Behind The Idea: Lifebuoy

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This new short film for Lifebuoy soap is part of a campaign that aims to promote the benefits of using soap and washing hands, Help a Child Reach 5. We spoke to the creators about why and how the film was made.

Over 2 million children in the world still die due to easily preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. It’s a statistic that many around the world are unaware of.

While Lifebuoy has been teaching children healthy hand washing habits for over a decade, this year we set ourselves the goal of making a genuine impact on saving lives of children by adopting one of the most diarrhoea prone villages in the world. Through this campaign we want to reach out to like-minded individuals and organisations who care about such causes, and inspire them to join our movement of changing the hand-washing behaviours of a billion people by 2015.

Through the work we have been doing on ground for the last 10 years, we encountered many heartfelt stories of parents whose children had succumbed to these diseases and yet were stunned by the lack of knowledge that a small act like washing hands with soap can save a child's life.

Wanting to put a human face to the statistics, we decided to tell the world the Lifebuoy story in a real and deeply felt emotional way. The story had to not only open people’s minds to the avoidable deaths, but move them to care and share it with others. This film is the beginning of that journey, and a clarion call to all to join this purpose. 

Our campaign is unique in sense that it is not just a ‘beautiful film’ but an entire program aimed at ensuring every child in Thesgora village survives the age of 5. Using social media to tap into collective consciousness, we want people to be inspired to act and make a real difference to the lives of these children.

The inspiration for the film came from real life stories of how parents in rural India express their gratitude when they overcome adversities. It is a common practice to make a vow to the local God / Deity in such times. Standing on one foot for extended periods, sacrificing your favourite food, walking barefoot on a pilgrimage are some such examples.

So ours is a story of a father who is so overcome with delight that his first child has survived till the age of 5, that he decides to walk on his hands to the nearby temple and seek God’s blessing. The tone and treatment of the film was to keep genuine the powerful emotions a parent feels when his child survives. This meant shooting in a real village with real people.

The protagonist and the entire cast representing the villagers had no acting experience and never been in front of the camera ever before. This also meant overcoming the language barriers between the crew and the cast and ensuring nothing was lost in translation. We would like to tip our hat to our lead character, who not only walked on his hands but also gave us a brilliant emotional performance despite having never acted before.


Client: Lifebuoy 
Samir Singh, Rohit Bhasin, Myriam Sidibe, Anusha Gupta, Kristine Go, Shalini Seneviratne, Anila Gopal
Agency: Lowe Lintas + Partners 
Creative Team: R. Balki / Amer Jaleel / Sagar Kapoor / Garima Khandelwal 
Account Management: Virat Tandon / Vinay Vinayak / Rohit Chatterjee / Rohan Fernandes / Natasha Sunderan 
Account Planning: Varsha Chawda / Saji Abraham 
Production House: Chrome Pictures Pvt Ltd Mumbai
Director: Amit Sharma
Producer: Prafull Sharma 
Director Of Photography: Tapan Basu Chief 
Assistand Director: Naved Ahmed 
Editor: Shekhar Prajapati 
Music: Clinton Cerejo

D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate great, transformative ideas that contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. If you think you have a campaign that makes a real and positive difference to the world then why not enter it into D&AD Impact.



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