Aishwarya Ramesh
Advertising

"Consumers prefer liquid soap, makes dishwashing experience better": HUL's Prabha Narasimhan

Vim makes a point about equality in its new campaign. An interview with executive director & VP – home care, South Asia, on household inequality.

The latest brand to jump on the equality bandwagon with its messaging, is Hindustan Unilever's Vim dishwashing soap. Featuring a conversation between a young couple, who are about to get married, the ad talks about equitable distribution of household chores.

If this conversation sounds familiar, it's because this isn't the first time a brand has used this line of messaging. BBDO India famously created the 'Share the Load' campaign for Procter & Gamble's detergent brand Ariel. The ads view the work that a woman does around the house from the lens of the other family members.

Prabha Narasimhan, executive director & VP – home care, South Asia, HUL, caught up with afaqs! over a video meeting to reveal that the very nature of the work women do, has changed in recent years, owing to the COVID pandemic. "Now that women are spending more time at home, their work load has increased exponentially. It becomes more important to have these conversations, as a part of advertising messages."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Prabha Narasimhan</p></div>

Prabha Narasimhan

She adds it's intentional that the ad has no visuals of dishes actually being cleaned or washed, since the piece attempts to break away from established codes that the advertising industry uses for these products.

"We wanted to emphasise on the amount of work that women do in the house and that, perhaps, it was time for a shift in consumer behaviour."

"We wanted to emphasise on the amount of work that women do in the house and that, perhaps, it was time for a shift in consumer behaviour. We wanted to talk about the woman beyond the role of a caregiver and beyond the household chores she does."

"We are seeing a shift in product preferences, like the consumers now prefer liquids, which make the sensorial experience of dishwashing better"

Narasimhan mentions that she has witnessed an increased movement from modern trade to e-commerce. "We are seeing a shift in product preferences, like the consumers now prefer liquids, which make the sensorial experience of dishwashing better. We're also seeing more men help out around the house."

She adds that another behaviour change that she witnessed during the pandemic was that the consumers no longer had access to their household help during the first lockdown. Many had to step into the kitchen for the first time to wash their dishes.

The pandemic also brought around a heightened interest in hygiene and cleaning products. "Within the home and hygiene portfolio, we are seeing a resurgence in demand for products that help with floor as well as toilet cleaning. That's why we launched a Neem-based floor cleaner with natural ingredients in South India last year."

The origin of the latest Vim ad campaign is a study. It revealed that women were doing roughly four more hours of housework during the pandemic and its resultant lockdowns. Men were also doing more work, but the number of hours was far lesser - only half an hour extra in their days were spent working.

Speaking about the campaign in a press release, Prateek Bhardwaj, chief creative officer – Lowe Lintas, said, “This campaign speaks to the mindset that when a man does the dishes, he's 'helping' the woman of the house. An act for which society applauds him when, in fact, it’s something that he should be doing as a member of the household. Nudging the society to realise this double standard that exists, was at the heart of this campaign.“

Agency credits:

Chief creative officer: Prateek Bhardwaj

Chief operating officer: Anaheeta Goenka

Strategy president: Kunal Joshi

VP, planning: Sundernarayan Venkataramani

Regional creative director: Shayondeep Pal

Group CD and copywriter: Sidhant Mago

Group CD (art): Zeth AP & Sushant Joshi

AVP account management: Arjun Hari

Client services director: Arpita Chakraborty

Account manager: Triptesh Mehta

Production house: Chrome Pictures

Director: Amit Sharma

Executive producer: Abhishek Notani

Producer & editor: Richa Sharma

Need a social media marketing agency for your project? Choose among 82 such agencies on afaqs! Marketplace now. Click here