Sunlight puts focus on life’s big moments over household chores

Who: Henkel Canada (Sunlight brand), with Juniper Park\TBWA for strategy and creative, Animals for production (directed by Mindcastle); the Vanity for editing, OSO for sound and MediaBrands for media.

What: “Home is Canada,” an ad for Sunlight soap and detergent in which the brand plays a supporting though important role in the story of an immigrant family making a new life in Canada.

When & Where: The ad launched Monday, running nationally until Dec. 11 on TV and digital channels.

Why: According to Henkel, Sunlight is a century-old brand that started in Canada and that Canadians just trust without needing a hard sell.

“Henkel Canada is very excited for this new campaign that reminds consumers that the Sunlight brand has been a part of Canadian homes and relied on by families for over 100 years,” said Heidi Chiu, director of marketing for Henkel Canada, in a release.

Rather than the functional benefits of Sunlight products, Henkel and Juniper Park\TBWA wanted to show the brand as a trusted part of the Canadian experience, making basic household chores easier and allowing more time for more important things.

“While strategy and testing played an important role in its development, we used these to build an engaging story that doesn’t feel like an ad, but still clearly has the brand and the product at its heart,” said Neil Walker-Wells, group creative director at Juniper Park\TBWA.

 How: The ad shares the story of a Nigerian family, with a father anxious about work. Sunlight is there, but in the background as the son washes his dad’s shirt ahead of a big job interview. The father returns home at the end of the day to a family anxious to hear his news. At first he seems despondent, before a smile gives him away: He starts his new job on Monday, and the family celebrates.

“When you have help talking care of the small things, you can concentrate on the big things—like making a new country a home,” says a voiceover, as the POV zooms out to reveal the happy home is in Toronto. “Sunlight, helping Canadians shine for over 100 years,” she says.

“People don’t overthink their household purchases, so we were conscious not to overthink this campaign,” said Walker-Wells. “Our aim was to demonstrate how Sunlight supports families during the big moments in life—whether that is a new house, a new school, or making a new country a home, which is the story we decided to illustrate in this spot.

And we quote: “Sunlight started in Canada, and we continue to be a trusted and affordable cleaning solution for Canadian families. We’re proud to be a part of the fabric of this country.” — Heidi Chiu, director of marketing, Henkel Canada

David Brown