In India, laundry is seen as women’s work. Even if she’s a director, a highly qualified professional or even a CEO, doing the washing is part of being a “good wife”. According to a Nielsen Survey, 70% of married men believe that household chores are a woman’s responsibility.
The challenge for Ariel was to convey the performance superiority in an engaging way to the modern Indian woman who blindly buys the brand her mother used.
Indian women are receptive to categories which are closer to their heart and body, like feminine hygiene or skin care, not Laundry. Ariel had to become part of their conversations, their regular gossip and lingo. It had to be contemporary, it had to be popular, and become so relevant that women proactively posted and trended Ariel.
Agency MediaCom identified a huge growth opportunity - WHY CAN’T MEN DO THE LAUNDRY?
The mission: to launch Ariel Matic, a premium detergent in India.
The obstacle: Tens of rivals and an uninterested consumer target.
The secret weapon: Men.
While women were bored with new detergents and brand messages, men were a whole new audience. ‘With Ariel’s superior cleaning, laundry is child’s or should we say man’s play’ and the most profitable detergent variant ‘Ariel Matic’ was the face of the campaign.
By growing brand affinity and brand preference with men and being a part of equality conversations, Ariel could overtake its rivals.
Instead of talking to women about a superior detergent, it would reframe category conversations to equality at home.
Ever wondered why do 95% Indian households have only women doing the laundry?
Consumer Insight – Indian women need a 'Dual Certification'. Professional excellence is not enough. She's considered a failure if she's a NOT a master at home.
Indian parents take a lot of effort to teach their daughters household chores forgetting that their sons will need to share the load equally.
Most Indian men, while growing up, never saw their dads help out at home. As a result, they too end up passing inequality to their children.
It was time for men, especially fathers, to ‘SHARE THE LOAD’ as your child will follow your example not your advice.
The idea – ‘Dads Share the Load’: It would use laundry as an operating metaphor for all the other jobs that women also took on at home - and seek to create lasting change in centuries-old beliefs.
The agency called on men to contribute to household work, highlighting the fact that Ariel Matic made it so simple to remove stains and clean clothes that “even a man could do it”. Ariel made a laundry much easier for women and men no longer had an excuses for not doing laundry.
To get credible advocates onside, it partnered up with washing machine manufacturers and lead influencers to build the conversation about how Dads need to share the load.
Ariel Matic would be India’s first Odd/Even washing powder. Odd days for Men to do the laundry and Even days for Women. This would ensure equality in household chores.
The brand set about changing every aspect of the marketing mix– From the product packaging to communication and targeting. BUT, changing a long held cultural belief is not easy. MediaCom needed to create a MOVEMENT, highlighting the need for cultural change.
Carefully crafted content was designed to trigger a social movement. Using a heart wrenching Film about ‘Dads apology to his daughter’ it ignited conversations between the mums and dads in every household.
Sheryl Sandberg and Melinda Gates personally endorsed the campaign garnering international support for the cause.
Content on news channels sparked debates, the agency then used bloggers as content creators who created ripples in the digital world.
The campaign soon caught the attention of all Indian consumers and the content was soon being shared on Whatsapp by Indian Men and Women alike.
It launched a custom ‘Odd/Even’ Laundry Pack with which both Men and Women could do laundry on alternate days. To give this a cultural significance and make it a habit the agency partnered with India’s the most influential cultural calendar – Kalnirnaay, here it marked alternate days for Men and Women to do the laundry.
Leading TV and Film celebrities were roped in with their parents. Even Shah Rukh Khan (Leading Bollywood Star) joined the campaign. The agency created content from their personal stories about how they share the load at home.
Content on National TV showed dads, husbands doing the laundry and ensured that the equality message and Ariel usage reached the length and breadth of India.
To imbibe right values in future dads, it got leading children’s comic book Tinkle to re-script their comics with sharing the load as a key driver of equality at home.
These heart-felt conversations created emotional waves across the nation.
Ariel improved lives of millions of Indian women by making laundry interesting for Men.
Ariel attained a leverage position in the category with (a) A unique variant – Odd/Even Pack (b) A distinctive and progressive platform that reaped emotional equity for Ariel.
• In a $ 4.5 billion category , Ariel Matic sales went up by 76%
• Sheryl Sandberg and Melinda Gates personally endorsed the campaign
• Over 65 million views for the video globally
• Consumer engagement increased 4.6 times
• 198 young parents reached for every $1 spent on Facebook advertising
• 2 billion earned Impressions worth over $ 11 million
• 2.1 million men pledged to #ShareTheLoad, i.e. more than all the Men in New Zealand
• Ariel pioneered a symbol for gender equality.
While the men pledged to share the load, Ariel became closer to the woman’s heart.