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  • Writer's pictureMadhumita Bhattacharya

Success Stories: Lux raises awareness around breast cancer by launching its soap with a lump

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Brands across industries come up with creative campaigns to highlight this and raise awareness levels amongst women. It is time. As per Cancer India, in India, every four minutes, one woman gets diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost 14% of all cancers in Indian women are breast cancer. The only silver lining is that early detection of cancer increases the chances of saving a life.

In 2019, Hindustan Unilever took a bold step to redesign the Lux soap, one of its iconic products with a visible lump. The product innovativeness of the brand has been hailed by one and all for its compassionate bottom line. With breast cancer on the rise, the creativity of Wunderman Thompson’s team did not take time to become a success story, a case study for many B-schools and marketing institutes.

The Motive Behind The Product Design

The brand reinforced its commitment to making women look beautiful alongside taking care of their health and well-being.

The Brand Story

Lux Soap is one of the evergreen products that have been a part of Indian women’s life for almost a century now. Educated or illiterate, in city or rural areas, the soap finds universal acceptance across boundaries.

As an integral part of an average Indian household, Lux is used by women uninhibited in the bathroom every day. This is where, doctors suggest, that women should check their armpits, breasts, and chest area and see a doctor if they feel a lump or any other suspicious growth in this region. With a visible lump design, the soap intended to alert women to consciously undertake self-examination in the privacy of their baths to detect signs of this deadly cancer.

The Success of the Campaign

What makes this a talking point is that the brand came up with an innovative concept, even if it meant reshaping its existing product. ‘The Soap with a Lump’ had a purpose and served until the last bit of the soap was left for use. The design was such that the lump did not disintegrate even with regular use, till the very end, consistently reminding the user to self-examine herself on an ongoing basis.

Creating a product on these lines was a revolutionary idea, especially in a country like India where women, to date, feel shy about their bodies and are pretty uptight about any discussions related to the same, especially their breasts.

Success in the Execution of the Campaign

Hindustan Lever launched the product in 2019 in association with the Indian Cancer Society (ICS) in Mumbai. ICS played a significant role in the campaign as it held various awareness camps, and promoted the product at its facilitation centres and workshops.

The Soap with a Lump was marketed as the right tool during the moment of the shower for women to reflect on their health holistically and check themselves for early signs of breast cancer. As we all know, the earlier the cancer is detected the better the chances of cure and higher the probability of saving a life.

The campaign was so successful that its global reach was 9.4 million within the first 24 hours. It had 86,687 expressions on social media within a day of being launched and the ICS registered about a 27% increase in enquiries about breast cancer and its early detection immediately after the launch.

We look forward to more such success stories from brands of all sizes in India.

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