Children holding hands in the air

Ogilvy: Savlon Healthy Hands chalk sticks

Awarded the Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness at Cannes Lion 2018

Under Savlon’s ongoing school outreach initiative, Healthy India Mission, the brand wanted to help address one of the most critical issues prevalent in rural India – poor hand hygiene. Millions of children across India still don’t practice the habit of washing hands with soap before eating as they believe washing hands with water is enough.

Since children do not take up new habits easily, Savlon, a brand associated with health and hygiene, needed to come up with an idea to help inculcate the habit of using soap when washing hands. The task for Ogilvy Mumbai was to find a simple, low-cost solution that could be easily implemented in rural schools across the country.

The insight that primary grade students in rural schools still use black-slate and chalk sticks to write with and that it is common for the chalk powder to get smeared all over their hands, led to the idea of Savlon’s Healthy Hands chalk sticks. Made with a mixture of chalk powder and soap granules, the chalk powder on the kids’ hands turned into soap on its own when they put their hands under the taps before going for lunch. This simple innovation by Ogilvy Mumbai automatically turned washing hands with soap into an everyday habit.

For the first phase, Savlon identified 100 rural schools across India based on health data analysis. Under Healthy India Mission these special chalk sticks were provided to 150,000 students for free. Owing to a great response and demand from schools and NGOs across the country, distribution models were set in place for NGOs whose requirements exceeded over 50,000 boxes.

Once implemented in 100 schools, on Children’s Day, this innovation was released as an online video to start a conversation about the importance of hand hygiene in children.

Ogilvy Mumbai’s work won 10 awards at Cannes Lions 2017, and the Cannes Lions 2018 Grand Prix for the most creatively effective campaign.

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