This is a story of how Ariel, in the face of competition, created a new deeper relevance by turning its back on clothes stains, and focussing its attention on the cultural stain of gender inequality.
For years the brand had lead India's premium detergent category with a focus on product performance and stain removal. But as key competitor Surf became more relevant and newsworthy to urban Indian women with its ‘Dirt is Good’ campaigns, Ariel needed to respond to stay on top.
We knew our communication needed to create a new deeper relevance to drive sales on the brand by driving a new contemporary conversation. But we also knew that aping the competition was unlikely to achieve this. So rather than taking the fight to Surf, we set about fighting a more pressing cultural issue.
Share the Load wasn’t just a new idea for the brand; it was a social movement for the nation. One that tapped into forces of progress – hidden, yet seismic – that are demanding that Indian women be treated and respected as equal to men. It challenged men to liberate women from the obligation of doing the laundry to show that women should be treated as equal to men. And in doing so incited a far reaching national debate about gender inequality in the home.
Our delivery was as progressive as our mind-set. Provocative content was complimented by unexplored media like packaging, matrimonial websites and even the forgotten wash care label on clothes.
The result was that our movement more than delivered on objectives it sought. As 1.57 million men pledged to share the load, Ariel benefitted from USD 10 million in earned-media publicity. Thanks to the resulting increase in brand relevance parameters and purchase intent, Ariel enjoyed a remarkable 60% value share increase.