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Unilever’s Global Hand Hygiene Brand Lifebuoy Breaks Guinness World Record

Recognised for ‘The Most Number of Viewers of a Hand Hygiene Lesson Video on YouTube’

Rico Hizon, CNN Anchor and broadcast journalist at the Lifebuoy worldwide virtual classroom

Lifebuoy, the world’s number one hygiene soap brand1, recently broke the Guinness World Record on Global Handwashing Day (GHD) for ‘The Most Number of Viewers of a Hand Hygiene Lesson Video on YouTube’. The lesson, taught through a worldwide virtual classroom, imparted the important message of handwashing with soap to teachers, parents and kids from Sri Lanka and across the globe. Having already helped over 3.5 million Sri Lankan people develop better handwashing habits, improve their hygiene, and protect themselves against preventable diseases, Lifebuoy launched a series of interactive games aimed at driving digital behavioural change, along with a hygiene-focused alphabet.

In 2020, inspired by how children learn their A, B, C’s, Lifebuoy set out on a mission to transform the way the letter H is taught. The brand launched the “H for Handwashing” multi-year campaign carrying a simple message: While H is for hat, horse, and hippo…H must also stand for Handwashing!

The virtual classroom brought together a panel of experts comprising Rico Hizon, CNN Anchor and broadcast journalist; Roberta Golinkoff, academic and author of over 14 books on early childhood learning; Kajol Devgn, award-winning actress and global handwashing advocate; along with members from the Rotaract District 3220 for Sri Lanka & Maldives, teachers, parents, educators and children from over 30 countries around the world.

Lifebuoy also announced its partnership with Sesame Workshop at the event to launch the brand’s first set of digital behavioural change games starring Sesame Workshop’s beloved muppets, Elmo, Raya, Cookie Monster, and Grover that taught children that H is for Handwashing!

The classroom event also saw the launch of Lifebuoy’s first ever children’s book - a “H for Handwashing” alphabet book – in which kids can explore the Alphabet with Azzy (as in A to Z) the horse. The book is intended to support school curricula, whenever and wherever children are taught the ABCs. (https://hforhandwashing.lk/alphabet-book/)

Kajol Devgn, award-winning actress and global handwashing advocate introducing Lifebuoy’s “H for Handwashing” alphabet book

Kajol Devgn, award-winning actress and global handwashing advocate introducing Lifebuoy’s “H for Handwashing” alphabet book

In Sri Lanka, Lifebuoy supported the classroom event via mainstream media, social media, and trade activations by partnering with celebrities Bhathiya Jayakody, Santhush Weeraman and Sachini Ayendra as well as trade partners - Keells and Glomark. The brand also marked the event by collaborating with Pre-Schools to install 39 handwashing units across 8 locations in Colombo, thereby impacting 1,500 children.

Children enjoying Lifebuoy’s worldwide virtual classroom at a Glomark outlet

Children enjoying Lifebuoy’s worldwide virtual classroom at a Glomark outlet

Nilushi Jayatileke, Marketing Director - Beauty & Personal Care and Head of Corporate Communications, Unilever Sri Lanka said, “Lifebuoy has championed handwashing for over a decade in Sri Lanka, bringing about awareness and educating local communities about the importance of hand hygiene through Lifebuoy’s hand hygiene programme. We are also proud to host a long-standing behavioural change programme with schools which has positively impacted children for generations. As we seek new ways of instilling good hand hygiene habits in children, we are pleased to take our H for Handwashing campaign to the next level after a successful year of launching this movement in Sri Lanka. With our first ever worldwide virtual classroom, we hope to change children’s perception of handwashing from a chore to fun moments of the day, by reinvigorating to teachers, parents and kids, the importance of handwashing with soap at the right moments.”

Since 2007, Lifebuoy has been on a mission to prevent illness and save lives through handwashing with soap. To encourage better hand hygiene practices and educate children on the importance of engaging in correct handwashing methods, Lifebuoy has partnered with the Ministry of Education to install handwashing units across schools. The brand has also worked with the Ministry of Health to upgrade sanitation facilities and water pipeline systems in schools and organise community clean-up activities. Since the launch of its ‘H for Handwashing’ campaign, the brand has reached over 3.6 million Sri Lankans, joining hands with educators to ensure that fundamental habit changes are taught to children in the very early stages of education.

In 2020, the brand took on the challenge of creating awareness to prevent the spread of the pandemic to help keep Sri Lankans protected from the virus. As such, Lifebuoy partnered with government organisations to position over 100 mobile handwashing stations in schools and public places to benefit communities and encourage them to engage in correct handwashing behaviours. It also collaborated with the Presidential task force and Ministry of Education to promote good handwashing habits among school children and launched several communication campaigns to get children and the public involved in the social mission of bringing safety, security, and health through proper hand hygiene.

*Photo caption: Rico Hizon, CNN Anchor and broadcast journalist at the Lifebuoy worldwide virtual classroom

1) Calculation based on NielsenIQ unit sales for the Skin Cleansing category (latest 12 months available) © 2021, NielsenIQ.

Read the press release in Tamil (PDF 153KB)