Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Ariel and ASMR: Sounds of men doing laundry making women tingle

It was launched on the occasion of International ASMR Day, in partnership with Gibi ASMR, a rather unusual influencer-cum-digital content creator.

P&G’s detergent brand Ariel just released an ASMR video for its 'Share The Load' campaign. The latest rendition of the campaign, which was released last month, focuses on sleep deprivation. The campaign was crafted on the back of research that suggests, 71 per cent women sleep less than their husbands due to the unequal division of domestic chores.

The six-minute-long video was launched in collaboration with American ASMR YouTuber and artist Gibi ASMR, on the occasion of International ASMR Day (April 9). ASMR stands for ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’. The acronym is used to describe the strange calming sensation people get while watching, or listening to, certain stimulating videos, or audios, which help them relax and even fall asleep.

Ariel’s video is a depiction of a husband doing the laundry, the sound of which is supposed to be calming for the women. In a media release, P&G suggests that when women are assured that the household chores are being taken care of, they can relax and sleep better. The video, which is posted on Ariel India’s official YouTube channel, includes the caption, “Did you know that the sound of laundry getting done can help you rest better?”

As unusual as this initiative is, it could also be P&G’s desperate measure for desperate times. Crafting and executing brand communication in the middle of a lockdown is one of the biggest challenges facing the marcom industry today. With social distancing the norm, and a ban on film production in place, ads have to be crafted and executed indoors with the involvement of limited number of people and equipment. Also, with the majority of the workforce working from home, the message is more relevant now than ever - when the home is also the office, the school and the playground. This way, the execution fits the bill perfectly.

‘Share The Load for Equal Sleep’ ad was conceptualised by BBDO. It is depicted from the eyes of a little girl devoid of any conditioning, who notices her mom is missing at night, while she is asleep, and continues to notice her running around doing multiple things, tired and sleepy. The father’s moment of realisation is also, in a way, driven by the daughter missing her mom at night. ‘Share The Load’ movement was launched in India in 2015 to address the inequality that exists within Indian households. The initiative was launched with a core question - ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’