An innovative pre-Covid-19 hand-washing campaign that changed behaviour ahead of the pandemic, raised awareness of the client’s new restrooms and increased footfall in the mall.



Southgate Mall, owned by Pareto Limited and situated in the hub of Johannesburg’s southern suburbs, at the Gateway to Soweto, offers a cosmopolitan mix of great shopping anchored by popular brand tenants, eateries and takeaways, as well as exhibition facilities.

When the centre asked us to conceptualise a for-good launch of its upgraded ablution facilities, we devised a campaign for social change that would emphasise the importance of hand-washing after using the restrooms.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the socially responsible act of washing hands has gained universal health significance. However, at the time of our launch campaign, many of the shoppers, for whom a visit to the mall is often a fun family outing, had a history of sparse or limited access to water supplies at home, and the important health consequences of proper hand-washing had not been emphasised.

As we all now know, poor hand hygiene causes preventable diseases and outbreaks, keeping children out of school and adults away from work, putting more babies and mums in hospital, and spreading that risk to others in institutions such as schools and healthcare facilities.

We set out to make an impact by combining the launch of the upgraded ablutions with a cause-related marketing campaign around hand-washing. The campaign would raise awareness of the new restrooms and the need for hand-washing, while increasing footfall in the mall.

Partnering with Soweto Theatre, we created a social-investment edutainment skit with a message about the importance of washing hands, aimed at reaching as many primary-school learners as possible.

Along with our impact-driven strategies, we always factor in the need for a high return on investment. Our mission is to build brands, drive sales and do good at the same time. In this case, we added a layer to the campaign that increased footfall: each learner received a token to the mall’s Fantasia games arcade; it was embedded inside a special cake of soap from Southgate to encourage them to wash their hands regularly in order to reach the token (thus creating a good habit).


  • Conceptualisation
  • Design
  • Partner negotiation
  • Execution/Logistics
  • Marketing communication
  • Procurement
  • Reporting


  • Develop a marketing-for-good campaign to launch Southgate Mall’s newly revamped ablutions.


  • We tied the launch to a hand-washing campaign, taking the message to schoolchildren well in advance of Covid-19.

“According to UNICEF, every year 1.4 million children around the world do not live to celebrate their fifth birthdays because of diarrhoea and pneumonia. Many of these deaths are entirely preventable through hand-washing with soap. We’re proud to be a part of this important movement to inform the public, to help protect our economy and to save lives.”

– Nozi Khumalo, National Marketing Manager, Pareto Malls




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