Lifebuoy "Swasthya Chetna": Unilever's Social Marketing Campaign

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG147 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges



Marketing Mix, Positioning, Brand Management, Corporate Social Responsibility
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2001-2006
Organization : Hindustan Lever Limited / Unilever
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : FMCG


Lifebuoy's “Swasthya Chetna” (LSC) was a five-year health and hygiene education program initiated by Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), the Indian arm of the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) major, Unilever. The program was formally launched in 2002, in eight states across India.

The objective of this program was to educate around 200 million people in rural and urban areas about the importance of adopting good 'health and hygiene'practices. The program spread awareness about germs and their adverse effects on health, and how proper 'health and hygiene'practices, such as bathing and washing hands with soap could prevent diseases like diarrhea.

According to HLL, LSC was not a philanthropic activity, but a marketing program with a social benefit. HLL sought to grow the Lifebuoy brand in India by attracting those consumers who never used soap. In the process, the company sought to bring about a behavioral change by convincing people to use soaps more frequently, thus creating more users for its brand. This program was also seen as a successful case for public-private partnership.


Understand the rationale behind the Lifebuoy “Swasthya Chetna” initiative by Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) in India.

Understand the issues related to brand management and repositioning in the personal wash soap segment in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in India.

Appreciate the role of public-private partnerships as a win-win situation for private entities, governments, and individual consumers.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Lifebuoy and Health 3
Initiating a Behavior Change 5
A Multi-Phase Interactive Program 6
Impact of the Program 9
The Accolades 10
Some Criticisms 10
Other Initiatives for Lifebuoy 11
Outlook 12
Exhibits 14


Lifebuoy's “Swasthya Chetna”, Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), Unilever, Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) major, Personal Soap Wash, Rural Social Marketing Strategy, Advertising Campaign , Sales Promotion, Marketing Mix, Brand Management, Repositioning , Behavioral change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Media Channels, Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with soap (GPPP-HW)

Lifebuoy Leaves its Stamp on India - Next Page>>


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