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How Lifebuoy reached 3.2 million Kenyans with its personal hygiene awareness campaign


Help a child reach 5-2As a leading health and hygiene brand, Lifebuoy champions the need for hygiene and health around the world. The brand is quite active socially and each year it adopts one issue and looks to create awareness about it through a social campaign. This year, Lifebuoy chose to focus its social campaign on smaller villages in India. These villages see the highest number of diarrheal deaths for children under the age of five. It is estimated that over 1000 children die per day and the country sees more than 380,000 deaths due to this cause in a year. The brand wanted to create awareness about this issue in Kenya and raise money for the support of these kids in India.

Taking the message to the masses

Mobile penetration in Kenya is at 70%. Over 16 million mobile internet users form 99% of the total internet user population in the country. A mobile first population like this presented an ideal opportunity to reach out to the masses and spread the message. A promotional mobile campaign called 'Help a Child Reach 5' was created targeting mobile internet users in Kenya.

The mobile ad campaign featured a full screen ad showcasing a child's dirty hand. It prompts users to swipe their fingers across the screen which would wipe the dirt off the child's hand. Every such interaction would lead the user to a promotional film that emphasized on the importance of hand wash. For every video viewed, Lifebuoy donated 1KES towards the cause. The ad also urged the users to share the video along with a brand message on their social profiles. The 18-day campaign was pushed across mobile apps and sites.

The mass effect of mobile

Executed within a $4000 budget, the campaign saw tremendous success and was able to reach out to over 3.2 million people in its 18 day campaign period and saw close to 237,000 'wipes'. The campaign found 650,807 mentions on Facebook. Most importantly, in just 18 days, the video generated KES 800,000 and was shared 1.6 million times on Facebook and Twitter. It had an overall 12% engagement rate.

The idea of using an interactive image of a child's dirty hand put the execution perfectly in context with the message the brand was trying to convey. The five fingers signified the child's age and the idea of frequently wiping dirt off his hand stressed on the importance of regular hygiene habits. Making the user interact with the ad and share the video made it highly engaging. It also incentivized his action and monetized the ad at the same time.

What made this campaign so successful was the fact that it relied on a simple idea of using a mobile ad to reach out to the masses and effectively leveraged the benefits of scale and rich media capabilities that a mobile platform offers.

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