Lifebuoy has been campaigning and raising fund for better sanitary and hygiene, particularly in Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), one of the province in Indonesia with the highest rate of deaths from preventable diseases, such as diarrhea and pneumonia, statistically speaking of course. But as you know "statistic" and the campaign "wording" can raise controversy. In December 2013, the aired TV spot for the campaign has sparked some controversy from local government. NTT officials had stated that the "help a child reach 5" slogan was insulting, saying that it's degrading their life situation (read: no, we're not that dirty). In Lifebuoy's defense, they are stating that they used proven statistic data published by national health department, which showed NTT has 71% deaths of 1000 births in NTT are caused by diarrhea. Truth aside, as a graphic designer, I am mostly challenged with advertising issue on daily basis. And if you ask me, yes, a single word, choice of colors, models, etc, can cause huge impacts, either positively or negatively. Even if your intentions are noble and well, with a slightly unfortunate wording it could all go wrong.
Remember the fit mom with a post baby body, Maria Kang? Well if you need your memory refreshed, she's your daily mom, not a professional athlete or a celebrity (when the photo was published), who post her toned body picture alongside her 3 boys, aged three, two years old, and 8 months old, respectively on her Facebook account. So.... what made the internet crowds tick? Above her picture, there it is, a letter in (perhaps) bold arial font, "What's your excuses?" As predetermined, her post became an internet controversy. Most of the readers said the picture (and subsequently, Maria herself) is mocking them for being fat after having a baby. Well, she's starting a website about health and fitness, so I guess there's no such thing as bad publicity in a brand promotion, but if she would have want a "nicer, more approachable" public message, she should have gone with, "if I can do this, you can too", or "Don't give up yet, I'm the proof!". See. The once insulting picture become very motivational instead. With just one sentence.
Well so far, Lifebuoy had helped Thesgora, India teaching healthy hand washing habits and reduced incidents of diarrhea from 36% to 5%. And they're willing to reenact their success in Bitobe, Indonesia. So here I am, presenting you the brand new video, another try from Lifebuoy's life saving campaign. All slogan and advertising issues aside, IT IS a noble and important cause. If you're from Indonesia, you all must be aware that, let alone Bitobe, in the metropolitan capital, Jakarta, hygiene is still a common problem. So if you want to find out more...
Visit Lifebuoy Website
View Lifebouy’s channel on Youtube
Reach Lifebuoy on Facebook
Ask questions at Lifebuoy on Twitter and do your part to help children reach their birthday by sharing this video and Utari’s story on social media with #helpachildreach5
This post has been sponsored by Lifebouy, but all thoughts are our own