Sometimes, Seeing is Even Better than Believing

Lifebuoy shows that real germs are much scarier than consumers might imagine.

Lifebuoy, a soap company, has discovered what may be the most effective way to sell soap. Germs are often represented in promotional materials by cartoonish figures or monsters, with “bad-boy” personalities. But Lifebuoy wanted to show people that they real thing can be much, much worse. By using real objects, they created real cultures as promotional materials to show people in malls in South America how dirty their stuff really is.

The ads, as the video shows, are obviously effective, and super gross. They show real-life bacteria associated with everyday objects like game controllers and phones, and it’s quite disturbing (Kulp). It’s a powerful image, and while it might not make people buy Lifebuoy, maybe more people will wash their hands or sanitize their phones more often. It’s very powerful imagery.

Lifebuoy is good at capturing the public’s attention this way. Recently, in what I think was a more effective display for their brand equity, they used their soap to trace their logo, and it kept bacteria from growing in that area.

The ads are gross, that’s for sure. But they’re also powerful. I don’t think most brands would consider installing giant petri dishes all over the place, but you can’t deny what kind of message it sends. More importantly, this campaign shows germs in their true form, not in the way that we see them in many medicinal and health advertisements today. It’s refreshing, but also meaningful. It has a potential to make a positive, lasting, impression.

Sources Cited:

Kulp, Patrick. “Soap Company Uses Bacteria-coated Billboards to Prove How Dirty Your Stuff Is.” Mashable. Mashable, 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. <http://mashable.com/2016/12/02/soap-bacteria-ads/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link#I3QOg5I2Qkqx>.

Lifebuoy Magic. Lifebuoy, 12 May 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFCsq05bzhM>.

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