BBDO India’s new Share The Load campaign believes ‘inclusive’ is better than ‘edgy’

BBDO India has created the third edition of the long running ‘Share the Load’ campaign for P&G’s laundry detergent Ariel.

Directed by noted Bollywood filmmaker Gauri Shinde, the film is about a woman having an epiphany even as she tries to talk her daughter out of quitting a job.

First launched in 2015, ‘Share the Load’ highlighted the inequity in urban Indian households: women with flourishing careers were still expected to be solely responsible for chores like doing the laundry.

The first two editions succeeded in increasing Ariel’s sales by 76% according to case study videos shared at the time, besides being a favourite with award show juries.

Speaking about the most recent campaign, P&G India marketing director for fabric care Sonali Dhawan said: “This year, we reignite conversations to go deeper into the cause of this disparity.

“In the context of right upbringing, we urge this generation of mothers to be the changemakers for the future, and raise yet another pertinent question: Are we teaching our sons what we have been teaching our daughters?

“If taught at an impressionable age, it becomes a part of their value system. As a mother of a boy and a girl, I truly believe this is possible.

“With Ariel it is possible to simplify the lives of consumers. A happier household is one where both men and women share the load. Ariel encourages men to do their bit because anyone can get impeccable cleaning, no matter who does the laundry.”

Speaking to Mumbrella about how the campaign was conceived, BBDO India’s chairman and chief creative officer Josy Paul said: “A lot of it is about the briefing. There were so many amazing working women in the room. One of the things that came up when we were talking was the mental load.

“Even in that room, people were telling us about facing situations where they wondered if they should leave their jobs to manage responsibilities at home.

“We felt this was not just a personal but a collective story — something a lot of women go through. Mothers teach their girls to become independent, study hard, so they can do more. But there comes a time when they face conflict. Where the person the daughter has married may not be prepared for this ambition.

“It was an uncomfortable truth. One of our writers, Aarti came up with the script and the client Sonali really liked it. It became our 360 idea: not just for the film, but everything.”

If the first film was about discussing the condition; the second and third films have questioned the conditioning that allows it to happen, according to Paul.

Many commercials — a recent ad from Gillette for instance — have been very polarising. Some industry observers have even argued that this was entirely intentional.

Asked if there was a temptation to go for a more extreme iteration on ‘Share the Load’, Paul said: “We toyed with every element of the commercial, including the tone for a long time.

“But when we looked at how people respond, we realised there is so much black and white, we didn’t want to go there. We wanted it to be gentle, and with good reason.

“When you get too edgy, people’s reactions are irrational, and tend to vampire the work to an extent.

“It was a discussion that all of us including (filmmaker) Gauri (Shinde) were involved in. We wanted everyone — including men — to say ‘yes’ and be on our side.”

Share The Load returns after a fairly lengthy hiatus: the last campaign was released almost three years ago in 2016.

Paul said the longevity of the campaign ensured it resonated well into 2017, and that more tactical films on the brand had run in the interim.

He had one last story to share about how the campaign, quite literally, came home to him: “My son returned home from college this December and he came back with a bagful of dirty clothes.

“My wife got so livid, she made us do the laundry.”


Agency: BBDO India

Chairman and chief creative officer: Josy Paul

Executive creative director: Hemant Shringy

Executive vice president: Atin Wahal

Sr. creative director copy: Aarti Srinivasan

Sr. creative director art: Balakrishna Gajelli

Copy supervisor: Karan Nair

Art supervisor: Vijay Kumar Vasala

Account management: Mitul Shah, Kayur Desai

Agency producer: KV Krishnam Raju

Production house: Offroad Films

Executive producer: Khalil Bachooali

Director: Gauri Shinde

Producer: Anirudh Sharma


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