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Unilever Pakistan Launches Surf Excel’s New Formula with Spectacular Hijack of Broadcast Screens

Within two days, Impact BBDO's campaign became the number two trending topic on Twitter and amassed a reach of over 42 million

Unilever Pakistan Launches Surf Excel’s New Formula with Spectacular Hijack of Broadcast Screens

Across 14 leading broadcast channels for an entire day and a half, Pakistanis watching everything from entertainment to news, found dried stains obscuring part of their screens. Bewildered, people took to social media (after attempting to wipe their screens) trying to figure out why these stains were popping up on screens everywhere and more importantly, who put them there.

Speculation was rife, as the hashtag #WhatTheDaagh (What The Stain) became the top trending topic of the day on Twitter and Instagram, with people posting pictures of the different stains caught on camera. The internet saw people expressing their exasperation, others their plain amusement and some posting wild theories about who is to blame for this invasion of their TV space.

In the final act of the first-of-its-kind stunt, several news and show anchors addressed the stains on their screens, imploring their camera-men to clean them off, each of them failing to remove the persistent stains from the camera lens. Finally putting this commotion to rest and marking the launch of its reformulation with Stain Lifter technology, Surf Excel stepped up to claim responsibility of cleaning these stains from TV. A powerful tornado appeared on screen extricating the last of the dried stains, hurling itself onto the new Surf Excel packaging, calling itself the true Daaghoun Ka Champion (The Stain Boss).

Butool Rizvi, marketing manager, home care, Unilever, said: “We wanted a novel and disruptive way for Surf Excel’s improved dried-in stain credentials to get noticed. And along came this audacious idea - a mysterious screen hijack through stains across mainstream media. A daunting executional challenge, but we did put dried stains on screens everywhere, taking over national conversation. Conspicuous enough to be intriguing, yet never intrusive. Providing a perfect segue into the new product and proposition drop which is set to be a new chapter in the brand’s history.”

The hijack became an effective way to create an awareness drive around the product launch completely ‘washing’ out the competition who had coincidentally launched a new product just eight hours prior to Surf Excel’s stunt.

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Brand team

Marketing manager HC: Butool rizvi

Assistant brand manager: Neha Salhjee

Assistant Manager HC media: Raza ayoub


Agency: BBDO Pakistan / Impact BBDO

Regional Executive Creative Director: Ali Rez

Executive Creative Director: Hira Mohibullah

Planning Director: Daniah Ishtiaq

Associate Creative Director: Faryal Ali

Copywriter: Fatima Ansari

Head of Design: Haroon Rashid

Art Director: Wasim Ahmed

Business Director: Farooq Qazi

Senior Account Manager: Saira Ansari

PR and Media

PR team: Talking Point

Media management: MindShare

Category: Home , Laundry