As the deadlines for the 2021 Spikes Awards and Tangrams Strategy & Effectiveness Awards entries approach, Spikes Asia is reaching out to past winners at both award programmes who have demonstrated exemplary creativity and marketing effectiveness in the same piece of winning work. We ask the creatives and strategists to talk about what made the work stand out to the juries and what winning a Spike and Tangram meant for them and their team.
This time we speak with Hemant Shringy, CCO, and Suraja Kishore, CEO, of BBDO India about 'Dads #ShareTheLoad'.
Please provide a brief summary of #sharetheload including the client’s brief, how the work was delivered and its results.
In 2015, Ariel launched #ShareTheLoad a provocative social movement that focused not on clothes stains, but on the cultural stain of gender inequality at home by raising an important question ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’ This brought the issue of gender inequality out of the four walls of the home to make it a national conversation.
For 2016, the client brief was to go deeper: how can Ariel create deeper social change – where the product and the brand plays an essential role and as a result drives a deeper relevance for the brand.
We knew 70% of Indian men believe household chores are a woman’s job. Digging deeper, we realized the root cause for this was the passing down of this prejudice from one generation to the next: children learning the behavior by watching their dads and growing up to imitate what they’ve seen at home.
This led to Dads #ShareTheLoad – an evolution of Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad movement for deeper social change that spoke to dads by shining a mirror at their actions and showing them that they have the power to end the cycle of gender inequality in the home by sharing the load.
Tell us why your team decided to enter #sharetheload into the Spikes Awards.
Hemant Shringy: Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad is an action driven social movement that comes from the heart of the brand and the product offering. It raised a very poignant and pertinent question of “Why Is Laundry only a Mother’s Job?” and told a story of a father’s realization and remorse for being a bad example and leading the change.
We knew a heartfelt campaign like this would get the right stage to shine and catapult the progressive conversation to greater heights. It’s a message that needed to reach far and wide and the platform of Spikes Asia helped us achieve this.
Tell us why your team decided to enter #sharetheload into the Tangrams Awards.
Suraja Kishore: Partnering with a visionary and brave client, with Dads #ShareTheLoad we created something that was absolutely new in the category, it wasn’t just a purpose campaign, it was an action driven social movement. It was triggered not with a television commercial, but an apology letter from a father to his daughter. It saw the breaking of patriarchy in eye-opening observation. It was unconventional communication that we had a lot of faith in.
But when we saw the results, we were overwhelmed with the numbers. And we believed showcasing it on a platform like Tangrams, that holds a gold standard in effectiveness, would give the movement the recognition and validation it deserved. In a time where hard selling functional campaigns were considered to be the most effective, we believed recognizing this effort would open up the gates for more such communication pieces that are creative, insightful empathetic towards its audience and with roots dug in firmly in the brands offering.
Every team has their own way of coming up with a campaign idea. In the case of #sharetheload, how was the idea conceived? Was it a collaboration between the creatives and strategists from the get-go? How would you describe your working relationship?
Shringy and Kishore: If you would have walked into a room when we were discussing Share The Load, you wouldn’t be able to tell who’s the creative, who’s the strategist or even who’s the client. Because weren’t looking for a strategy or an idea, we were trying to capture the truth. And the process was more cathartic than creative. Of course, there was the process of research and social listening and writing and re-writing, but no one was trying to manufacture anything. And maybe it’s that truth presented in its absolute raw form that struck a chord.
At any point of conceiving the idea and planning the execution of #sharetheload, did either party (Creative vs Strategist) oppose the creative idea or how the campaign should be executed? How did this affect the campaign results (results can refer to reach, ROI etc.)?
Shringy and Kishore: No one really opposed anything, it was more a process of pushing each other more and more. In fact, we had a perfectly great script that was approved, and we were one day away from the pre-production meeting, but somehow, we couldn’t stop ourselves from having more and more conversations and each conversation and came up with the ‘the letter’. We didn’t even have a full script. We just narrated the father’s apology letter to the client and he asked us to go ahead with it. Even the director who was fully prepped with the other film’s production didn’t mind starting all over again.
As the coronavirus swept through the world and Asia-Pacific hard, everyone’s way of working and collaborations have been forced to change. Do you think you would have been able to pull off #sharetheload the same way as you did now? How would it have affected the way that the campaign was rolled out.
Shringy and Kishore: It’s been an evolving last couple of months. At first we found the WFH a bit challenging, but it soon enough it did become the new normal. To the extent that when we meet face to face in small groups now, it feels a bit odd. This has really been a test of our positivity and resilience. And we have come out realizing that yes, there might be a few hiccups here and there, but we have been a lucky few who can continue our work even while being apart.
So yes, it might have been done a bit differently, but we could have managed to pull this off even now. In fact, we are in the process of working on the fifth step of Share The Load right now.
Question to Creative: If you had to pitch a solution to the same brief from the client today, how would you change your creative idea in light of the economic climate and new way of life caused by the coronavirus?
Shringy and Kishore: That’s exactly what we have been thinking as we work towards the next edition of Share The Load. While every aspect of our life has had to react in new ways due to the pandemic, there are some realities that are so deeply entrenched in our conditioning that they may have altered a bit, but not completely changed. A major event like this does impact and change a lot of things, but unfortunately we’ve come realize that some of the most deep-rooted issues like inequality and discrimination have not really turned a new leaf. So while the process and execution might be different, the idea may still be relevant.
Question to Creative: From your point of view as a Creative, describe the role of a Strategist in a campaign.
Shringy: I think if creative is the heart, strategy is the soul of the end product. In the absence of a great strategy, you can see the communication walking along like a zombie.
Question to Strategist: From your point of view as a Strategist, describe the role of a Creative in a campaign.
Kishore: To dramatize the strategic idea to get the desired response that solves the brand/business problem/opportunity
Question to Creative: Have you ever thought of switching roles to be a Strategist/Planner instead?
Shringy: I don’t think you can afford to not be both in today’s times. Of course we each come with our own areas of expertise, but I think today you have to be a strategic creative person or a creative strategist.
Question to Creative: Which piece of work did you win your first Spike for? What did winning your first Spike mean to you and what does a Spike mean to you now?
Shringy: I think I won my first Spike for Whisper’s #TouchThePickle. It felt great, though I think I hurt myself with it at the after party J. But on a serious note, holding that spike in your hand always makes you feel great, because your voice from a little office in Mumbai has resonated with your peers across the continent.
Question to Strategist: Which piece of work did you win your first Tangram (previously known as the AMEs - Asian Marketing Effectiveness Award) for? What did winning your first Tangram mean to you and what does a Tangram mean to you now?
Suraja won his first Tangram with the campaign, Gillette - Women Against Lazy Stubble.
The 2021 Spikes Asia Awards are open for entries!
- Spikes Awards final entries deadline - 21 Jan 2021
- Tangrams Awards final entries deadline - 07 Jan 2021
Our team of Awards Experts know the Spikes inside out. They’re available to spend time with you to tell you all about the new and refreshed award categories and help you get started on your submission, whether you have a specific question or need expert advice. Get in touch at [email protected] today!