Dettol looks beyond hygiene in new brand campaign

Dettol claims its new global slogan reflects the powerful human instinct to protect what matters.

Dettol: films profile people including judo star Catlin Leigh
Dettol: films profile people including judo star Catlin Leigh

Dettol has launched a brand campaign as the world prepares to step into a post-lockdown society.

Adopting a cautiously optimistic stance, the brand now synonymous with hygiene and antiseptic wants to give people confidence to live life to the full.

This strategic shift comes with the launch of the slogan: "We protect what we love." At the campaign's centre are three 60-second films, showcasing authentic, real-life stories of determination and commitment to the things that matter.

The films star bicycle shop owners and brothers Ben and Alex from Nottingham; Yasmin of the Saltley Stallions Women’s Football Club; and Catlin Leigh, rising Lancastrian judo star.

The campaign was created by Richard Holmes and Simon Lotze at McCann London and the films were directed by Mindcastle and produced by MindsEye. It also includes digital and point-of-sale advertising.

Karen Crum, global strategy director at McCann, said: “Over the past year, we’ll all been reminded about the importance of good hygiene habits, and how they aren’t just the foundation for good health, but a huge enabler of our lives and our livelihoods.

So much of the conversation around hygiene habits has been rooted in fear and worry, and we wanted to show the alternative view – that simple habits can take the mental load of worry away, leaving you feeling free to enjoy life.”

The campaign follows a misstep by the brand last year, which prompted ridicule for its apparently tone-deaf ad that listed an inventory of office life that the general public were supposedly missing during lockdown.

Also created by McCann, the promise of “proper bants”, “the boss's jokes” and “face-to-face meetings” went down like the proverbial lead balloon in such a perilous time, as did describing the return to the office as tantamount to “seeing your second family.”

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