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India went through one of its worst phases during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the last two months. The healthcare crisis saw millions rising to the occasion and doing whatever they could to help people around them. These stories of courage and generosity were the only silver lining to the dark and gloomy clouds of death and disaster around us. Through various initiatives, brands are now recognising the work done by these people.

In the same vein, Dettol is paying a tribute to these ‘protectors’ through their campaign #DettolSalutes, by replacing their logo, for the first time in its history, with an image of a Covid protector along with their inspiring story. As part of the campaign, they have curated 100 such stories from across India and carried them on 4 million liquid handwash packs to honour the selfless contributions of these ‘protectors’.

Brands also shoulder an important responsibility of spreading hope and optimism in society during such tough times. Campaigns like these not only encourage the people to keep on at their work but also puts the brands in a good light and strengthens their relationship with their consumers.

Dilen Gandhi

Speaking about the thought behind the campaign, Dilen Gandhi, Regional Marketing Director, South Asia, Health & Nutrition, Reckitt, said, “During the second wave, we started seeing that our consumers were demonstrating unusually low levels of optimism, hope for the future. These were instead replaced by fear and hopelessness. Being a most preferred and trusted brand among consumers, Dettol, we believe, has the responsibility to respond to this change in consumer sentiment. When we started looking we realised that a lot of messages on social media were calling out the support people were receiving from each other. And that’s where the idea came from.”

As part of the campaign, they have roped in several influencers, both celebrity, and micro-influencers, to promote the campaign. These influencers have shared posts holding the redesigned Dettol pack, encouraging their followers to recognise the efforts of the ‘protectors’ around them and to celebrate their efforts by sharing their stories.

“To have a massive impact, we have collaborated with 4,500+ influencers spread across several social media channels. We wanted to collaborate with influencers who have high impact and were relatable with their set of audience,” Gandhi said.

Influencers are a great means to not only amplify the message but also to get people to engage – which is crucial. Gandhi said this is the reason for choosing the influencer marketing route for the campaign.

“Our intent was to spread the stories as widely as possible. One means of doing that was to get many more stories, which we did not have, but we were sure they were out there waiting to be discovered and shared. It was, therefore, important to make this a people’s movement. By engaging the community at large, we could truly create a groundswell of stories,” he said.

Speaking on how it stands out from the whole host of influencer campaigns on social media, he added, “I think the fact that we have replaced our logo with the protectors and leveraged our most iconic asset is probably the most unique aspect of this campaign. I think that the fit between the brand’s equity and the campaign’s core message is authentic – which is very important. And lastly, the fact that we’ve amplified our messaging via a plethora of influencers.”

These influencers belong to all walks of life. Among them is their brand endorser, Madhuri Dixit. Singers Neha Kakkar and Tony Kakkar have also supported the campaign by sharing video posts singing the campaign song. The brand has on-boarded actors Kajal Aggarwal, Rithwik Dhanjani, Aly Goni, Karishma Tanna and musicians Nikhita Gandhi, Akshay Dhawan, apart from a whole host of micro-influencers for the campaign.

The celebrity influencers help bring more visibility to the campaign. It also becomes a form of appreciation for the ‘protectors’ as the celebrity is endorsing their story through their post. With regard to the micro-influencers, the brand has brought together influencers from diverse fields—mom bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers, beauty bloggers, sports enthusiasts, etc. The sheer number coupled with the diversity ensures that the posts reach a much wider audience.

“In our experience of working with influencers, we have realised that niche/micro-influencers have higher engagement as they stay true to their small community and share a stronger connection with consumers, which is exactly what we are aiming to achieve through these collaborations,” he said.

“From the very start, we were clear that we will not filter stories. Even if someone had stepped up to help one stranger, that story should be told. We did want to ensure that the stories reflected the diversity of our country. We worked with our partners to find 100 such stories from across India – small towns and big cities, all regions, different age groups and, of course, the genders. Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle was how we would tell this story. We choose the most widely reaching, durable and exclusive medium available to us – our pack. The Dettol Original Liquid Handwash pack is iconic and offered us sufficient space to tell the stories. We believe these packs will carry a message of hope across our country,” Gandhi added.

Among the stories that they have carried on their packs is of Rushabh Turakhia, who provided monetary help to old vendors abandoned by their families and conducted a pan-India ration distribution initiative. Another heart-warming story is of Mizga and Faiyaz Shaikh, who used their personal savings to ensure no one in their locality slept hungry. They provided ration kits to around 1,000 families and cooked and supplied food for Covid patients who were unable to take care of themselves.

As part of the campaign, they also launched an anthem last week to reiterate the importance of following Covid protocols including maintaining good hand hygiene. They have also launched a website- for people to acknowledge and share the stories of the Covid protectors in their midst by creating customised virtual packs and sharing them on their social media channels, further amplifying the message of hope.