Delivering a 'Masterclass' at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2016 on 21 June, Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO India, emphasised on the 'Power of the small idea'.
While everyone spoke about the big idea, he contended that the world changed through small steps. He explained, "The small idea can attract more people as they believe even they can do it. The small idea has the power to affect behaviour in small ways, and these move the society forward."
He backed his 'small idea' vision with some campaigns from BBDO India.
First up was the Share The Load work from this year.
The speaker explained, "For us this wasn't a campaign. It was an invitation to join us. The father was given a small action. It was small, but an action of hope. We see people writing scripts, but it's about reaching people. Fathers (generally) are authoritative. They, generally don't apologise. They do whatever they can in their own way. This is a commitment."
He went on to explain how Share The Load expanded to be part of calendars, labels on clothes, and the pack integrating the odd-even day initiative, for women and men to share the load and do the laundry on alternate days.
Paul added, "When people connect with the idea, you don't need to go out and promote it. People will come and connect with you. What was interesting was that when I put the film online, I couldn't get sleep for four days. I was getting calls from different time zones to talk about it. I know someone who had left the marketing industry, joining back because she saw the power of marketing. This (Share The Load) gave us the power to create change."
Labelling that as a small idea, he said, "We give the small idea. The consumers makes it big. The small idea is a small unit of action."
The idea was born because Ariel wanted to counter competition, with Surf taking a strong 'Dirt is Good' stance that was attracting attention. Ariel meanwhile kept with the product premise. "We were looking at a small action to counter 'Dirt is Good'. We were locked in the conflict within home care. Brands could solve conflicts according to me. We did research and narrowed down on this one," revealed the speaker.
The next piece of work showcased was last year's Grand Prix winner in the Glass Lions, 'Touch the Pickle'.
"For years and years people have been shy to talk about menstruation and periods. We spoke about all the dont's. Maybe there was something that wasn't right. We picked the 'pickle' tradition (women didn't touch the pickle jar during periods) and went ahead with it. It (the response) surprised us. The idea has taken a life of its own. We just gave the voice. People have pushed the small idea forward. Words come easy, but action creates change."
The next example was from Visa's 'Dream2Advanse' campaign.
"This was just a small action and didn't start any movement. This film makes us feel fantastic to be in this business. This is the kind of stuff that makes us feel good," said Paul.
The final case of the Masterclass was Gillette's #WALS (Women Against Lazy Stubble).
Paul surmised explaining the challenges with this movement: "We did this in 2009. We were asked to do a 30-second spot. We resisted that. At that time Bollywood stars and cricketers had beards and no one would take us seriously. RajDeepak Das (Paul's colleague from creative at the time) and I were sitting in a cafe and decided to launch this movement on Facebook. Within two hours people started going crazy. The client then stopped all other activities and put in all their will to do this. There were groups against this that protested against P&G, and an event even saw us get stoned. And it wasn't the stoned I was expecting to be when I joined advertising."