Product / ServiceDETTOL AND HARPIC
CategoryA12. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Corporate Image
Media Placement INITIATIVE INDIA Gurgaon, INDIA

The Campaign

For hundreds of years, a large portion of the Indian population became accustomed to defecating in the open, to the point where they don’t even practice the basic ritual of washing hands before eating and after defecating. Some are averse to the idea of a bathroom in the house and consider it a religious taboo. Old habits die hard, thus influencing mindsets of the common man towards personal hygiene was as important as getting the right infrastructure in place. In its 4th season (2017) BSI focused on building a network of community leaders, who aided in breaking deep-rooted beliefs and strove to bring about attitudinal changes. Change leaders were identified from amongst local Government bodies, religious leaders, front line health workers and mothers/care givers. BSI thus successfully galvanised the people power around the idea of a Clean India, whist driving behavioral change, which is scalable, sustainable and measurable.

Creative Execution

Season 4 went live in June 2017, with a 12 hour live Cleanliness drive aired on leading news channels, featuring panel discussions on effective measures for a clean India, involving celebrities and influencers from all walks of life. The Hygiene Education Bus travelled across 500 villages in 6 states to inform people about proper sanitation through street plays. Specially curated Hygiene curriculum was introduced in 250,000 schools, in 14 languages (including braille.) 13,000 community health workers contacted new mothers, educating them about hygiene practices, through specially designed baby books in their native language. Hygiene messages appeared at the Kumbh Mela, (the largest human religious gathering), where 50,000 religious leaders supported the program to ensure messages of cleanliness were engrained in popular culture as well. Mass media engagement occurred through regular conversations on TV, Newspapers and on the platform microsite, which brought to life the sanitation issue in a relatable way.

IThere was a 5% reduction in diarrhea deaths amongst children through the hygiene curriculum and community programs compared in 2017. There has been a 38% increase in the awareness related to diseases such as cholera, malaria, typhoid and hepatitis. RB won the President’s Award for making 200 villages and 40 cities open defecation free by building 90,000 toilets. India’s first Toilet College trained 13,000 hygiene trainers and also helped provide dignified livelihood to workers involved in manual scavenging. Prolonged education drive has ensured that 54% of the households are willing to construct toilets with their own saved money. Number of economic working days saved due to this investment is 100,00 which otherwise go in sickness due to poor health and hygiene. 1.7 million USD added to the national GDP through economic working days saved from disease The PM of India Narendra Modi came forth to support the cause on Twitter.

Reckitt Benckiser (RB)’s core philosophy is business with purpose. Its power brands of Dettol and Harpic have been the flag bearers of hygiene and sanitation, spreading the message to millions of homes. However the pitiable standards of sanitation facilities and hygiene practices in India prompted RB to do more. RB launched Banega Swachh India (BSI) (Make India Clean) program in conjunction with the government in 2014, with the intention of joining forces with the government in realizing the dream of a clean and healthy India. The season 4 of the program was went live in June 2017.

Insights, Strategy and the Idea

Inclusion of Local Government members ensured better liaison with government programs and stronger support for infrastructure development. Religious leaders are crucial when it comes to circulating messages concerning hygiene and sanitation. They have the ability to influence attitudes of their constituents towards hygiene, by breaking orthodox beliefs. Front-line health professionals are responsible for providing care to the most under-served rural villages in India. They are highly effective as change leaders as they are constantly in touch with local communities. Mothers educated the entire family and drove good hygiene at household level. Children were made evangelists to the cause by connecting with schools Infrastructure is the backbone of any cleanliness drive; we not only preached people to use toilets but also made sure the same facilities were available to them by collaborating with large NGO’s and government agencies Finally, we got the right media partners on board to ensure mass reach.


Name Company Position
Farah Siddiqui Initiative Business Director
Arun Sharma Initiative COO - Initiative