Case Study on Ariel Removed Stains Of Social Inequality

8 Min Read. |

Ariel raised the question is laundry only woman’s job?

Ariel_Desktop_BrandMainLogo2About Ariel

P&G is one of the largest and amongst the fastest growing consumer goods companies in India. Established in 1964, P&G India now serves over 650 million consumers across India. Its presence pans across the Beauty & Grooming segment, the Household Care segment as well as the Health & Well Being segment, with trusted brands that are household names across India. These include Vicks, Ariel, Tide, Whisper, Olay, Gillette, Ambipur, Pampers, Pantene, Oral-B, Head & Shoulders, Wella and Duracell. Superior product propositions and technological innovations have enabled P&G to achieve market leadership in a majority of categories it is present in. P&G India is committed to sustainable growth in India, and is currently invested in the country via its five plants and over nine contract manufacturing sites, as well as through the 26,000 jobs it creates directly and indirectly.

P&G operates under three entities in India – two listed entities “Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited” and ‘Gillette India Limited’, as well as one 100% subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S. called ‘Procter & Gamble Home Products’.

Business Objective

P&G’s sustainability efforts focus on Environmental Protection as well as Social Responsibility to help develop the communities we operate in.

Ariel India

Introduced in 1991, Ariel was the first to bring the ‘compact detergent’ technology, the enzyme technology for safe and superior stain-removing power and the ‘smart eyes’ technology into India, with an aim of becoming India’s best stain removal detergent. Ariel contains safe ingredients for all fabrics under recommended usage conditions for laundry. The Ariel product range in India includes different variants to meet your specific needs like Ariel OxyBlu, Ariel Oxyblu Ultramatic, Ariel Front O Mat, Ariel 2in1.

Marketing Objective- To emotionally engage its audiences by means of storytelling methods to increase traction and visibility via TVCs, print ads, PR and blogger outreach along with active Social Media Drives.

  • Ariel Campaign 2015Share The Load campaign

‘Ariel hits the jackpot with its new pro-women ad’ was the leading line in a popular online mag and indeed it did. The campaign ‘Share The Load’, based on a pressing issues of the time – gender equality, brought to light the daily activities today’s professional women are indulged in. It designed as a call to action, aimed at men in particular, to share the burden of household chores with their better half. Taking data from a study by Neilson, succeeded in building on an existing conversation in society raising its relationship and connect with its consumers.

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Insight from A.C. Neilson

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 the Indian woman “Laundry” was a thankless job and fingers were pointed if it was not done well.

These women don’t talk about it 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 but not Laundry. The agency 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.

Based on the consumer insight the idea emerged then that why this load can’t be shared by both men & women.

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 via any other medium they spoke to women about a superior detergent, and 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 was not easy, which is why the agency developed a detailed three step approach to activate all relevant opinion leaders.


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

Social Media Approach 

They roped in an agency BBDO in this case, and briefed them to lead the conversation around laundry by starting a movement for Ariel so as to raise the emotional equity of the brand.

They made ad film starring two senior citizens talking about the younger generation. While they discuss how in ‘their time’ they would earn a pittance, one of them also acknowledges with pride that now her daughter-in-law earns more than her son. While the said daughter in law can be seen getting ready for work in the background, her husband suddenly pokes his head out to admonish her for not washing his green shirt. It ends with the super on screen, asking ‘Is Laundry only a woman’s job’?

The same question has given rise to a lot of conversations on social media, with the hashtag #Is Laundry Only A Woman’s Job  trending on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. The brand further introduced prizes for Twitter followers who can send out the message in different ways.


Its Facebook page has also been populated with data and interesting graphics to represent the findings of a Nielsen survey which shows that a majority of Indian men feel that laundry is a woman’s job.

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So when chief of facebook Sheryl Sandberg shared the video on her Facebook page on 25 February, 2015. Since then it has racked up an impressive 11 and a half million views. She shared the video stating ‘This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen – showing how stereotypes hurt all of us and are passed from generation to generation’. “When little girls and boys play house they model their parents’ behavior; this doesn’t just impact their childhood games, it shapes their long-term dreams.” Within 16 hours, her post was shared more than 48,000 times.

This further lead to debate online by bloggers and opinion makers is laundering only job of the women?


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 target. Over 1.57 million Indian men pledged to do the laundry.

There was 28% uplift in Ad recall for Ariel amongst people who saw the “Share the Load” copies in social media platform. 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

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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