Ad Nut
May 30, 2019

Lumpy soap reminds Indian women to check their breasts

Unilever and Wunderman Thompson got help from an oncologist to design a “humble bar of soap” with the power to make women perform self-exams.

Lumpy soap reminds Indian women to check their breasts

Ad Nut was taking a shower this morning—loofah in hand, favourite power-ballad playlist blasting, the usual—but when Ad Nut went to grab for the soap something brought the morning ritual to a screeching halt.

There’s a little lumpy ball in the soap!

In that moment Ad Nut thought, this weird lumpy soap really reminds Ad Nut to…perform a breast self-exam. (Before you ask, yes, furry woodland creatures can have breasts too; your're aware of the etymology of the word "mammal", no?)

Anyway, the above scenario is exactly the thought behind Unilever and Walter Thompson’s campaign for soap brand Lux, quite literally called ‘The Soap with a Lump’.

Apparently, feeling that lumpy bar as you wash yourself in the shower will act as a “powerful trigger for self-examination”.

In a release, Unilever EVP of global skin cleansing Samir Singh said the brand wants to “encourage women to think about beauty holistically and what that entails not just for their appearance but also for their health”.

“That’s the power of a humble bar of soap,” he added, without irony.

The ever optimistic creature in Ad Nut believes the motivation behind this campaign is altruistic and not simply a creative exercise in brand-building. The slightly more cynical creature in Ad Nut wants to believe it's not just an exercise in award bait.

At the very least, the campaign could raise awareness of the magnitude of breast cancer in India, and the importance of early diagnosis. According to the release, breast cancer accounts for over 25% of all cancers in women, but research conducted for the campaign found that 75% of Indian women shy away from self-examination.

Unilever and Wunderman Thompson said they collaborated with technical experts, designers and a leading oncologist to design the soap. Ad Nut would have loved to be a squirrel on the wall in those meetings, to see how long it took them to come up with the concept of putting a ball into a bar of soap.

The key thing is the ball is non-dissolvable, so as the bar of soap is washed away, the ball remains. Ad Nut guesses this is meant to be a physical metaphor representing the fact that cancer doesn’t just wash away. That’s quite clever, Ad Nut supposes.

Ad Nut just hopes the ball isn’t made from plastic that ends up being eaten by some poor fish. That would be an ironic end to a ‘do good’ campaign.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.

 

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