Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad has been shaping gender equality conversations on the social web, ever since its launch last year. Procter & Gamble’s gamble at debunking mindsets by having men question themselves: ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’ has paid off well for its detergent powder brand Ariel. Not only did it win social media accolades for bringing up the topic of gender bias in homes, it also won the agency BBDO a Glass Lion at the Cannes Lions 2015.
This time the brand has made a shift in communication for #ShareTheLoad, and brought on board the ‘men of the house’, something which was conspicuous by its absence in the earlier campaign. A father is seen facing his moment of truth on the flawed upbringing we have encouraged in our society, an environment where the children grow up seeing fathers never helping around with household chores, and sons being never expected to contribute just as their dads.
The 90-second ad film by BBDO India uploaded on Ariel India’s Facebook page has received over 3 million views since the last five days. A man visiting his daughter at her house, finds her juggling chores while on an important work call. She is seen making some tea for her husband (who is watching TV seated on the sofa), sorting all the toys her son has left in the living room, taking care of her dad’s needs and multi-tasking away like superwoman.
Watching this, he realizes his mistake and writes out an apology that begins like:
“Sorry ki yeh sab tumhe akele karna padta hai. Sorry ki jab tum ghar ghar khelti thi toh maine tumhe roka nahi. Yeh nahi kaha ki yeh sirf tumhara kaam nahi, tumhare husband ka bhi hai.Aur kehta bhi kaise? Maine bhi toh kabhi tumhari mummy ki help nahi ki. Aur tumne jo dekha seekha.”
He also apologizes on behalf of her husband who he says has grown up watching only his mother do the house work. “Har uss dad ki taraf se sorry jisne kai kai saalon se galat example set kiya hai.”
He is then seen at his home helping his wife with house chores, as its never too late to do the right thing. The ad ends with a poignant message directed to men: ‘Is laundry only a mother’s job? Dads #ShareTheLoad’.
Ariel #ShareTheLoad 2.0: Evolved. Mature. Impactful
The inclusion of the men in the family has added the missing piece to Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad message. In the earlier campaign, Ariel gave a platform only for women to raise their voice against gender inequalities at home; the men weren’t involved despite the message being directed towards them. The campaign had featured only womens’ voices in each of its touch points – the TVC featured women, the celebrities roped in were women, a blogging contest was only open for women, and Twitter contests were also asking women users how they would send the message to their husbands.
Later, it hosted the #WashBucketChallenge inviting men to share selfies of them doing the laundry while they pledged to #ShareTheLoad. Celebrity couples were roped in to ensure a change in attitude in the Indian patriarchal pysche. Actor Shah Rukh Khan also took the pledge to share the load, making ‘laundry the coolest chore for a real man of the house’.
This year, the communication shift is bang on. I’m mighty impressed with how the ad does not look like an ad at all, it feels like a snippet from the daily life of a working woman. Perhaps it would be years before we see a substantial shift in gender bias in our society, but every little step counts and change begins at home, moreover it begins with the men. The dad’s heartfelt apology holds a mirror to our society, while Ariel enables a change in behaviour at home; the brand has compelled us to question the kind of gender roles we are passing on to our kids.
The ad is certainly impactful in its message, mature in its approach and evolved from its earlier avatar. Share The Load 2.0 is sure to win another Glass Lion this year for BBDO!