BBDO India’s chairperson and chief creative officer, Josy Paul, took to the stage at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, to discuss how brands can surf the polycrisis.
With the example from Ariel’s ‘Share The Load’ campaign, Paul discussed how ‘content is king, but context is King Kong’.
“We looked at how men were approaching housework and took a radical point of view. The unspoken conflict was inequality at home. Nobody was talking about it – no brand, government or influencer. At BBDO, we use emotional archaeology, which means we turn to confessions and not insights. Our creative therapy sessions involve deep listening,” said Paul.
Sharing the context behind the campaign before it launched in 2015, Paul said, “Women spent five hours a day doing household chores. Men were only spending 19 minutes a day on the same. So we asked the question, is laundry only a woman’s job?”
Paul said that the campaign helped to rewrite the expectations with a slight alteration in the brand thought.
“The original proposition was Ariel washes away the toughest stains in just one wash. Our new proposition was Ariel washes away the toughest stains in just one wash and anyone can do it,” revealed Paul.
“We asked consumers are we teaching our sons, what we are teaching our daughters and every year we rolled out a new instalment of the campaign,” he added.
He then showcased this year’s ‘Share The Load’ film, through which the brand wanted to show the long-term impact of women doing household work.
“We narrated this through the story of an elderly couple. We saw couples wanting to move on and separate after several years together. Gen Z and millennials are woke about voices outside but not able to speak to their parents. So we created that license,” he said.
He then revealed why he believed ‘Share The Load’ is still relevant in today’s crisis.
“When everything is uncertain, you need to let people know they are not alone. It’s like holding handing hands in a touch-starved world. Empathy is about touch. You are holding millions of hands at the same time. It’s oxytocin, which is the love chemical, the mother hormone. The world needs more oxytocin, and that is what people usually turn to songs for,” he said.
He further added that ‘brands are a song that people can go to repeatedly’.
“As the world is looking for meaning, creativity is sensitivity in a world where no one is listening. For me, creativity is the return gift of empathy. Listening is such a retro word, but it is important. Brands should for me a point-of-view but also have a point-of-do,” surmised Paul.
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