Ad Of The Month

So Fresh, So Clean: The Joy Of Soap

Southeast Asia: Saniter


The Covid-19 pandemic has created shifts in soaps and sanitary products markets around the world. Most notably, 2020 saw a surge in sales of sanitizers and liquid soap in many countries, including Indonesia. Bar soaps, traditionally top sellers in Indonesia, risk being left behind.

This is the context for soap brand Saniter’s new ad, which looks to position its soap bars as providing strong antibacterial protection. Owner Godrej has seen strong growth for its hygiene brands in other markets, but Indonesia lagged behind last year, and Saniter will be hoping to reverse that with this campaign.

The ad starts off in a Doctor’s surgery with a kid’s skin getting swabbed and cleaned, and a reassuring masked spokeswoman talks through the benefits of Saniter. The imagery is all very clean, modern and professional, which definitely gets the message across but doesn’t necessarily make for the most emotional experience. So how does Saniter switch gears and make its audience smile?

The answer lies in the kid, as the ad switches to him having a brilliant time in the shower, joyfully rubbing the soap bar all over himself and working up a lather. Soap bars are the most fun way to stay clean, is the obvious idea, and Saniter’s range of anti-bacterial soap bars combines that fun with effectiveness.

It’s not the most subtle of ads, but it does the job. You only have to look at the second-by-second FaceTracing record in the TestYourAd report to see the surge in happiness once the boy starts his showering. It turns a potentially dreary message-driven ad into something anyone watching can relate to. The result is a good 3.9-Star score for Saniter and a strong short-term Spike score too. It’s a good example of one of the core principles of effective advertising – even if you’re making a message ad with the product very much the hero, there is always a way to inject a bit of joy and emotion into a commercial.