BBDO India and Ariel Matic from P&G have hit the bull's eye once more. Its latest video ad in its 'share the load' campaign, which encourages men to help their wives with the laundry, has gone viral online. The big difference between this one and Ariel's previous ad is that while the first emphasised gender inequality as seen by two women, here the observer is a man. At Cannes last year, the Ariel ad won a Glass Lion which is a special prize for ads that address issues of gender inequality.
The old man returns home and thinks to himself that maybe he can't master cooking so late in life, but he can certainly help his wife with the washing. And, he proceeds to do that, much to his wife's shock.
The ad ends with the super: 'Why is laundry only a mother's job?' and 'Dads #ShareTheLoad'.
Mehta feels that the ad may appeal more to a small town audience. "It may reflect the masses in small town India, but not the kind of people we know. Many modern couples would find it alienating, I find it alienating because this is not the reality of my home," adds Mehta.
Commenting on the execution, he says, "It's executed well. The fact that it shows the girl's father as the messenger is interesting. For this generation of Indian men who never shared the load at home and were far more driven by gender roles and patriarchy, it holds true. But, between then and now, there has been a tectonic shift. Gender roles are being redefined, questioned and neutralised."
For Mehta, the ad would have been easy for the progressive Indian to relate to had it been more positive. By telling the stories of real-life modern Indian couples who share the load at home, it could have given the audience a role model to follow. "This one has none; it's almost a sorry letter," he rues.
Kumar further adds, "This type of content which is high on emotional quotient and relatable, is great for online and gets shared instantaneously. I personally loved the ad. But, I would love to see how this conversation is taken further which is also a very important aspect of this."
Kumar feels that the ad ends on a very touching note where the father decides that it is still not late and takes his first step towards sharing the load. "The ad ends with a question and urges each one of us to think really hard and more importantly, to act", he says.