Archive for October 2009

Dettol's Marketing Revenge Against Lifebuoy

BMW Vs Audi Vs Mercedes, Coke Vs Pepsi are some of the well known rivalries in the marketing arena, with competitive advertising attacking the opponents in their strongest selling propositions. Today I noted another fascinating reaction campaign by a well known hand wash soap brand Dettol. They lost the bid to secure the official sponsorship for the Global Hand-washing Day events held all over the country at the face of their arch rival Lifebuoy. Uniliver ran months long campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of keeping your hands clean, in the run up to the World Hand Wash Day; 15th October. Millions of advertising money was spent on TV, Radio, newspapers and there were few new media campaigns done on the interent as well.

Dettol remained calm through out the run up phase to the Global Hand-washing Day, and responded with a brilliant idea which I see as a “sweet marketing revenge”. The theme of their ambush campaign is "make everyday a hand wash day"


The campaign ran morning to evening on national radio, and on almost all the daily newspapers. Lifebuoy spent millions of building up the awareness in the run up to the day, and Dettol sneaked in just a one shot of media buying to leverage the attention towards their brands. Clever work! and hats off to whoever masterminded the campaign at Reckits (or the agency).

This reminds me the 1996 Pepsi campaign (in South Asian Region) titled “Nothing Official About It”. They ran this campaign as a revenge for Coke's “Official Soft Drink of 1996 Cricket World Cup” campaign. The campaign (featuring Sachin Tendulkar and Sharukh Khan) illustrated how boring the “official things” are, and suggested that Pepsi is fun, because there's nothing official about it.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Posted by Amitha Amarasinghe

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