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Lifebuoy #HelpAChildReach5

Industry: Retail & Distribution
Media:Design & Branding
Style: Minimalism
The Interpretation of the Challenge (30% of vote )

Despite its proven effectiveness, observed rates of handwashing with soap at critical moments - before handling food and after using the toilet, range from 0% to 34%. In India, rates among mothers are at a dismal 1% after defecation and 11% before handling food. Handwashing rates are even lower for children.

Unlike in most cases, for lifebuoy competition was not another brand but the ignorance of and apathy towards basic hygiene and hand washing with soap. It is this mindset that we sought to combat.

The solution to this massive problem of child mortality is so simple - the act of hand washing with soap that can reduce these deaths by 1 million each year, cutting deaths from diarrhea by 40% and deaths from acute respiratory infections by 25% more than any other intervention alone.

The challenge: Establish the role of handwashing as a lifesaving intervention

The Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote )

For an issue as profound as child mortality can be compounded by the perception that individuals are powerless to do anything meaningful.

In this perception, we found our consumer insight: ‘often times even the most well intentioned people feel overwhelmed and helpless about big problems like child mortality. Everyone wants to help save lives but they think it is beyond their power to do anything meaningful.’

We recognised the potential emotional power of children not reaching the age of 5 as a means to engage consumers and empower them to act. Rather than just making a commercial, we decided to actually demonstrate the power of hand-washing and give individuals and organisations a chance to make a real difference.

The strategy was to ‘do it for real’.

The Creative Idea (20% of vote )


Through this idea, we wanted people to realise that the power to bring change was really in their hands. The effort lay in linking the incredibly simple habit of handwashing to the immensely important act of saving the lives of children. The campaign effort was set alight by the inspiring clarion call, ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ - A simple message that continues to have profound ground level implications.

The Outcome / Results (20% of vote)

• Lifebuoy’s initiative played a role in pushing the needle for UN to amend SDG (Goal6.2) in April 2016 to include a handwashing indicator
• Marketing Guru David Aaker acknowledged #HelpAChildReach5 campaign as world’s best branded social program ever
• The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation commit time and resources to fighting under 5 mortality

• Lifebuoy’s behaviour change programs, helped with 25% reduction in diarrhoea
• 1.5 times increase in handwashing occasions for mothers exposed to Mobile Doctarni program
• Lifebuoy contributed alongside other partners under 5 deaths has reduced by 20% in India, 13% in Indonesia and 12.8% in Kenya.

• Reached 458 million people on-ground through Mother and School programs
• World’s no.1 hygiene soap brand and 3rd most purchased FMCG brand globally
• The brand is chosen close to 2375 million times per year and has reached close to 2.3 billion people so far.

Cultural/Context Information for the Jury (150 words)

6.3 million children under the age of 5 die every year. A staggering 2 million of those deaths are largely due to so called ‘common illnesses’ like pneumonia and diarrhoea. India’s Under 5 mortality in 2013 was approximately 1,370,000, Kenya was at 150,000 and Indonesia at 79,000*.
Its both shocking and heartening when you realise that these diseases can be prevented and lives can be saved. Washing hands with soap is one of the most effective ways to prevent infections like diarrhoea and pneumonia.
One simple act could help more children all over the world reach the age of 5.
*Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2014, UNICEF, WHO, UN, World Bank
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Creative Strategy
Long-term Strategy
Latest Updated