case study Lifebuoy encouraging the public to wash hands through their mamooth campagein held at ‘The Maha Kumba Mela’ and other viral campagains . Public restrooms located in rest areas, convenience stores, restaurants, and childcare facilities were examined. Findings indicate that literature encouraging hand washing is not present. 


Social marketing was first defined as: “the use of marketing principles and techniques to

Influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify, or abandon a behaviour for the

Benefit of individuals, groups or society as a whole” (Kotler and Zaltman 1971). Social marketing

uses terms familiar with marketing and many campaigns are based on the so-called 4Ps: Product,

Price, Place and Promotion. Interpretation 4p’s of social marketing as follows


All marketing builds on the principle of exchange, i.e. tangible goods or a service in exchange

for money. In social marketing this exchange is often less tangible and long-term, e.g. giving up

smoking in exchange for a longer and healthier life. The product is hence more complex than

buying a certain brand of cigarettes. The demand can also be more varied and target audiences

harder to reach. The consumer involvement is more intense and finally the social marketer will

have to compete with commercial marketers for the attention of the target audiences (Kotler et al.,



“Price” is what individuals/consumers have to do in exchange. If the price on a product is too

high, fewer consumers will take action. In contrast to commercial marketing, the ‘price’ of

healthier behaviours is often high. Accepting screening e.g. may be inconvenient, embarrassing,

time consuming, or otherwise intractable. The ‘product’ may be right, but if the ‘price’ is not –

fewer will act. In social Marketing Pricing process is a risky task .


The more the social marketer knows about the target audiences, who/where/when/what they

do/what motivates them, the easier it is to design a health promotion campaign with the right mix

of the 4Ps. Promotion teams will have to be creative and the places they advertise will have to be

adjusted to the target audiences. This P is most important to get reach into the audiance


For social marketing campaigns to have any chance of success it will have to capture the

audience, e.g. by appealing to emotions. The ‘products’ have to be advertised enticingly and be

adjusted to both product and audience. In order to focus a campaign to a specific audience it will

often be necessary to use qualitative research techniques such as observation, interviews,

(multiple issues) group interviews or (single issue) focus groups (McCamley-Finney &

McFadden, 1999).

Objective of the study

The objective of the study is to find out :

A.How effectively Lifebuoy has created a behaviourial change through social marketing for public health issues due to lack of proper hand wash .

B.The social marketing strategy by Lifebuoy

How Lifebuoy spreads the handwashing message by Social Marketing Strategy

  1. Roti Reminder’ at Maha Kuma Mela 2013

The Maha Kumbh Mela is expected to be the largest gathering of people with a 100 million people expected to descend upon the city of Allahabad during the period of this mela. This unprecedented influx of people almost turns into a temporary city in itself – however, this large a congregation also presents some risks. Since the infrastructure available is often unable to service the sanitation and health needs of all attendees, infections tend to occur and spread far more easily through transmission of germs, which happens most commonly through infected hands.

Lifebuoy hopes to aid the patrons and attendees by reminding them about the importance of washing hands and protecting oneself from germs. Lifebuoy is spreading this message at key junctures throughout the city through street hoardings and banners.

The roti is a staple item served with every Indian meal. And the only way to eat it? With your hands. Lifebuoy decided to create a special heat stamp with the message, ‘Did you wash your hands with Lifebuoy?’. Lifebuoy then hired 100 promoters, to stand in 100 kitchens spread across the Maha Kumbh Mela and instructed them to impression fresh rotis with the Lifebuoy message.

The approximate number of fresh rotis that the promoters are targeting to stamp is 2.5 million rotis through the tenure of Khumbh Mela. But given the fact that a minimum of two people share a table, the brand expects the message to reach much more than 2.5 million visitors at the Maha Kumbh Mela. In effect, this simple, clutter breaking idea will help Lifebuoy reach out to a massive audience, at a fraction of the cost.

  1. Swasthya Chetna’ 2002

LIFEBUOY SWASTHYA CHETNA, the first single largest rural health and hygiene educational program. Lifebuoy will make multiple repeat contacts in nearly 15,000 villages in 8 states across rural India. The campaign aims to educate children and the community about the threat of unseen germs and basic hygiene practices.

Glo-Germ demonstration : The Glo-Germ demonstration is a unique tool to make unseen germs visible and emphasize the need to use soap to wash hands and kill germs. Through this interaction children will be sensitized about germs, their harmful effects on health and simple methods to observe personal hygiene.

C.Lifebuoy Help-a-child-reach-5 Ad 2013

Lifebuoy helps more children reach their 5th birthday. This ad came under 10 most watched ads on youtube. A lifesaving mission to spread the importance of good hand washing habits around the world. Most importantly, missions that will help more children reach their 5th birthday.

Every year, 2 million children fail to reach their fifth birthday because of diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. Lifebuoy has taught healthy hand washing habits to 130 million people around the world.

The campaign’s launch was marked with a groundbreaking 3-minute film about the importance of hand washing. Going beyond the statistics, it brings a real, personal and powerful perspective through Gondappa’s story, a father’s journey to celebrate his son’s 5th birthday.

D.Advocacy activities:

Global Handwashing Day

Launched in 2008, Global Hand washing Day is an annual event backed by the Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing with Soap, of which Unilever is a founding partner.

Learnings from Lifebuoy social marketing

Lifebuoy brand teams have devised a new methodology to drive sustained behaviour change. Developed using the Lifebuoy brand’s experience gained over many years through its programmes in Asia and Africa, the new approach ensures that people not only understand why washing hands

with soap is important but also rewards them for practising the new habit over 21 days.

Launched in 2010 using the new methodology the Lifebuoy Hand washing Behaviour Change Programme with the help of social marketing is designed to drive behaviour change through the 4-step model: awareness,Commitment, reinforcement and reward.

The aims of the programme are to promote the practice of hand washing with soap at five key occasions: before meals (breakfast / lunch / dinner), during bath-time and after using the toilet.


The application of social marketing in public health campaigns is based on a premise that there are ‘easy-win’ endogenous behaviors in groups that given the right, motivational campaigning can influence the target audiences to voluntarily modify or abandon them. Social marketing uses similar terminology to marketing, although there are fundamental differences between the two. The so-called 4Ps of marketing – product, price, place and promotion – can nevertheless still be useful concepts for understanding how a social marketing campaign can be shaped in order to achieve health-promoting behavioral changes. Lifebuoy case study is a land mark example for the effectiveness of Social marketing for behavioral change Programmes in public health awareness.



Besley, T., & Kanbur, R. (1990). The principles of targeting. Policy Research Working Paper Series, 385.

Nedra Kline Weinreich A Quick Guide to Changing the World MarketingProfs Book Club Edition 4-14

Lifebuoy -way -of life magazine 2010




Subscribe for free resources and news updates.

Joing our Newsletter

Contact Us

MC/201H, Tatapuram Sukumaran Road, Ernakulam North PO, Kochi

Tel:+91 94975 41984
E-mail: [email protected]

© 2019 | Aravind TS | Built By Jyothis Joy | Hosted By KloudBoy