Lloyd Rehashes Ariel #ShareTheLoad For Its New Unisex Washing Machines, Triggers Outrage, Job Well Done

Lloyd has launched unisex washing machines marking its entry into washing machines category, but the promotional campaign is similar to Ariel's #ShareTheLoad

Lloyd unisex washing machine

Lloyd is a consumer durable brand well-known for its range of air conditioners. So, when the brand wanted to announce its debut in the world of washing machines, it created quite a splash. Taking a load of inspiration from Ariel’s award winning #ShareTheLoad campaign is the new Lloyd campaign promoting ‘Unisex Washing Machines’. Yes, you read that right!

Unisex salons, unisex clothes and now all that was remaining is ‘Unisex Washing Machines’. So, while an Ariel ad began asking ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?” to sensitise men towards sharing the load, Lloyd’s ‘unisex washing machine’ did not need to do the asking. It pulls a fast one that makes washing sound easy…even for men.

“So easy that even sir can use it?” asks the wife when the sales guy introduces the different types of Lloyd washing machines with ‘easy’ features. Conceptualized by RK Swamy BBDO, New Delhi, Lloyd’s communication partners, the idea of the new campaign is to build a connect with women by highlighting the issue of men totally abdicating their contribution in washing clothes.

“Now Lloyd Washing Machines have made washing so easy that men will have no excuse but to lend a helping hand. The coinage of ‘Unisex’ washing machines will reinforce the message that women want men to help out,” Sunil Kukreti, Senior Partner, RK Swamy BBDO said.

The minute-long ad is set at a consumer durables store where a couple are out to check washing machines. The sales guy offers to show the man around, but he insists to show his wife instead, because washing machines are ‘her department’. The wife asks the sales guy if they have any unisex washing machines, much to her husband’s embarrassment.

He begins to explain to her that all washing machines can wash men’s as well as women’s clothes, when she tells him that the one at home looks like a ‘ladies only’ machine because he never touches it. He gets the point and the sales guy too.

The sales guy then talks about the new Llyod washing machines and the easy features to which the wife asks whether the machine is so easy to operate that her husband can also do it. The husband is, by this time, completely in with the new message conveyed by his wife, and figures out the buttons quickly. “Swipe…it starts, Swipe…it stops”, he says while the voice over says happiness is guaranteed.

The social media platforms of Lloyd have been driving interesting conversations around the hashtag #SwipeForHappiness, after creating some buzz by asking whether washing machines are a woman’s department only. The brand has also thrown in some statistics, just like the Ariel #sharetheload campaign. A contest asked folks to share the funniest excuses given by their spouses for avoiding the laundry, how couples spent time together and more. In fact, some tweets also made use of the hashtag #sharetheload!

Outrage. Buzz. Impact

We don’t know how much campaigns like these serve to sensitize society towards the need for gender equality, but they do lead to social media outrage of some form or the other. While men get used to these brand marketing campaigns that thrive on soft male bashing, women were up in arms at this ‘Unisex’ washing machine. Listed below are some reactions shared on Twitter:

If she can wash the clothes, he can too

The Lloyds campaign shares much more in common than a concept with the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign. The agency is RK Swamy BBDO in both cases and both make use of the AC Neilson data on household statistics to prove their point on how Indian men think that laundry is only a woman’s job. Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad won a Glass Lion for BBDO at the Cannes Lions 2015, so it makes good sense to rehash and reuse it in another related domain.

Besides, good or bad reactions, people are talking about the new unisex washing machines by Lloyd. That fulfills the objective of this campaign – to create digital buzz using a known award-winning formula. Clever plug to announce its debut in washing machines, but in the direction of pleasing women, the brand has run the risk of displeasing men.