I love a good story, be it through advertisements, movies or an entrepreneur who dared to think differently. I believe in bringing in fresh perspectives -- to a corporate profile or a Facebook post -- like new wine in an even newer bottle. I graduated with a journalism degree from the Xavier Institute of Communications. My weekend rituals involve watching Bollywood movies and reading up on style trends.
At a time when talks surrounding gender parity are gaining ground globally, detergent brand Ariel and advertising agency BBDO India have hit the sweet spot with their latest campaign #ShareTheLoad.
The ad is narrated through the eyes of a father, who sees his daughter manage her personal and professional work with finesse while her husband lazes around. He apologises to her through a note, which says that he is responsible for instilling this stereotype in her mind. He resolves to change this by taking one step forward and do his own laundry. ‘Why is laundry only a woman’s job? Dad’s #ShareTheLoad’ says the last frame of the ad.
The two-minute advertisement, which was released on Ariel’s Facebook page on February 19, 2016, has crossed over 22 million views organically. It has been making waves globally with Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook sharing the video. It also inspired Melinda Gates to base her recent Annual Letter titled ‘More Work’ on the idea of sharing the load at home.
Sheryl Sandberg | Facebook
Though the brand is yet to release a television spot for this campaign, Paul says he has been getting calls from countries all over the world, requesting him to translate the ad in their language. “Never have I felt so close to my translators,” he jokes. On a serious note, he says the campaign was intended for India. But the universality of gender stereotypes, even in the ‘Western world’, was unanticipated.
Paul says it took them more than four months to get the idea finalised. Since this was phase two of the ShareTheLoad campaign, (phase one was released in 2015), it was important to retain the essence, yet be innovate.
“We discussed many ideas of why is this (gender stereotypes) happening, where is this conditioning coming from. And as we discussed it, we realised it is coming from what we see in our childhood. This was the first idea we thought of,” he says. Once the idea was finalised, they drew out 50 social and cultural statements from that conditioning observation. It was then sent to AC Neilsen, who conducted a research and found that their hypothesis was true. “After that, the scripting took barely half-an-hour,” he says.