Taking ahead the essence of Ariel’s social movement on gender equality, the brand is back with the second phase of its ‘ShareTheLoad’ campaign, designed and created by BBDO India. Within four days of its release, the video has got more than 3 million views
Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | February 25, 2016
Procter & Gamble’s Ariel has just launched the second leg of its ‘#ShareTheLoad’ campaign with a new angle. The latest ‘Share the Load’ video created by BBDO India has hit the bull’s eye again. The video which encourages men to help their wives do the laundry has gone viral online and has been trending social media platforms. Within four days of its release, the video has managed to get more than 3 million views.
The difference between last year’s video and this one is that the first one emphasized gender inequality as seen by two women, while the current video shows the perspective of a man, a father. Last year at Cannes Lions, the Ariel gender equality ad won a Glass Lion which is a special prize for ads that address issues of gender inequality. Glass Lions was introduced last year.
The film is crafted well in terms of creativity. It not only showcases how and what happens in every female’s life every day and night but also highlights how one step by a male member can contribute a lot. It focuses on how handling a house is every house member’s responsibility. If not the kitchen, then at least laundry! The film shows a father who feels really proud to see his daughter handling her house, family, child and also her office work. At the same time he is shown feeling a little apologetic, from every father’s perspective, to set a wrong example of men sitting and working while a lady is expected to take care of her responsibilities.
The Ariel ‘#ShareTheLoad’ campaign has become a voice to empower women at home. Last year the campaign brought to light the debate of whether laundry is only a woman’s job. It went on to build a social movement inviting men to #ShareTheLoad. Taking a step further, this year Ariel will strive to empower the Indian woman of today and, more importantly, the woman of tomorrow, to ensure that men set the right example that gets carried from generation to generation –a clarion call for dads to #ShareTheLoad.
Josy Paul, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India, said, “ShareTheLoad is not just a campaign – it's a movement for change. By raising a mirror to society the brand is seeking a better world where there's equality in household chores, like laundry. This time we were looking for a deeper message. We felt there's a need for a bigger story of self-examination, realization and reconciliation. We were looking for something with greater empathy and authenticity, something that more people could relate to. That was our big thing… to create greater understanding and genuine change. The movement going forward will have more elements to help drive behavioural change in the area of laundry. It's all very exciting.”
Sharing his experience working on this campaign, Hemant Shringy, Executive Creative Director at BBDO India, said, “It was challenging and exciting. After sparking nationwide conversation last year, this year seemed impossible and full of possibilities at the same time. And it was also very enriching and highly exploratory. We were contemplating whether to go deeper or wider with the topic. But I think eventually it doesn’t have to be either/or. We dug deeper to find out where it all begins and reached out to a wider audience. But yes, this is just the beginning.”
Paul explained, “Last year the brand raised the issue ‘Is laundry only a woman's job?’. This year the brand digs deeper and explores the root cause of our conditioning. We were looking for a deeper message. We felt there's a need for a bigger story of self-examination, realization and reconciliation. We were looking for something with greater empathy and authenticity – something that more people could relate to. That was our big thing, to create greater understanding and genuine change. The movement going forward will have more elements to help drive behavioural change in the area of laundry.”
The most important message in the film is the brand calling men to #ShareTheLoad and bringing about household equality. Because it's never too late. It's a poignant film about a dad's self-realization and conversion. The film is about roles and responsibility and about setting the right example by being the right role model. The film is about ensuring the right message for the next generation, free from prejudice. The film is also about the role of laundry within the household.
Shringy added, “It started, of course with the product benefit – best stain removal in just one wash, so it doesn’t matter who does the laundry. But it wasn’t easy, I must admit. It came after a lot observation, interrogation and rejection. And, a lot of internalization as well. But all of that helped us understand what we had to do. Last year we had raised the issue. This year we had to make people feel for it. Think about it. Inequality of household chores is such a deep-rooted issue and that’s why it had to be an exchange of learning between two generations.”
A father who has unknowingly passed on these gender stereotypes realises the extent of it when he sees his daughter at the receiving end, working like a machine. Shringy said, “But for that message to be received with an open mind we had to ensure that it is genuine and heartfelt. It had to be someone’s inner voice talking to him rather than being preached by someone else.”
As stated by Paul, the brief was to create something around how Ariel can, as a leading brand, truly create change – where the product and brand play an essential role in that change. “How can the brand empower the lives of women and consumers across the country? That was what we wanted to do more than anything else. We are seeking to create greater empathy in our message because that's what people want so badly in today’s world,” said Paul. The product role also fits seamlessly into the messaging: Ariel's high performance detergent allows anyone to clean the toughest stain in just one wash, so men and women can do laundry.
A movement for social change
How well will it connect with the audiences” Paul replied, “Household inequality is a very relevant and often overlooked truth in the lives of women across the country. 70% of men across the country believe household chores are a woman’s job. The root cause for this is the passing down of this prejudice from one generation to the next. Children learn what they see. Research shows that two out of three children today ask their mothers to do the laundry. Why? Because they've never seen their dads do laundry. As a result, they grow up imitating what they’ve seen and learnt at home.”
It's not just a campaign; it's a movement for social change. By raising a mirror to society, the brand is seeking a better world where there's equality within the household and hence greater happiness. A society where men and women have equal responsibilities – and equal ownership of chores. Laundry is almost the face of this change that the brand is trying to drive across the country.
“We also urge consumers to share the film widely. It's already got over 3 million organic views in three days! It's a record of sorts. So, clearly, people are liking it, and sharing it. May be because it helps people say what they couldn't say before. In the process the brand is urging more and more men to join the movement to #ShareTheLoad,” Paul averred.
The Ariel “ShareTheLoad campaign received an overwhelming response last year. It was one of the most talked about campaigns at quite a few international award shows, including a Glass Lionn at Cannes Lions. The #ShareTheLoad Movement, received tremendous support with a host of famous faces and diverse partners joining. This includes the likes of Shilpa Shetty, Malaika Arora Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Amala Paul, Mandira Bedi, Neha Dhupia, Boman Irani, Sania Mirza, as well as Shoppers Stop, Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Rajasthan Royals, designer Masaba Gupta, and American Crew, among others.
When asked about his expectations this year, Paul said, “Empathy and authenticity. If we can do that in our work and people look at our work and say, ‘That’s so true’, we will feel we’ve been awarded even before any awards season.”
The Creative Scorecard
Santosh Padhi, Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India:
“The campaign is wonderful and makes an individual realise what a women is going through and how happily she does that. Ariel took this up and has taken it forward really well this year too. The point is to deliver in an interesting way and I personally love the way they have used the past generation which never thought of helping our mothers. It is something really beautiful to show how a man of that generation is getting inspired to help his wife. The ad makes a point in a very subtle way of how this generation thinks and what kind of pressures they have; that what our moms did and our sisters/wives are doing is really different. I really liked this comparison. The ad is very well in every sense.”
Harish Bijoor, Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.:
“I love the creative. Indian marketing and branding and advertising have forever set the wrong tone, tenor and decibel when it comes to gender equality. This is an error of omission and commission alike. It is time to correct it. It’s nice to see Ariel attempting to do so. I do believe this is part of the gender-role equality correction genre of advertising that India needs to see. I see Ariel has this nice hash-tag #ShareTheLoad. That's clever, and that's marketing at its sly best.”
Nima Namchu, Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide:
“While ‘ShareTheLoad’ did very well at Cannes last year, I found this new film stretching it a bit too much. In a family that's visibly upper middle class, the woman of the house is unbelievably overworked, the domestic help is conspicuously absent and the husband is almost villain like. Very reminiscent of the 1975 blockbuster ‘Jai Santoshi Ma’ in which the characters were either very good or very evil. Perhaps they have a case video or an on-ground activation which will showcase the power of the idea more effectively.
“In the age of washing machines, can doing the laundry actually be sharing the load? At a personal level, ‘ShareTheLoad’ didn't do much to me because where I come from, it is quite normal for menfolk to help out with household chores. I also believe if a man has to share the load, he has to be doing something far more significant than just throwing clothes in a washing machine.”
Ashish Khazanchi, Managing Partner, Enormous Brands:
“The ad is made very well and I love it not only because it is beautifully crafted or has a good story, etc., but unlike other commercials this one gives a solution at the end in terms how one can improve the situation and the mindset. Other ads give a situation but do not tell what one should do. It is very insightful and true to the roots. It is picking up steam on social media and will surely have a long way to go.”
Creative Agency: BBDO India
Director: Shimit Amin
Executive Creative Director and Writer: Hemant Shringy
Creative Director: Umma Saini
Planning: Rajat Mendhi, Manisha Sain
Account Management: Rohit Chatterjee, Nilza D'Mello
Chief Creative Officer: Josy Paul
CEO: Ajai Jhala
Agency Producer: KV Krishna
Production House: Red Ice
Producer: Gary Grewal, Vandana Singh, Richa Krishna Lal