When it comes to standing for social causes, corporations have been under the radar of activists for mistaking representation with tokenism. While all brands have hopped on the bandwagon to champion social issues, only some stand out as genuine contributors.
While researching on purpose-driven campaigns, I came across the evolution of #ShareTheLoad campaign by Ariel over the years. Procter and Gamble is a 180 years old corporation that has around 65 brands under its wings. When it comes to gender equality, P&G ran campaigns in Africa against gender roles, it congratulated women who challenged traditional roles in its campaign ‘Generation of Firsts’ in Saudi Arabia and challenged the usage of the word ‘girl’ as an insult in its campaign #Likeagirl. One of the campaigns that had a profound impact on the audience was the one by Ariel called #Sharetheload.
With one single campaign, the detergent company that champions washing stains on clothes, attempted at washing the big blot on society, which is the “Gender roles” set by patriarchy. The campaign questioned the unequal distribution in households wherein the entire onus falls on the woman. Mostly all detergent companies target the female audience and primarily display women performing chores. A study conducted by Ariel revealed that in India, 70% of children believe that doing laundry is a woman’s job. Ariel attempted to break this stereotype by urging the male family members to finally step in and #Sharetheload. That’s the essence of the ShareTheLoad Campaign
What did they do?
It launched this campaign with BBDO (Batten, Barton,Durstine, Osborn Advertising Agency) in 2015 and in the next year broadened the conversation by directly urging Dads to #Sharetheload. In 2019, it asked parents to raise their sons in the same way as they raise their daughter, and this year, in the fourth leg of its campaign, it highlighted the lack of rest which women get due to the burden of doing household chores and advocated for equal sleep.
These marketing sequels show that the brand is personally invested in the cause and is interested in offering solutions to the questions raised. Recent studies showed that the percentage of men who believe that doing laundry is a woman’s job has decreased to 41%. Such is the impact of a thought-provoking camp
How did they do?
Ariel collaborated with the popular calendar company, ‘Kalnirnaya’, to make a “His and Her — Odd-Even Calendar” to split the laundry days between mom and dad. The calendar was also printed on the lid of Ariel boxes. It also teamed up with Tinkle comics and showed characters sharing the load to educate kids. This garnered a lot of earned media coverage globally and the made them win prestigious awards like the Gold Glass Lion at Cannes 2016.
With regard to messaging, the ShareTheLoad campaign caters to the feminist sentiment without acknowledging that feminism is intersectional in nature and includes people from all economic classes. If I had the chance to reform the ShareTheLoad campaign, I would include women from the lower economic strata as well to denote inclusivity, which is also one of the core values of P&G. Secondly, the messaging of men ‘helping’ women is obsolete as the man’s role becomes secondary in the process. The message that all household chores should be divided should be promoted. Thirdly, with regard to the medium, along with Instagram and YouTube, I would’ve done WhatsApp Campaigning to target the generation who are not that active on platforms like Instagram. On the other hand, due to the decreasing attention spans, millennials prefer short video formats, like the ones that can be uploaded on TikTok and Reels, so in this way, the content marketing could have been reconceptualised.
Check out more Public Relations Campaigns