The Electric Factory Grows Out-Of-Home ‘Bacteriads’ to Encourage Hand Washing for Lifebuoy

Global innovation group The Electric Factory continues displaying its inventive capabilities with a new outdoor campaign for Unilever soap brand Lifebuoy that emphasizes the importance of washing one’s hands in a most unique fashion.

Teaming with corporate giant Unilever, the Montevideo, Uruguay-based The Electric Factory parlayed Global Handwashing Day into a full-scale out-of-home effort for Lifebuoy, aptly titled “Bacteriads,” in which the group extracted bacteria from a variety of common items from bills to smartphones, placed them in a giant, custom-built petri dish and cultivated them for days at a time to eventually serve as candid outdoor advertisements to the public.

“Bacteriads responds to an advertising insight that’s not often resolved in its broadest sense,” Group Chief Creative Officer Juan Ciapessoni explains. “Advertising, until now, told you that bacteria are bad and cause disease by showing them as funny and disgusting 3D ‘monsters.’ But by making caricatures of the problem, there’s the potential danger that a very real issue could be taken lightly. Bacteriads brings reality to the problem, and in our opinion this is a way of breaking tradition, by directly impacting the public in a very relevant manner.”

To add authenticity to the campaign, The Electric Factory collaborated with actual microbiologists and scientist who shared the same enthusiasm in terms of exposing audiences to the potential diseases that abound when they don’t heed the recommendation of washing your hands 7-8 times per day.

According to Creative Officers Federico Cibils and Gustavo Etchandy , the scientific input proved to be an eye-opening experience during the embryonic stages of Bacteriads. “When we began ‘seeding’ in petri dishes (normal size) at the lab, the first time we saw the bacteria and fungi appear, we were horrified by the idea that those were actually living in our everyday stuff. The scientist leading the experiment told us something that made a sudden ‘click’ inside our heads: we are already immunized to the vast majority of these bacteria. However, there is a slight possibility that some of them are dangerous diseases. That is why it is imperative to wash our hands: to avoid being in contact with these for too long.”

After initially unveiling Bacteriads in various shopping malls, Federico Cibils reveals that The Electric Factory is planning a broader “sequel” to the Lifebuoy campaign, which the CCO hopes signifies the ongoing potential for innovation in the OOH space. “I think that OOH campaigns are having a golden age,” he adds. “There are a myriad of formats and possible innovations to exploit and have fun imagining. As if traditional OOH was not enough, technology has exponentially expanded its domains. OOH is a format that can allow us to think outside the box and try to push the limits of innovation, interactivity and technology. It’s a great time to create OOH campaigns.”


About The Electric Factory:

From platforms to interactive experiences, whether experimental or for clients, The Electric Factory has assumed the role of evangelist by producing results that exceed industry standards. Energy courses through us. Sparked by our curiosity and imagination, and channeled through hard work and optimism, we focus this energy into our lives and our work. We are electric.