On World Toilet Day, Dentsu Impact, the creative agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, joined hands with We Are Water Foundation, the CSR wing of Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd., to launch a movement that’s getting popular.
This was a social experiment at Sector 29 Gurugram for which a makeshift public toilet was constructed. But when people went in to perform their ablutions, they were in for a surprise. They came face to face with a sight, perhaps common to 250 million people in rural India — a railway track that’s used as an open defecating area.
Children and women holding placards delivered the hard facts and adverse effects of open defecation. This not just shocked people but also sensitised them to the plight of rural India. Immediately, people pledged to #CloseOpenDefecation by signing up on the We Are Water foundation portal. With each sign up/pledge, the foundation is contributing to the construction of more toilets.
The campaign has not been limited only to the social experiment. Prior to it, a film featuring the plight of rural India was launched on social media platforms along with teasers. This was followed by the social experiment film and the option to pledge and tweet was extended to the online urban audience.
Ever since the movement, #CloseOpenDefecation has grabbed enough eyeballs. It even trended at the No. 2 spot on Twitter for a day and has garnered 428k views so far.
Soumitra Karnik, Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu Impact, said, “As advertisers we must create communication which can assist the society we live in, in bringing about a positive change. As communication experts, we can and should create content that delivers solutions that can impact a change in our society.”
Mayuri Saikia, Management Trustee, We are Water Foundation India and Marketing Head, Roca India, said, “The problem of open defecation has always been prevalent in the country and still 250 million rural Indians continue to defecate in the open, exposing them to various disease and mishaps. Through We Are Water Foundation, we have been promoting healthy living, better hygiene and improved sanitation in the country and have done some truly impactful work over the years. When the idea was presented to us, we saw immense potential in it. So far, we have received a heart-warming response for the campaign as more and more are joining the cause with the foundation. As corporates and individuals, we need to realise that beyond government initiatives, we have so much power to drive the desired behavioural change towards usage of toilets and work towards the common goal to #CloseOpenDefecation.”
Client: Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd.
Chief Creative Officer: Soumitra Karnik
Sr. Creative Director: Ankur Garg
Creative Director: Debanjan Basak
Creative Team: Mayank Patel, Nikhita Biswas, Deepali Upadhyay, Suruchi Sirpaul
Account Management: Navin Singh, Nawal Minj, Mahima Khandelwal
Digital: Leepakshi Nagrath
Planning: Krittika Chakarborty, Saurabh Kamalakaran
Production House: Shades and Motion Pictures