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Safeguard’s latest social experiment, rooted in Filipino culture and pride, aims to spark a nation-wide movement

As the nation’s health partner, P&G’s Safeguard has always championed healthy handwashing habits in the Philippines. With its latest campaign #GoKamayan with Safeguard – a social experiment featuring celebrities like Boy Abunda, Bianca Gonzalez, Ai-Ai Delas Alas, and others – the brand takes an unconventional approach to encourage healthy handwashing habits by tapping into the Filipino love for food. More specifically, the uniquely Filipino tradition of ‘kamayan’ – the act of eating food with hands.

While food is at the heart of Filipino culture, not many Filipinos choose to eat with hands today. The campaign idea is built around this core tension that every Filipino faces: taking pride in their culture and traditions such as kamayan, while also subconsciously conforming to the western ways of eating food with cutlery. Safeguard’s social experiment poses this question, hoping to spark a nation-wide movement around Kamayan; it will show how food not only tastes better with hands, but it also lowers barriers and brings people together. Safeguard gets some of the Philippines’ most loved faces to celebrate and encourage the whole nation to #GoKamayan.

Created for P&G by Publicis Singapore, the social experiment invites some of the Philippines’ most loved celebrities – Boy Abunda, Ai-Ai Delas Alas, Bianca Gonzalez, Tessa Prieto, Drew Arellano, Neri Miranda, James Deakin, and LA Tenario – to ‘The Dinner’ hosted by Chef JP Anglo. Unrehearsed and unscripted, The Dinner comes with a huge surprise. While all the celebrity guests are expecting a fine-dining experience, Chef JP introduces a twist – asking all of the guests to #GoKamayan for the night. The reactions range from pure surprise to bewilderment, at the beginning.

Over the course of the dinner, as conversations break out and guests start enjoying digging into their food kamayan-style, the apprehensions actually give way to fluid conversations and bonding. In the process, important socio-cultural dimensions get explored – ranging from how food actually tastes better with hands, to some of the barriers that come in the way of Filipinos going kamayan more often.

What makes the campaign thinking effective is the brand’s unconventional approach to behavior change. Instead of adopting the typical path of education and awareness to change behavior, the brand taps into hugely latent but powerful contradictions within the culture, and uses them to spark a movement across the whole nation. The role of the product and the brand – proving long-lasting protection from germs – is baked into the idea and the movement effortlessly. With your hands protected from germs, going kamayan makes life that much richer and food that much tastier.

Ms. Alex Vogler, P&G Beauty Division (Asia-Pacific) – Associate Director, Digital Transformation and Communications –  shares: “The Dinner with Safeguard is a film that relays the brand’s ‘pabaon’ to the nation – germ protected hands that enable richer experiences. We do not only recognize the health benefits of handwashing but we also want to remind people that kamayan is something that you can do with clean hands comfortably with anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

Ajay Thrivikraman, Chief Creative Officer, Global Clients Publicis Singapore also comments, “Sometimes, the best way to change behavior is to tap into cultural truths. With the Kamayan Movement, we set out to show how food eaten with hands tastes better and brings people together. Crucially, it gives Safeguard a good reason to be part of one’s routine – before you eat with your hands, make sure to wash them first with soap and water.”

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