Parenting in the new age is like a hurdle-ridden journey marked by the pressures of competition, a fast-paced life, the personal career chase with little or no time to spend with your kids. The problems are aggravated with more and more couples choosing to be in nuclear family setups. Children are closer to their caretakers and connected to their parents through devices.
Often, these result in poor overall personality development in children; they are being mechanically reared to survive the battle of life, much like robots are being designed to perform a particular task. The ‘values’ that make us human and that are essential for our very wellbeing have taken a backseat, leading to chaos and stress. Children are just not ready for life.
One Unilever brand is now partnering parents to help them get their kids ready for life.
Unilever’s philosophy of business for good is steering on undeterred. Surf Excel, its washing powder brand has been taking its brand philosophy of ‘Dirt is Good’ to altogether new levels this year. The brand is on a journey to help parents instil ‘values’ in their children through an action-oriented campaign ‘#ReadyForLife’.
At the heart of the campaign is a two-and-half-minute film titled, “Are your kids #ReadyForLife?” Conceptualized by Lowe Lintas, the film begins with the story of a mother and her son who loves to play football. Despite all his efforts he does not get selected in the local team, but manages to get in one day. Overjoyed, he reminds his mother about the football shoes she owed him as a reward.
The boy is seen getting back home happy and full of dirt from his daily practice with his new shoes. One day the mother decides to pay him a surprise visit, but is in for a surprise herself. She sees her barefooted son cheering for a friend of his who is in the team, and is playing with the shoes she had gifted her son. Her son is very happy and is seen smearing his t-shirt with wet dirt from the ground. The friend comes over to return the shoes and pay his gratitude.
Infuriated, the mother questions him at once. What the son says will bring a lump to your throat. The son was helping his friend who could not buy shoes for himself.
The voiceover talks about the value of ‘sharing’ and how it makes one ready for life. The film leads to an online platform ‘Surf Excel Ready for Life‘ that serves as a call-to-action in the campaign. Surf Excel has partnered with SMILE Foundation, an NGO that works with kids, and Helpage India, an NGO fro the elderly, by way of which parents can teach their kids to ‘share’.
Parents can register themselves and their child, and choose to share their time with the elderly, the kids or maybe just share their old toys and clothes. They can also choose to share a celebration by having a birthday party with the kids at SMILE.
The social media channels of the brand are sharing visuals and inviting parents to the platform, while building buzz around #ReadyForLife and #DirtIsGood.
Sharing is caring
‘Daag achhe hai‘ or ‘Dirt is Good’ has worked wonders for Surf Excel. Shifting focus from functional benefits to cause-driven messages has helped build a positive brand perception using this universal theme. Last month, MullenLowe London rolled out a hard hitting documentary-driven ‘Free The Kids’ campaign to find out who spends more time outside – a child or a maximum-security prisoner. The idea was to throw light on the shocking plight about today’s children and their outdoor play time that is as little as that spent by maximum security prisoners.
In comparison, the Indian edition for ‘Dirt is good’ is designed to tug at your heartstrings, with the relevant call-to-action. Sharing is an important value for life, one that’ll make kids ready for life. The campaign also lends itself to more versions, each exploring other human values that make us #ReadyForLife.
The neat tie up with Helpage India and SMILE completes Surf Excel’s #ReadyForLife campaign, building a platform to engage parents meaningfully and transforming the brand philosophy into consumer action seamlessly.