Indian campaign ‘teaches men a lesson’ about open defecation

An Indian plumbing brand has called for an end to the societal problem of open defecation in rural areas with a bold new campaign.

Approximately 560 million people in India to are forced to go to the toilet outside due to a lack of household sanitation. To combat the problem, the Indian government has launched a programme called the Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India) to reduce the problem in the countryside.

Following the call to action by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Astral Pipes teamed up with Lowe Lintas Ahmedabad to attack the threats to women’s health and safety associated with the issue. Alongside the hygiene risks, the campaign highlights the risks of rape and attack when women venture alone into the rural open.

The video opens with a group of men in the countrywide casually making a beeline to the open fields to relieve themselves in the morning.

Much to their surprise and mortification, they are being watched by a group of women, who emerge from the foliage to chastise the men for their behaviour.

The video takes a musical turn with the women, dressed in striking red veils, call out the men for ignoring their plight and for refusing to build toilets in their own homes.

According to Lowe Lintas Ahmedabad, women in rural areas have very little choice in where they can relieve themselves, while men see the routine as a “casual affair”. The campaign aims to turn that complacency on its head and, thereby show the women “teaching the men a lesson”.

Lowe Lintas’ executive director Sagar Kapoor said: “The issue of open defecation has been taken up by many brands and authorities. And thankfully so.

“There’s so much to be done in the area. The irony is the rural menfolk take this issue as lightly as a nag by the women. While on the other hand open defecation has drastic outcomes like eve teasing, rape and even murders of women. Our communication piece therefore has taken a very different tone and pitch, to bring about not just awareness but also effect change.”    ​

The film has been launched on online and traditional platforms, and will also be promoted across government-funded outdoor banners.

Client: Astral

Team: Sandeep Engineer, Kairav Engineer, Yogen Parikh, Fenil Mevada

Agency: Lowe Lintas Ahmedabad

Account management: Raj Gupta, Shantanu Sapre, Uttam Solanki, Jay SK

Creative: Arun Iyer, Sagar Kapoor, Abhishek Dey, Amit Hoiyani

Production house dDirector): Absolute Films (Chandan Arora)




Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing