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Through the father’s narrative, the advertisement highlights the debate whether laundry is only a woman’s job, and aims to build a social movement inviting men to #ShareTheLoad.
Through the father’s narrative, the advertisement highlights the debate whether laundry is only a woman’s job, and aims to build a social movement inviting men to #ShareTheLoad.

Ariel ad breaks gender stereotype

Ariel's latest advertisement is aimed at fathers, and has already managed to garner much support online

Mumbai: While its new ad is something that most working mothers will identify with right away, Ariel, the laundry detergent from Procter and Gamble Co., is hoping the penny will drop elsewhere. Its latest advertisement is aimed at fathers, and has already managed to garner much support online. The commercial (Watch here), which was released last week, has already got over 3 million views on social networking site Facebook.

Set in an urban household, a father watches his daughter come home from work, check on her son, do the laundry, make her husband a cup of tea, start cooking dinner, field work calls, send emails, hand him his tickets, put the toys away, and smile, all in the same breath. The father is, predictably, proud that his beautiful, accomplished daughter is managing her multiple roles as—employee, daughter, wife and mother—with the efficiency of a Chinese sweatshop employee. What is beautifully refreshing, however, is that he’s not patting his own back for having raised a winner. He is apologetic that she is having to do it all on her own. And that is what sets this ad apart from all others.

“I am so proud... and I am so sorry," says the father, who is apologetic that she has to manage on her own. Sorry, that he never stopped her as a child when she played house, to remind her that it was not her job alone. For sub-consciously ingraining cultural and gender stereotypes, as he went about doing his thing without helping her mother with household chores. He also apologizes for her husband’s father, who probably never told his son otherwise. He apologizes for setting the wrong example.

With the burden of his realization, the father heads back home to his wife, determined to set the scales right. He leaves a letter for his daughter, apologizing for his inability to set the right example for her, and a promise to set things right at home by helping with the household chores—if not the kitchen, then at least, the laundry. The advertisement ends with the superimposition of the question: “Why is laundry only a mother’s job? Dads #ShareTheLoad."

Through the father’s narrative, the advertisement created by BBDO India and shot by Red Ice Films, highlights the debate whether laundry is only a woman’s job, and aims to build a social movement inviting men to #ShareTheLoad. Taking it a step further from its campaign last year which raised the pertinent question, this year the brand digs deeper and explores the root cause of our conditioning and tries to correct the balance by ensuring that men set the right example for the next generation.

“The most important message in the film is the brand calling men to #ShareTheLoad and bringing about household equality. Because it’s never too late! It’s a poignant film about a dad’s self-realization and conversion. The film is about roles and responsibility, and about setting the right example by being the right role model. The film is about ensuring the right message for the next generation, free from prejudice," said Josy Paul, chief creative officer, BBDO India, who maintains that the advertisement is raising a mirror to society, and by doing that, it is seeking a better world where men and women have equal responsibilities and equal ownership of chores.

“We felt there’s a need for a bigger story of self-examination, realization and reconciliation. We were looking for something with greater empathy and authenticity. Something that more people could relate to... The movement going forward will have more elements to help drive behavioural change in the area of laundry," he said.

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