In May 2020, Savlon India Swasth India Mission took upon itself to build a ‘Chain of Protection’ to fight the pandemic. Experts analyze the campaign’s strength and impact.
On the occasion of World Hand Hygiene Day, Savlon Swasth India Mission started a critical conversation around hand hygiene which has become a global priority today. The brand in line with its vision, hosted an initiative ‘Chain of Protection’ to socially mobilize a human chain increasing awareness and adherence to hand hygiene. It is a community-driven inclusive approach towards encouraging good hand hygiene practices and help break the chain of infection.
About ‘Chain of Protection’ campaign
The film conceptualized by Ogilvy India has a narrative that opens with children and adults as protagonists sanitizing their hands and passing on the sanitizer to a friend. The hand sanitizer is passed from one screen to the other to virtually build the chain of protection. The treatment is light and relatable and also encourages more people to join the chain and grow the chain of protection.
The film supported by a peppy background score presents an optimistic presentation of each individual involved including the brand’s ambassador, Boman Irani.
World Hand Hygiene Day is one of the most important occasions for the brand. With the outbreak of a pandemic, it has become one of the most critical communication. The brief was simple – in a fun and interactive social outreach, reiterate the importance of hand hygiene and build a chain of protection to break the chain of infection.
The Campaign Journey and Social Media execution
With remote working in place, the Ogilvy India team is all thanks to the technologies set-up; they were able to coordinate and brainstorm from their respective locations virtually, and maintaining all social distancing norms.
The creative minds at the agency took the brief at hand and broke it down to 1 simple thought – the purpose and relevance of maintaining hand hygiene, not just in current times, but even after.
“To take this thought forward, we used the digital format for execution as we would reach a vast demographic and kept it simple, sweet, and entertaining. We also employed a nomination/challenge approach as it is a popular and ongoing trend to excite people about the idea,” shares an Ogilvy spokesperson.
Apart from rolling out a consumer engagement program on social media, the brand also roped in celebrities like Karan Tacker, Krystle Dsouza, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Maniesh Paul to spread the word about the campaign and amplify its reach.
COVID 19 digital content strategy
Going beyond the ‘Chain of Protection’ activation on social media, the brand is also promoting self-care and protection through #SurakshaAapkeHaathMein and #StayHome hashtags amidst the pandemic.
From showcasing DIY Masks’ short video tutorial to creating awareness about the significance of social distancing in these times to curating basic facts about the virus, Savlon has been actively involved in communicating about the various aspects of self-protection during the times of COVID.
Savlon’s social media including three major platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram boasts of everything essential about the pandemic and how one can be safe while practicing social distancing norms and taking utmost care and precautions. Whether it is through topical posts or campaigns like #GetAciveWithSavlon, the brand has been preaching hand hygiene and awarenss around sanitation integrating its products.
Weaving the Final output– Chain of Protection
“Remotely, the action was simple and was directed over a call. We first made a scratch video for reference purpose and shared it with the production house for better visualization,” informs the agency spokesperson.
These videos, along with many other participant videos were shared with the production team who then stitched it together. The challenge was to get the right products delivered at the right place for the shoot. Here the brand team and its extensive logistic network helped the agency a lot. The team was able to deliver the final film within a weeks’ time even with the lockdown in place.
Creative brainstorming while social distancing
“Social distancing makes jamming together less exciting as we are all looking at screens continuously. But mostly, creators have tried their best to pull up their socks and adapt to the current situation, so as to have the least impact on business,” the spokesperson adds.
The agency team reiterates that they are still figuring out a way and sincerely hope it does not become the new normal. The spokesperson noted here, “But in an unfortunate instance if it does, the best way to cope is to dedicate adequate time to personal and mental health and overall well being. Inculcating hobbies, developing new skills, learning, exercising, keeping both the mind and body active”.
Maintaining the Client-Agency Bond remotely
Managing a remote business is hard but love and effort will travel as far as you let it, believes Ogilvy India. The minds over there use their phones to its utmost potential. Zoom call, WhatsApp, teams meeting, etc. and discuss the meetings like a normal client-agency meeting, from the yearly review to quarterly targets, to monthly plans, to even day to day job discussion. “We make sure we communicate and respond to all the client’s e-mails, texts, and calls at the earliest. It helps build trust and understanding,” exclaims the spokesperson.
It should also be noted that the Savlon Swasth India Mission program has been a front runner in driving behavioral change towards good hand-hygiene habits since its inception in 2016. With innovation in product and communication at its core, ITC Savlon has initiated numerous initiatives over the years like the Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks and Savlon ID Guard. Last year, the brand commemorated Hand Hygiene Day, by introducing the “Germ Fu” Video, an exciting way to teach kids how to properly wash their hands inspired by martial arts.
We get talking to experts understanding their views on its recent initiative – ‘Chain of Protection’. While they are all praises for the campaign thought, they also point out a few setbacks.
Santosh Padhi, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot Dentsu
“The lockdown has made us sort of handicap, but nothing can take away the spirit of this mad ad industry. As far I know restless agencies and industry people are trying their best to let their creativity being served to their respective clients in whatever limited resource we get to express our ideas, I feel these challenging times are forcing the community to focus on the core (idea) in absence of flashed execution, the basic are coming handy, and who’re basics are really strong are managing things in a seamless manner.
Some categories have taken a big-time beating and I’m glad some of them have decided to stay mum and not have their presence on any screen during this phase, and some are just trying too hard, even they don’t know for what.
Health and wellness category are ones that are already in demand, it’s important even for these guys to have the right tonality, how one approaches the market, as the sentiment of consumers is very different now compared the 10 weeks back.
I’m glad to see the subtle tonality of the Savlon campaign, loved the way the product is playing a subtle playful role in the film, the film is about the product but still doesn’t throw you off, must say music is adding to the playfulness, break the chain of infection by creating the chain of protection is again true, relevant and easy to understand, Boman Irani is the brand ambassador and liked the way he was used as one of us in the film, he is not been used as a celebrity but as a common man, as that’s the reality today, the virus is not biased to anyone so why should the campaign be. would love to have a special mention about the typographic product window, it could have well been a typical font, but even in such hour our passionate industry people are giving their best, the way ” join the chain of protection” followed by other line is rendered it’s absolutely in sink and compliments the lightheartedness of the film, including the animation.
I’m not sure if the ITC donation slide was required, as it reflects a slightly different sentiment, as that’s the company’s (ITC’s) wonderful contribution to stop spread the pandemic, whereas this film is about brand Savlon.
Ajay Ravindran– Director, Strategy and Planning, VMLY&R India
For years, marketers, policymakers, and brands have worked on an unquestioned convention: “Serious things have to be told in a serious way”. Of course, it doesn’t work. People avoid serious things told in a serious way. For instance, when was the last time you paid attention to the pre-flight safety announcement that seriously breaks down all things you must do should the plane crash?
Happily, this convention has been rejected during the current COVID crisis. We have realized that serious messages stick when told in a disarming way.
Even UNICEF first shared Vietnamese dancer Quang Afng’s handwashing dance and then got him to do a TikTok video on it in early March.
Dettol followed soon with its own version of the handwashing dance, also on TikTok.
This has ensured that the message both sticks and is shared.
Savlon, with the Chain of Protection, has captured this zeitgeist. The execution is sweet and endearing. It’s a good example of brands putting their best foot forward under immense constraints.
But I wonder if that is enough, especially when seen from two perspectives – Timing and Brand standing.
Timing-wise, Savlon is a couple of months too late. Hand-sanitization as a conversation peaked around March. By now, its become routine.
Brand standing wise, Savlon is the challenger brand, and perhaps needed to push the envelope a bit more than where Dettol left it. Should the brand have aimed for something edgier rather than sweet? Perhaps.