Ariel’s #WashBucketChallenge Includes Men But Is Just Another Selfie Campaign

Ariel has got the men in the family to take pledges to share the laundry and share their selfies as part of its #WashTheBucket challenge, an effort to include men in #ShareTheLoad


Ariel now includes men in its women empowerment themed campaign, ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’ The men in the family are being invited to take up the #WashBucketChallenge, an activity that will see a lot of men sharing selfies of them doing the laundry using what else but Ariel detergent powder! The company, in addition to spreading and initiating a gender movement, is also giving away washing machines and a six-month supply of washing powder to the most deserving men.

Beginning this year, Ariel India had embarked on a nationwide movement that got everyone thinking whether laundry is only meant for women. Looking to initiate awareness around the need for men to share the laundry, P&G owned Ariel based its campaign on an AC Neilson survey, that among several household stats, also pointed out, that “76% of Indian men feel that laundry is a woman’s job.”

Powered by a TVC asking the campaign question that also left viewers with the solution - #ShareTheLoad. Social amplification was further employed through an interesting association with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai, influencer and blogger outreach programs, incentivised Twitter contests and a host of YouTube pre-roll ads.

While #ShareTheLoad was well executed for sensitising gender inequalities existing in the most modern of homes, it surprisingly had not included the men of the family. A missing factor we had pointed out in our review of the campaign. Read “In Yet Another Women Empowerment Themed Campaign, Ariel Asks ‘Is Laundry Only A Woman’s Job’.

Apparently, the campaign then came up with the #WashBucketChallenge. In order for men to take up the challenge, they need to click selfies of them doing the laundry while they pledge to #ShareTheLoad. They can also nominate their friends to do the same. In addition to on-ground activity in malls where the brand asked men to take pledges, the campaign has also roped in celebrity couples.

#WashBucketChallenge on social

Ariel is leveraging its social media properties to talk to men. The Facebook and Twitter pages of Ariel India have been inviting men to take the pledge with the help of visuals - stats, other men doing laundry, faces of happy women and more. It is also sharing pictures of winners, along with the celebrity tweets talking about their pledge.

The campaign also involves a blogger outreach program where the men of the family have to pledge to share the household chores, especially laundry, with the women and blog about it. Top blog posts will be awarded Whirlpool washing machines.

Inclusive reach, innovation missing

Inspired by last year’s highly viral #IceBucketChallenge that took social media by storm with everyone from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Microsoft founder Bill Gates participating in the challenge intended to create awareness on ALS, Ariel’s #WashBucketChallenge may not be on the same level. However, it makes good use of the human need to gain approval for your noble actions from your social connections. Having men take pledges and share their ‘#MeDoingLaundry’ selfies on social media is always a matter of pride and joy to share with friends and family.

By including men, Ariel India has truly given a complete platform for its #SharetheLoad message. Besides, it also helps in product promotion as more and more men share selfies with Ariel detergent in their hands. The campaign message can be further boosted if it includes more celebrity couples with large fan following. Cool campaign but isn’t it time to get rid of the selfie led pledge initiatives in 2015?