New Delhi: In most joint families the role of a tough parent is often essayed by mothers who are also criticized for being ‘too hard’ on the child. The SC Johnson owned mosquito repellent brand All Out’s new campaign highlights why we must lend support to ‘Tough Moms’ who teach children key life lessons.
The digital film, conceptualized by advertising agency BBDO India (Gurugram) and directed by ace filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, unfolds at the dinner table where a joint family is gathered for a meal. The film features a mother who is evidently angry at her son for stealing money and refuses to entertain his tantrums when he refuses to eat. While the rest of the family members on the table start criticizing her for being too hard on the boy, the grandfather supports her decision of tough parenting. The campaign brings out the fact that more often than not in big joint Indian families the children are often overprotected and spoilt by elders making it difficult for parents especially the mother who wants to instill in them a sense of right and wrong.
The digital film has struck a chord with viewers online and has managed to garner over 15 million views on Facebook and over 70, 000 views on streaming platform YouTube since 22 February. “My hope is that this campaign will help initiate conversations within families and encourage support for raising happy and healthy children," said Ann Mukherjee, global chief marketing officer, SC Johnson.
While the film has been shared multiple times in support of mothers, a section of viewers also criticized it for the treatment the daughter-in-law gets in the film from the elders of the family as well as her husband. She is at the receiving end of comments on her economic status.
SC Johnson’s Mukherjee said that in parts of India, there are still some social behaviours that are deep rooted. “The film gives an example of one such situation of the tough criticism that mothers face. It ends with a call-to-action for our society and families to show support and stand by mothers and their decisions," she added.
The digital campaign will be followed by on-ground, print and television leg which also includes a national panel discussion on parenting on a news channel.
Advertising experts unanimously agreed that the campaign cracks a brilliant insight on mothers being the tough parent and delivers a strong message. According to Jitender Dabas, chief strategy officer, McCann Worldgroup India, the campaign builds on a powerful insight on supporting mothers who take tough parenting decisions. “I sincerely feel that the family including the father is visiting faculty in a child’s life. Since they spend less time with the child, it inadvertently becomes a mother’s duty to become tough and teach the kid hard lessons on life. Mothers are often criticised for being too hard on children in our families, the film brings it out beautifully," he noted.
While the insight is spot on, Dabas feels that creative execution has clearly been overdone and there was no need to show the extended family talking about the daughter-in-law’s economic status. “I must also add there is also no brand connect with the insight and the product being sold. This could have been an ad for a breakfast or even a soap brand where mothers are often portrayed to be a tough parent," he added.
Agreed Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder at Taproot Dentsu who thinks that the ad is lifted by its production value, a convincing cast along with a well-told story but it fails when it comes to brand connect. “I didn’t find the product relevance. There is no role of All Out in the campaign. But I must applaud the brand to not force fit their product benefits in the ad," he said.