If you haven’t seen it yet, you haven’t been on any advertising sites or social media. This new ad from BBDO Mumbai has everyone talking about the role men and women play in the household. India is known for their strong gender roles and this ad is flying in the face of tradition. The ad follows a man on vacation at his daughter’s house. It is after work and the father watches his daughter take care of dinner, his grandson, son-in-law, and the laundry. These are all chores that are associated with women and mothers.
As the father watches he also sees his daughter talking on the phone for her busy career. This is a powerful ad because during the entire ad the father is apologizing for not being a better role model. BBDO Mumbai’s office turned what could have been a standard promotion for laundry detergent ‘Ariel’ into an extended apology letter from a father to his daughter.
In fact, the product in question is not clear until the end of the emotionally wrenching two-minute spot. #ShareTheLoad boldly takes on India’s traditionally patriarchal society. The father apologizes to his daughter both for his inability to help with household chores and her husband’s seemingly naive role in reinforcing the cliché that a woman’s place is in the home—where her work is never done.
The most powerful aspect of the short film may be that the father’s apology applies to multiple generations of women, including his wife and his daughter, who as a child was taught to occupy more traditional domestic roles and as a successful career woman tries to balance responsibilities while her distracted and oblivious husband sits in the background. The work also doubles as a call to Indian husbands to resist long-held double standards and help their wives shoulder the burden of household chores.
The new ad has already gone viral in India, where domestic roles remain a controversial topic and media pundits (many of whom happen to be men) debate how accurately BBDO Mumbai’s work reflects the gender divide in contemporary Indian society.
BBDO Mumbai – #ShareTheLoad
Like it or not, this ad is amazing because it has started a conversation around gender roles in India and put the product at the center of this conversation. Not only are people watching the ad and talking about it, BBDO Mumbai has put their client’s product front and center has a brand that is more than just laundry detergent. Ariel is now a force for social change, which makes the brand far more powerful in the mind of consumers. By being bold, they have created a viral ad that will change the way consumers think about Ariel and laundry detergent. So how about it? Will you #ShareTheLoad?