Holistic beauty

With its Soap with a Lump initiative, Lux stresses on the importance of self-examination and early detection of breast cancer

Over the past few decades, Hindustan Unilever’s soap brand Lux has created some of the most iconic ad campaigns in India. The brand has been endorsed by lead actors who epitomise beauty, from Hema Malini and Sridevi to Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. The brand's product portfolio, coupled with such compelling celebrity endorsement, has helped Lux gain a loyal customer base, strong recall and a huge share in the beauty and skin care market in India. But when a brand is in an influential position, it is also important to leverage their reach for reasons beyond pure marketing. Like Spidey said, with great power comes great responsibility. That's what Lux has done with its ‘Soap with a Lump’ initiative.   

This is an effort by the company to generate awareness about breast cancer, according to Samir Singh, executive vice president, global skin cleansing, Unilever. Under this initiative, the company highlights the importance of self-examination and early detection and has altered the product design of the soap bar. The new variant has a visible lump on it, which does not dissolve even when the soap does. The soap will not be sold commercially, but will be made available through field camps led by the Indian Cancer Society.

Meanwhile, a two-minute film from the campaign, mostly shot in black-and-white, starts with a startling statistic — that 75% of women shy away from self-examination. The film then explains how Lux came about the idea, and how the Soap with a Lump aims to act as a constant reminder for women to examine themselves and be on the lookout for any abnormalities. After all, early detection often leads to higher chances of recovery. Tista Sen, regional creative director, Wunderman Thompson, South Asia, adds that women are alone in the shower when they are bathing, and this makes it an ideal moment to alert her to check her breasts for any abnormality, without inhibitions.

The Soap with a Lump initiative has been executed by HUL in collaboration with Wunderman Thompson, technical experts, designers, soap manufacturers and a leading oncologist. Though the narrative of the film has an undertone of a serious concern, it is sure to resonate with the audience since it drives home an important point — that a beautiful health is as important as appearance. This is a classic example of creative thinking integrated into a business with purpose.