P&G’s detergent brand Ariel has been putting the spotlight on inequality within Indian homes since 2015 with its award-winning ad campaign #ShareTheLoad, created by BBDO India. The brand initially kicked off the movement by talking about the existing gender disparity when it comes to household chores, and with the most recent film, it exhorts sons to share the load at home in the same way as mothers do. The latest film in the series #SonsSharetheLoad, that has hit 15 million views since its release just over a week ago, has been conceptualized by BBDO. In a recent panel discussion for mom bloggers and media, Josy Paul, BBDO’s Chairman and CCO, Sonali Dhawan, Marketing Director, P&G India, actors Rajkumar Rao and Patralekha and director Gauri Shinde shared personal anecdotes and conversations about how the domestic work dynamics in households are changing for the better today.
P&G commissioned a survey by AC Nielsen and found a startling piece of information - that 79% of the women were forced to quit their jobs because of the difficulty in balancing household chores. According to the survey, 78% of the men said they could relax at home after a day at work while 70% of the women said that they had to do more work at home after a day at the office. Dhawan shares insights into the brand’s campaign and its evolution since 2015: “What is very important is the context. When we started out, there was a lot of talk about gender inequality at work and we were very curious to figure out what people had to say. Our survey findings were very helpful in identifying the core issues and inequalities at the workplace. This time around, we wanted to spark the conversation that laundry is not only a woman’s job. We made the creative from the lens of a son. Seven out of 10 women get an opportunity like a promotion at work but aren’t able to take up the post because they don’t have support at home. We are raising daughters to get an education and work, but we were still raising them to come back home and do the household chores. We didn’t have a different set of expectations from our sons. With that focus in mind, our communication this time addresses the sons,” she says.
While the campaign continues to make laundry the premise of communication, Josy Paul explains how the larger idea is for parents to raise a generation of sons who understand that it is important to #ShareTheLoad. He points out, “We believe there’s more to be done. Along with Ariel, we commit to drive this social change with thoughtful actions that’ll help mothers raise a generation of sons who grow up to be equal partners. The statistics reveal that there is a definite change happening in society and as the creative agency of the movement, we will continue to trigger further realization.”
The brand is heartened by the fact that since the first campaign, their communication has actually been well received and men actually recognise their role in household chores. Gauri Shinde, who directed the film, points out, “This is a conversation that needs to be an ongoing one to make a visible difference in the gender disparity we see in society. I am aligned to Ariel’s vision of a progressive future and happier households, where both men and women share the load. So, with this film, we have underlined the role for this generation’s mothers in raising their sons like they have been raising their daughters.”