Dettol celebrates everyday germ spreading behaviours

The creative platform 'Spread The Love, Not The Germs', created by McCann London, launches in partnership with Channel4’s Gogglebox

By Creative Salon

Dettol's creative platform 'Spread The Love, Not The Germs', created by McCann London, responds to the brand's latest poll research that shows that British consumers see their homes as clean and germ-free for the most part, only considering germs in specific high-risk contexts.

The Reckitt-owned hygiene brand's campaign challenges this perception by undertaking a strategic shift; moving from simply highlighting germs, to reminding people how they spread. The platform highlights that the people we love spread germs, and because our homes are the epicentres of busy family life, they can quickly become far more germy than we think.

The new platform highlights that germs don’t simply appear by themselves; they are spread by the people we share a life and a home with, but Dettol can give them everything they need to keep doing all the things they love, with the people they love.

The hero 60-second film, created by McCann London, follows the endearing relationship between a brother and sister engaging in everyday activities such as throwing used socks at one another, pulling spag-bol faces, and playing balloon keepy-uppy with their dog. This kind of creative storytelling signifies a big step for Dettol, representing a shift from product superiority stories to a focus on the human connection that the product enables.

The campaign sees Dettol partner with Channel 4, in a deal negotiated by Zenith UK, to bring the nation’s germy behaviours to life. Studio Lambert, producers of Gogglebox, has created bespoke ads and social media content for the campaign which sees Goggleboxers including Pete and Sophie and Giles and Mary, do what they do best, share their sentiments on the campaign’s hero film and their own observations of their families' germy behaviours.

This partnership will see the much-loved Goggleboxers share their germy moments as well as unseen clips from filming. The alliance is a category first, with Dettol being the first cleaning brand to do a Gogglebox review ad.

A PR activation in support of the campaign has been spearheaded by IPG agency, Golin, highlighting how family members can spread germs around the home without even knowing. In partnership with TV home expert Sarah Beeny, Dettol has created a limited-edition GermWare of items made from copper, a naturally antibacterial material.

The collection, which includes a TV remote, games console controller and mobile phone case, is used to highlight the behaviours in the home that spread the most germs, for example sharing a remote.

Further, a team of micro-influencers, organised by McCann Content Studios, are driving discussions around the germy habits and behaviours of their loved ones, to start a cultural celebration of the germ spreading behaviours we all have.

The campaign is now live across AV, VOD, Digital and Social in the UK and has been adapted across Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. The 'Spread The Love, Not The Germs' campaign will run until mid-November.

Dettol’s existing brand tagline 'We Protect What We Love’ will continue to run across other markets.

David Shillcock, marketing director at Reckitt, said: “We're thrilled to introduce this new creative platform created in collaboration with McCann London. A significant step-change for our Dettol brand, it’s a testament to our commitment to the joy of shared experiences, as well as a celebration of the germy, messy, fun-filled lives of our consumers. This platform not only captures the essence of Dettol's mission to keep families healthy, happy, and thriving, but also resonates with consumers on a personal level, reminding them that while the people we love may inadvertently spread germs, Dettol empowers us to keep on doing all the things we love to do, with the people we love.”

Matt Crabtree, creative director at McCann London, added: “Germ don’t spread germs… People do. We’ve created a campaign that celebrates our loved ones’ germy behaviours like eating snacks before licking fingers and then swiping an iPad. But not in a finger pointing way. We’re celebrating germ spreading in joyous, uplifting, witty ways, show people bonding with loved ones, despite their germy behaviours, because Dettol has got it covered. At the heart of the campaign is the shift from the functional aspect of Dettol as a germ-kill brand, to a brand that is much more focused on the everyday human behaviours that can contribute to germs spreading; a more emotional and relatable territory.”


Project Name: Spread the Love, Not the Germs

Client Name: Dettol (Reckitt)

Client: Reckitt, Dettol

David Shillcock (UK Marketing Director Reckitt)

Matthieu Desbrandes (UK Marketing Manager)

Tommaso Livraghi (UK Marketing Manager)

Nikki Hayward (UK Marketing Manager)

Charlotte Schloesing (Global Category Director)

Elsa de Guzman de Saint Nicolas (Vice President Global Brand Marketing)

Adam Ganatra (Senior Brand Manager)

Creative: McCann London

Katie Edwards (Global Brand Lead)

Karolina Gogarowska-Kruszewska (Business Director)

Alessia Brogna (Global Account Director)

Mike Knowles (Account Director)

Ivo McDonald (Account Manager)

Samantha Hawkins (Project Manager)

James Clee (Strategy Director)

Matt Crabtree (Creative Director)

Jacob Bjordal (Creative Director)

Jim Nilsson (Creative Director)

Darren O’Beirne (Art Director)

Howard Green (Copywriter)

Lisa Carrana (Head of Design)

Max Henderson (Design Director)

Ben Anthony (Senior Designer)

Roland Williams (Senior Designer)

Lexie Hoskins (Junior Designer)

Influencer: McCann Content Studios (part of McCann London)

Crystal Malachias (Global Head of Influencer)

Aaron King (Global Vice President Influencer Marketing)

Katie Calderwood (Senior Influencer Manager)

Tene Ikomi (Influencer Executive)

Production: Craft London (part of McCann London)

Charlie Lonngren (Agency Producer)

Gifty Appiah (Assistant Producer)

James Akerman (Print Producer)

Production: Merman

Ben Liam Jones (Director)

Jason Lovelock (Production Company Producer)

Rachel Clark (Director of Photography)

Billy Mead (Editor)

Elena de Palma (Editor)

Post-Production: Rascal & No.8

Rascal Post (Music Composition / Composer)

Evelyn O’Reilly (Post Producer)

James Bamford (Colourist)

Holly McLean (On-Line)

No.8 London (Sound Studio)

George Castle (Sound Design/Mix)

Josie Long (Voice-Over @ Sue Terry Voices)

PR & Celebrity: Golin

Natasha Weeks (Executive Director)

Jessie May Brooks (Director)

Elena Peratikos (Account Director)

Lydia Goldman (Senior Account Executive)

Media: Zenith UK

Sara Clark (Client Partner)

Steph Smith (Business Director)

George Nevett (Planning Manager)

Natalia Banaszek (Planning Apprentice)

Rob Finch (Marketing Strategy Director)

David Myers (Partnerships Director)

Zoe Blackmore (Business Director)

Tom Wheater (Senior Partnerships Manager)

Cyane Bonnell (Group Investment Director)

Richard Fennell (Investment Director)

Darren Berry (Trading Manager)


Horton Stephens (Production Company)

Jack Terry (Photographer)

John Martin (Retoucher)

GermWare Production by Craft London

Susie Lau (Executive Producer)

Jackie Ankelen (Producer)

Liam White (Art Production Lead)

Alberto Boldini (Post-Producer)

Robbie Maynard (Photographer)

Nathan Theys (Director)

JH May Models and Prototypes (Props)

Wolsey White (Props Master)

Dunnington Steve (Editor)

John Martin (Re-Toucher)


Neo Rae Gardener (Boy)

Eve Hinds-McDowell (Girl)

Lauren Drennan (Mum)

Gavin Cooper (Dad)

Ritamaria Boxill (Grandmum)

Bernard Osei (Granddad)


Fletcher Bibby (Walk-On Boy)

Ellie-Mae Siame (Walk-On Girl)

Jayden Chui (School Kid)


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