It’s no surprise, then that communicators are increasingly asked to build social responsibility into brand propositions. This can be a challenging extra dimension. It helps tremendously when the brand in question has been making a difference to life and health for decades.

Dettol disinfectant therefore had a head-start when it asked our associates at NXT\ Digital Innovation to develop – then implement – a creative rationale and conceptualisation of an interactive social media campaign. Dettol, part of Reckitt Benckiser, is South Africa’s top-selling antiseptic liquid. The campaign it commissioned from NXT\ had to garner big public support for the Dettol Children’s Hospital Trust and the Dettol Health for More Life initiative.

In response, NXT\ suggested a two-phase campaign. In phase one, it:

• Set up the Dettol Facebook page and posted information on infant mortality, parenting, family health and hygiene
• Implemented an additional Facebook app to allow mothers to pose parenting and family health questions
• Created a platform across which parents could engage and share experiences and information
• Developed a Children’s Hospital Trust Facebook application tab on the Dettol Facebook page to encourage users to ‘like’ the page and support Dettol’s planned R1-million donation to the trust
• Rolled out an online advertising campaign featuring emotive Facebook adverts and Google online banners to drive visitors to Dettol’s Facebook page.

In the second phase, NXT\ launched a Dettol competition that encouraged mothers to share ‘heroic’ video clips of their children while they explained how they kept their children healthy.

To get the ball rolling, NXT\ shot a YouTube video to inspire the mums when shooting their videos.

The results were impressive. NXT\ logged 2 000 ‘likes’ for Dettol’s Facebook page in one week and reached over 60 000 online and mobile users in three months. NXT\ also provided Dettol with weekly gap analysis reports that tracked progress against the benchmarks presented to the client before the campaign started.

Dettol has since donated R1-million to the trust to help finance a Centre for Childhood Infectious Diseases at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in the Western Cape. But the big breakthrough has yet to come. These campaigns by Dettol support government’s Millennium Development Goal 4 programme, which aims to reduce South Africa’s under-five childhood mortality rate to 2% by 2015. That wouldn’t just be a good result, it would be great.