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Sunlight mobile campaign

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In today’s marketplace, having heritage is important, but being fresh is key. Sunlight is Unilever Sri Lanka’s iconic laundry brand with over 130 years of history, commanding more than 55% of the market.  

But let’s face it. Laundry is not the sexiest of subjects. It is also difficult to be different. How could Sunlight be larger than life in this space, and increase brand affinity, market share, equity and engagement? 

The brand's core audience is female, 15 and above, with a low to middle income level. In terms of personality she is rooted in community, with deep values that center on religion, and its festivities.  

At the same time she is progressive and modern, loves TV and radio, and is using mobile more and more in her daily life. In Sri Lanka, mobile penetration is 100%, with most users in the pre-paid market, which surpasses smartphones by 80%. 

This was Mindshare's challenge: To appeal to these women, along with the larger audience, and build a campaign in mobile, focusing on pre-paid phones, to celebrate one of the country’s biggest religious festivals. 


Sunlight is not just about being clean, it is about brightening up life with positivity, community togetherness and happiness. The agency's challenge was to take a mundane task like laundry and make it into a celebration of community, that lights up the community.   

Enter The Sunlight Vesak “lighting up my nation” campaign. Vesak is the biggest religious celebration in Sri Lanka, celebrating the birth, attaining of enlightenment, and passing into Nirvana of Lord Buddha.  

During Vesak, people light a lamp to signify spiritual cleaning and a brighter tomorrow. While Sri Lankans aspire to visit the world-famous “Dalada Maligawa” (Temple of the tooth) holy site, an important spiritual destination, most people can’t go, Sunlight saw an opportunity, partnering Dialog, the country’s largest mobile service provider to launch the Sunlight Digital Festival of Lights. 


To allow the maximum number of people to take part, Sunlight carried out a massive mobile campaign that was complemented by TV, TV talk shows, radio, press, PR releases, mobile SMS, a Dalada Maligawa official Facebook page, Web banners, and GDN. 

The mechanism is very simple!  

After placing a missed call to a special number, the Sri Lankans would then receive a unique number assigned through SMS. During the festival, they could then observe a digital lamp, labelled with their unique number, lit up with their prayer on a LED wall at the “Dalada Maligawa” temple. 

TV helped anchor the campaign with morning talk show invites, sponsorships and popular personalities endorsing the project and inviting people to light up a lamp by placing a missed call. Radio and press reinforced the campaign while a Facebook page allowed for engagement with fans able to post comments, including some touching stories from people who were unable to go to the temple because of disability, sickness and injury. 

The partnership allowed Sri Lankans to place a missed call to a Dialog number, which made sure a digital lamp would be lit on their behalf at the holy temple on Vesak day. Mindshare supported this activation with TV, radio, press, and web coverage as well. 

In an especially poignant moment, Sri Lankans could watch via streaming their lamp (marked with a unique number) lit up at the Dalada Maligawa on an official website. All the people who gave missed calls could thus observe their lamp light up. 

It was a first for the country. It allowed countless Sri Lankans to virtually visit a temple they would have no chance of going to and send their prayers through a missed call.  


The campaign engaged 6% of Sri Lankans, with 1.2 million missed calls in five days, the highest in Sri Lankan history in that time period.  

What else happened? Post activation monthly Value Market Share gained 100bps to end at 56.1% share within the laundry section, and Brand Equity scores achieved an ALL TIME HISTORIC HIGH of 83.1 gaining 930bps for the year.  

And it has won awards too, including Gold for Best Buzz in Deployment -South Asia, at the Unlock the magic awards; Winner of the Household care brand of the year - People awards 2015 - Sri Lanka institute of Marketing; AC Nielsen, Global Marketing Excellence Awards: Winner - Effective use of Marketing Communication 2014; and a special award from the Chief Marketing Officer Council, India.

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Sunlight Detergent Powder
Brand Owner:
Sri Lanka
May - May 2015
Media Channel:
  • FMAs winner
  • FMAs shortlisted

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