Lifebuoy |  Unilever


The Market


The Challenge

Over 60% of Indians wash their hands only with water and no soap at all*. This behaviour causes the spread of fatal diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, pneumonia and COVID-19.

Now imagine this unhealthy habit during the world’s largest human gathering: Kumbh Mela with 150 million pilgrims in a 45-day makeshift town. The town is equipped with 4,200 tents, 660 mass food courts and 150,000 portable toilets, creating the perfect conditions for a mass-scale infection.

*Source: India National Sample Survey, 2020

The Idea

Changing 150 million people’s poor hygiene habits overnight is impossible. So we decided to create a social-hacking solution that takes advantage of what Indian people have naturally done for millennia.

Hackwashing is a wearable ink made of Lifebuoy formula, which turns into antibacterial soap on coming in contact with water. So just by stamping people’s hands, we ensured they also use germ-killing soap every time they rinse their hands with water.


Hackwashing helped to instantly transform an unsanitary habit into life-saving action and helped protect 150 million people with no samples or waste.

Due to this initiative, we achieved 30% fewer infections than the festival’s previous edition, according to the Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh.

  • Cannes Lions, Bronze (Health & Wellness, Brand Experience & Activation)
  • Cannes Lions, Shortlist (Outdoor, Social Behavior)
  • Cannes Lions, Shortlist (PR, Use of Events & Stunts)
  • Cannes Lions, Shortlist (PR, Social Behavior)
  • Cannes Lions, Shortlist (Direct, Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale)
  • Dragons of Asia, Grand Prix (Best Campaigns by Country/India)
  • Dragons of Asia, Gold (Best Marketing Discipline Campaign)
  • One Show, Bronze (Health & Wellness)
  • One Show, Merit (Health & Wellness)
  • Cresta, Silver (Healthcare - Public Awareness)
  • Cresta, Bronze (Ambient & Experiential - Ambient)
  • Cresta, Bronze (The Media Magic Award)
  • Kyoorius, Baby Elephant (Creativity for Good)
  • Kyoorius, Baby Elephant (Live Brand Experience or Activation)
  • Brand Equity Marketing Awards, Finalist (Brand Experience and Activation)
  • WPP Extraordinary Awards, Special Commendation Award
  • Spikes Asia, Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale
  • LIA, Bronze (Health & Wellness – OTC – Over-the-Counter)
  • LIA, Finalist (Ambient & Activation: Cosmetics/Toiletries)
  • Woman's hand with Lifebuoy stamp on it
  • Woman's hand with Lifebuoy stamp on it