If you aren’t familiar with Lifebuoy soap by Unilever, then you’re probably not from Asia where it’s #1 in its category. Lifebuoy is one of Unilever’s oldest brands and positions itself as the soap that saves lives. Straight from the Unilever website:

The brand’s core promise of protection and a commitment to support life through unbeatable protection is at the heart of the brand name itself – Lifebuoy, the guarantee of protection when you are threatened.

The brand has a strong claim – unbeatable protection.

To demonstrate that claim in a tangible way, the Lifebuoy soap team (or agency) traveled to Thesgora, India, which has one of the highest rates of diarrhea. If you aren’t aware, preventable diseases such as diarrhea kill 2 million children each year.

Take a moment to watch the short video.

Why does this Lifebuoy soap ad work so well?

The ad opens with a man, Gondappa, walking on his hands, no explanation. For over two minutes, we watch as the man continues walking on his hands with his young son by his side. A crowd gathers and follows.

At this point, the music and anticipation have built and we’re captivated.

The man arrives at a temple where he finally falls to his knees and begins joyfully worshipping. Through the question of an onlooker (thus not breaking the narrative), we finally find out that he is giving thanks because this is his first child to live to the age of five.

As a parent myself, the emotions in that moment of the big reveal are palpable.

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Not dying from easily prevented diseases is something that most of us take for granted. But in many regions it isn’t a given as in developed countries. So in this ad, we are presented with an experience that challenges our way of thinking.

You can see the shock as you watch parents seeing the clip for the first time.

Connecting emotions to products

Look at Unilever’s brand portfolio and you’ll find brands such as Lifebuoy soap, Dove and Axe that are some of the best brands in the world at creating an emotional connection with a product.

Take a page from Unilever’s marketing playbook and figure out what relevant emotion can be effectively connected to your brand or product.