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  1. 1. Summary Buoyed by the successful relaunch of Lifebuoy soap in the Kenyan market in 2010, Apex Porter Novelli worked with Unilever to design a PR programme to maintain the brand’s engagement with its core customers: mothers of children aged 5-12. The team mobilised support from influential partners and enrolled popular gospel singer Esther Wahome as the face of the brand for the ‘School of 5’ campaign in primary schools in Nairobi. Handwashing clubs were formed in 83% of the schools, and children collected over 1.7 million signatures from people pledging to wash their hands on key occasions. The campaign was a hit with journalists, and Lifebuoy doubled its market share in from February to October 2011. The challenge Research shows that only one out of ten Kenyans wash their hands after visiting the toilet. As a result, Kenya loses 30,000 children every year to diarrhoea and respiratory infections which can be prevented by the simple act of handwashing with soap. In Kenya, Lifebuoy soap had an image it has been trying to drop for years – the soap for hardworking men, driven by 1980s TV advertisements featuring a man coming home from a hard day at work and using Lifebuoy to freshen up. In 2010, Apex Porter Novelli successfully supported Unilever’s relaunch of Lifebuoy. The brand was positioned as a health soap by creating a link with Unilever’s Global Social Mission and working with key influencers to reinforce the message that handwashing with soap saves lives. As a result, the brand grew by over 200% in volume and gained 4% market share in the health soap category, just five months after the relaunch. In 2011, Unilever asked Apex Porter Novelli to support the next phase of Lifebuoy’s rebirth by really engaging consumers. The agency worked with Unilever’s marketing team to develop the School of 5 campaign, which would be implemented in 80 schools in Nairobi as a pilot. The School of 5 had already been implemented by Unilever in Asian markets and needed to be redesigned to fit the Kenyan context. The objectives of the School of 5 Campaign were: • Measurably raise awareness of the importance of hand washing with soap • Establish Lifebuoy as the best affordable soap that has a health benefit for the entire family • Educate Kenyan families about the need for hygiene and healthy living • Create behaviour change: get more children aged 5-12 to wash their hands after using the toilet by encouraging them to form a habit of handwashing over 60 days and pledge to continue to wash their hands. Client: Unilever Kenya Campaign: The Lifebuoy ‘School of 5’ Handwashing Campaign Categories: Geographic: 6 Africa; Practice: 26 Consumer Marketing (Existing product); Industry: 72 Educational and Cultural Institutions Agency: Apex Porter Novelli The Lifebuoy ‘School of 5’ Handwashing Campaign Strategy and plan Children are early adopters of new habits. Once ingrained while they are young, they become a way of life and are carried to the rest of the family. The campaign was based on a handwashing survey conducted by Prof. Mohammed Karama of the Kenya Medical Research Institute. This showed that the despite children washing their hands, most did not wash their hands properly, resulting in high bacteria counts even after hand washing. The study showed low levels of education were a factor in poor uptake of handwashing with soap.
  2. 2. The team also conducted a media perception survey to find out brand perception amongst journalists that have authority in the area of handwashing and health. The survey found out that Lifebuoy was already considered to be a champion in the promotion of handwashing with soap, but the brand needed to continue to provide the media with new information and findings around handwashing. As part of the Lifebuoy launch, the team had set up the Alliance for the Promotion of Handwashing with Soap whose members are six professional associations: The Kenya Association of Physicians; National Nursing Association of Kenya; Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers; Kenya Private Schools Association; Kenya Paediatrics Association and the Association of Public Health Officers. The alliance members were enrolled as key drivers of the School of 5 Campaign. In addition, Apex Porter Novelli: • Identified and enrolled Esther Wahome as a potential brand ambassador • Developed the campaign slogan: ‘Be Cool. Be Clean. Always Use Soap!’ and pre-tested it in selected schools • Built consensus with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation on the schools message and received approval from the Kenya Institute of Education to use the materials in schools. • Organised a workshop for more than 70 stakeholders with a mandate to promote sanitation and hygiene in schools to get buy-in for the campaign. • Trained 180 teachers on implementing the School of 5 campaign in advance of its launch. Implementation Apex Porter Novelli organised and managed the launch of the School of Five campaign at Westlands Primary School in May 2011. The launch was attended by key opinion formers including the Assistant Minister of Education and the Director of City Education. Activities to support teachers in the 80 pilot schools included: • An activation team visited schools to introduce a School of 5 comic with games and activities • Children were invited to pledge to wash their hands on key occasions. The school that collected the most pledges would receive a reward • Brand ambassador Esther Wahome performed in some of the schools and taught the children a jingle she had developed for the campaign, ‘Osha Mikono’ (Wash Your Hands). • A regular bulletin for teachers kept them engaged and motivated. The Alliance for the Promotion of Handwashing with Soap conducted the Clean Hands Study which checked the sanitation situation in schools in Nairobi. The results were released in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. In the run up to Global Handwashing Day on 12 October, Lifebuoy got all the pilot schools together in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of people washing their hands simultaneously in multiple locations. Lifebuoy also formed a partnership with the Ministry of Public Health to help defeat diarrhoea in children. When people pledged to wash their hands during October, Lifebuoy give a cash donation to support the initiative in Kenya. Pledges were collected through text messages, public pledging on whiteboards, pledge cards and via Facebook. Results Through the School of 5 Campaign, Lifebuoy collected 1,779,419 pledges to handwash with soap, made by 80,000 children in the 80 schools that took part. An impressive 80% of schools have since formed hygiene clubs, and 80% of schools now recite the ‘handwashing pledge’. Lifebuoy sales continued to increase from the start of the campaign in January 2011, and by the end of the campaign (which also included other marketing activation and advertising) Lifebuoy had doubled its share of the health soap market. When business and health journalists in Kenya were asked in a post- campaign media perception survey which soap they associate with handwashing, they unanimously said Lifebuoy. They also connected Esther Wahome with Lifebuoy and the handwashing message, and recognised the link between the School of Five and Lifebuoy. The Guinness World Record attempt created a buzz among consumers and 53,873 people convened to break the record across 63 schools in Nairobi on October 12th 2011. (The previous record, held by Bangladesh, was 52,970). The campaign generated a total of 133 media mentions between May and October 2011: an average of one story a day for the entire period. There was no negative coverage. The coverage communicated the key messages: 63% mentioned Lifebuoy, 85% included the importance of hand-washing, relating it to Lifebuoy soap, and 28% included the Lifebuoy Social Mission. Unilever Kenya’s assistant brand manager Maureen Kayi said: ‘I’d like to say a BIG thank you to Apex Porter Novelli for doing a great job on Lifebuoy School of 5 handwashing campaign and the Global Hand Washing Day campaign. I would particularly like to commend you on pulling through multiple activities Client: Unilever Kenya Campaign: The Lifebuoy ‘School of 5’ Handwashing Campaign Categories: Geographic: 6 Africa; Practice: 26 Consumer Marketing (Existing product); Industry: 72 Educational and Cultural Institutions Agency: Apex Porter Novelli