Campaign of “Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun”

Mid Semester Paper of Persuasive Communication Class

by: Veronica Sri Utami


Health problems are now increasing, triggered by a lack of public awareness about  the importance of health maintaining. But, actually, there is a simple and inexpensive way to be applied daily as an effort to maintain our health.[1] It is washing hands with a soap.

A lot of disease can be avoid by this action, such as: diarhea,  typhus, cholera, disentry, leptosphyrosis, hepatitis type A, cacingan (cacing gelang, kremi, cambuk, dan tambang), several type of flu (including flu burung/H5N1 and  flu babi/H1N1), and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).[2] Unfortunately, this habit are not so common and not yet considered as something inmportant  in our daily life.

Based on these conditions, then conducted a Handwashing World campaign, which is an effort to mobilize millions of people around the world to wash their hands with soap, in a good way. Departemen Kesehatan R.I (Depkes) is one institution that have concern to the campaign of “Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun”, especially in Indonesia.

So, “Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun” campaign is a concrete step for improving the quality of Indonesia’s public health.

Goals, strategies, and tactics

Since 2008, Indonesia become one of another 70 countries, such as: China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan, dan Philipines; Madagaskar, Uganda, Kenya, Mesir, Mali, Senegal, Benin, Ghana and Ethiopia, Columbia, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico,  and America,    that commemorate 15 Oktober as Hari Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun Sedunia/Global Hand Washing Day. (Buku Panduan Hari Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun Sedunia, 2009)[3]

To give this commemoration a long term effect to Indonesian society, Departemen Kesehatan made several program to socialize washing hand with soap as a good habit for our health.

Target: children

Target audience of this campaign is all Indonesian people. This campaign messege will be spread in school, markets, and any other public area, also border areas as well as airport entrance and border post, which is prone to get the viruses from outside Indonesia. But, the main target is children, because they are still have spirit and open minded to any new ideas. So, Departemen Kesehatan hope, with educating children about hand washing with a soap, then the children can take this habit to their home and their family. It means, children will become an agent of change in their environment.

Because the target are children, Departemen Kesehatan using three character:  hand, soap, and water that stand together, side by side. This character is a symbol of good relationship between hand, soap, and water.

Positioning Model

A marketing expert, Jack Trout and Al Ries (1986)[4], said that positioning model is a way to attract prospect. Positioning can be done by choosing brand, candidate, or idea to make people more aware about anything.

For this program, Departemen kesehatan also choose Pandji Pragiwaksono as an ambasador (Duta cuci tangan) who can be an idol for children especially, so they imitate the good habit.[5].

The reason to choose him as an ambassador of Kampanye Cuci tangan pakai sabun is he is a father of is son, who surely have a big attention to child development and health.

The sentence “Cuci tangan pakai sabun” that used I this campaign also have a function, as as Binder (1971)[6] said as identification stage, wWhen people heard “Kampanye cuci tangan pakai sabun”, they will  directly thingking about certain behaviour.

Strategy: partnership

To spread this campaign quickly and widely, Departemen kesehatan use partnership model, either with government sector, such as Departemen Sosial, Bapenas  and Departemen Pendidikan, private sector, such as: PT Unilever Indonesia and Reckitt Benckiser,and  also with nongovernment sector such as: USAID and Unicef. (Departemen Kesehatan, 2009) [7]

I think, this strategy is effective, because we can see, with a support from Departemen kesehatan partner, such as Unilever and USAID, an echo of this campaign spread widely. In fact, when we collect the brochure and other artifact for this campaign, we see that Departemen Kesehatan’s partner using more creative way to campaign this habit. For example, they using more attracting colour in their brochure, give attention to schools handwashing infrastructure, make several ocation with children and school, and more often held a gathering with media, with several theme that related with handwashing to be published.  It is important, because Laswell (1934)[8], said that successful social movement will gain power by propagating symbol over a period of month using a variety of media.


“Cuci tangan pakai sabun” is a campaign, held by Departemen Kesehatan RI in partnership with government, nongovernment, and private sector. This partnership strategy wil give a contribution to improving the quality of Indonesian society with a simple habit, hand washing with a soap because the campaign spread more wide and fast.

This campaign also have clear defining target and strategy. It is good, because according to  Larson (2010)[9], campaign must define their goals clearly, create appropriate strategies, and use warious tactics to put the strategy into action. For this campaign, to make hand washing with a soap as a habit in our society, to pomote our health.


Nirmala Magazine , Oktober 2009

Larson, C.U. (2010), Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (12th ed.), Boston: Wadsworth.

Departemen Kesehatan RI (2009), Buku Panduan Hari Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun, Jakarta Larson, C.U. (2010), Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (12th ed.), Boston: Wadsworth.

Baran and Davis (2009), Mass Communication Theory, USA: Wadsworth.


[2] Nirmala, Oktober 2009


[4] Larson, C.U. (2010), Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (12th ed.), Boston: Wadsworth., p. 291

[5] Departemen Kesehatan RI (2009), Buku Panduan Hari Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun, Jakarta, p.7.

[6] Larson, C.U. (2010), Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (12th ed.), Boston: Wadsworth., p. 283

[7] Departemen Kesehatan Ri (2009), Buku Panduan Hari Cuci Tangan Pakai Sabun Sedunia, Jakarta. P.12.

[8] Baran and Davis (2009), Mass Communication Theory, Wadsworth, USA,  p.83

[9] Larson, C.U. (2010), Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (12th ed.), Boston: Wadsworth., p. 282