Ariel: Removing the stains of social inequality

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Ariel was talking to women who saw laundry as a chore, a task which never got her appreciation. In the Indian society it also reflected on her credentials as a “good wife”. For her “Laundry” was a thankless job, and fingers were pointed if it was not done well.

The category has very little loyalty and is not spoken about unless someone is complaining about stained clothes. Ariel had the name and the premium image in the minds of Indian women but not their hearts.  

The challenge for Ariel was to prove performance superiority in an engaging way to the modern Indian woman who blindly buys the brand her mother used, the message was new – ‘With Ariel’s New Matic laundry is child’s or should we say man’s play’. 

Traditional advertising didn't cut ice with Indian women as they disbelieved advertising claims. They needed to hear it straight from their peers and family. 

Also Indian women are receptive to categories like feminine hygiene or skin care, categories which are closer to their heart and body. Not Laundry. MediaCom had to catch them at their most receptive moment, and become part of their conversations, part of the regular gossip, and part of their lingo. It had to be contemporary, it had to be popular and be so relevant that women proactively posted and trended Ariel. 


“You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you're the wife, you're the daughter, you're the daughter-in-law, and you’re the mother. You're all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don't bring it into the house.” – A conversation between Indira Nooyi, President and CEO PepsiCo and her Mum. 

India is a country where women are an important part of the social sphere. India has several women politicians, leading actresses, bankers, journalists, astronauts, businesswomen, scientists, and army personnel. Yet all of them have two jobs – One at the office and one at home. 

Ever wondered why do 95% households have only women doing the laundry?  

Consumer Insight – No matter how successful a woman is professionally, at home she is a second class citizen. 

The idea – ‘Share the Load’. 

Using Laundry as an operative metaphor; Ariel wanted Men to contribute to household work. The communication highlighted the fact that with Ariel's superior detergent anyone can get perfect stain removal and cleaning, so while Ariel made a laundry much easier for women, men no longer had an excuse for not doing laundry. 

With the new ‘His and Her Ariel Matic’ product Ariel began the journey of making laundry more fun for Men and changing traditional habits. The brand set about changing every aspect of the marketing mix– From launching a new product to communication. Instead of the communication talking to women about a superior detergent, MediaCom broke the category norm and educated men on how to do laundry, got Washing Machine manufacturers to talk about how men can do laundry, made laundry more fun for couples. The brand activated all opinion leaders across spheres of life, celebrities, cricketers, designers and manufacturers of branded clothes were activated to endorse the concept that fabric that can be washed by both Men and Women. 

But changing opinions hard-wired into the psyche was not easy, which is why the agency developed a detailed three step approach to activate all relevant opinion leaders and hot buttons for young couples. 


Phase I – To warm up the country to the launch, MediaCom asked Indians ONE question – Is laundry only a woman’s job? This provoked national conversation and debates across media. 

 Nielsen survey results were released to stimulate conversations  
 Top news channels initiated debates among prominent influencers’  
 Key Opinion Leaders across the country participated in and invited conversations about this survey and question 
 Celebrities spoke their heart out about - how men should contribute towards equality at home?  

Phase II – Getting Men to commit to Share the Load –Big Bang Launch of New Matics Pack. 

 Ariel launched a custom product ‘His and Her’ Pack for both genders 
 A couple’s testimonial about sharing the laundry load was introduced to overwhelming response on TV and IVideo 
 A ‘Wash bucket challenge’ was thrown to all Indian men – Here they could post their selfies doing the laundry and could win a Washing Machine 
 Contests across media asked men – How they can contribute to household work? 
 A Laundry IQ quiz for Men– To test their knowledge about Laundry  

Phase III – MediaCom used the power of media to show adoption and participation  

 Prominent clothes brands– American Crew, Shoppers Stop and designer Masaba Gupta created and added clothes tags – ‘This fabric can be washed by both Men and Women’ 
 Leading Indian cricketers showcased Ariel benefits by bowling clothes into a washing machine 
 Leading Washing Machine (WM) manufacturers endorsed Ariel   
 The message of equality drew more celebrities to join the movement and they testified - how they helped share the load at home? 


Ariel improved lives of millions of Indian women by making laundry interesting for Men. 

In a $4.5 billion category, Ariel Matic sales grew 60% versus year ago. i.e. 2X of targetOver 1.57 million Indian men pledged to do the laundry – more the total no. of men in New Zealand. 

There was a 28% uplift in Ad recall for Ariel amongst people who saw the “Share the Load” copies. Ariel witnessed highest ever Response Rate with Consumer Engagement increasing nearly three times. 

- 98% of consumers interviewed would recommend Ariel to their friends 
- Millions engaged, resulting in over 1.6 billion free earned Impressions  
- Unaided Awareness for the brand went up by 132 Index 
- For the first time ever, Ariel India trended nationally twice with 9 MM+ impressions 
- Over $9.5m of earned media. 

While the men pledged to share the load, Ariel became closer to the woman’s heart. Ariel was so successful in influencing the cultural fabric of the country, that one of India’s biggest matrimonial portals- made ‘Sharing the Load’ a vital criterion to choose a perfect life partner. 

Share the load is a unique and emotional equality platform that can be leveraged for years to come.

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