Simplicity, creativity, genuineness and effectiveness contributed to the idea of creating ITC Savlon’s Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks campaign under Savlon Swastha India mission, says Kainaz Karmakar and Harshad Rajadhyaksha of Ogilvy India.
In a joint interview with BestMediaInfo.com, the CCOs of Ogilvy India said brands do a lot of work behind campaigns and the Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks initiative was not done to grow business.
The brand’s growth and its development in the hygiene market are not just because of the success of its Health Hands Chalk Sticks campaign, Karmakar and Rajadhyaksha said.
The duo said ITC is extremely serious about the Savlon Swasth India Mission and the agency is making efforts to come up with new ways to teach and implement habits of hygiene as creatively as possible.
According to Karmakar and Rajadhyaksha, the campaign was criticised by some critics who said the initiative is just a marketing gimmick by the brand and by doing the activity with a few lakh kids in India would not bring about a change across the country.
“We don’t know who these people are, so why should their comments even matter?” both said.
The duo shared memories they created while making the campaign that has won a Grand Prix for the 2018 Creative Effectiveness Lions, and earned a place in the Cannes Lions Creativity Report of the Decade.
Congratulations on the achievement. What did it take for the campaign to earn a place in the Cannes Lions Creativity Report of the Decade?
From the day Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks was released, it has been applauded. The simplicity, the creativity, the genuineness and the effectiveness, all came together in this idea. From international juries to small schools in rural India, all were charmed by the power of these unique chalks. Our guess is, these things contributed to the mention in the Cannes Lions Creativity Report of the Decade. It’s a huge honour that we will never forget.
Coming up with an outstanding idea is one thing and making it scalable is another. Last year, it was seen that campaigns with great ideas and scalability won. The ones that were just great ideas and not scalable were shortlisted, but couldn’t win. How scalable is this particular campaign? What is the strategy to extend it across the country?
It is important to understand that Mahesh Ambaliya, the copywriter who thought of this idea, pulled it out of his life experiences. He went to a school that used chalks and slates and mixing soap with chalks was his way of simplifying hand washing in rural schools. The client saw the potential and worked hard to make it happen. They worked even harder to take it to more than 3,000 schools.
Yes, the scale is important because the jury wants to know the idea is genuine. But the parameters of winning depend on the jury in that room, on that day.
How viable is the idea for the brand to extend it in the long run? In the end, it’s a lot of marketing spend from the brand’s end to run it in the long run.
Our clients at ITC are extremely serious about Savlon Swasth India Mission. The idea was never to stretch the life of the Healthy Hands Chalks Sticks. On the contrary, our efforts are employed in coming up with new ways to teach and implement habits of hygiene, as creatively as possible.
Critics even said this is just a marketing gimmick by the brand and doing the activity with a few lakh kids in India wouldn’t bring about a change across the country. What do you have to say to that?
We don’t know who these people are, so why should their comments even matter?
It takes a brave marketer actually to execute something like this. When you presented the idea to the Savlon team, how readily did they agree to it? Is there some story/memory to share?
The campaign was approved 10 seconds after it was presented. That says everything about the passion of our clients.
The best memory we have is the day the first box of the final product reached us. We all took turns to use it and wash our hands, to see if it worked. When we saw the chalk powder turn into soap on our own hands, we were all squealing like children. That remains our favourite memory.
There’s no point creating campaigns if it doesn’t help businesses. How has this campaign helped Savlon grow its business? Any numbers to share?
Savlon has grown and made a solid name for itself in the hygiene market. I don’t think the credit for that can go to these Chalk Sticks alone. There is a lot of work behind that, starting with a range of amazing products. Chalk Sticks was not done to grow business. Maybe the blessings of the kids who used them helped the business do so well.
It’s been more than four years since the campaign’s launch. What is the brand’s long-term strategy around the campaign? What else did the brand do around the campaign in terms of engagement with the consumers?
Like I mentioned earlier, Chalk Sticks is the most popular but not the only campaign made around this objective by us. The plan is to be relentless in coming up with ideas to make India completely hygienic and healthy.
Everyone talks about being purpose-driven. According to you, what are the key ingredients of a purpose-driven brand, which also doesn’t compromise on the business front?
Just start and end with a genuine intention to solve a problem. The rest will follow.