Being socially engaged and striving for profits don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Companies can create lasting social change by using their brand credibility, marketing expertise and outreach. A powerful example of this is Ariel’s “Share the Load” campaign in India. The campaign tapped into the social norms attached to their product in order to expose the unequal division of labor in Indian households.

…our challenge was to reach out to men and women in places where our message would create maximum impact as well as get talked about in media. Here is where we saw the opportunity to turn an ignored, but important part of the garment – the wash care label – into an advocate for gender-equality at home with Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad wash-care labels. It wasn’t just embraced by garment manufacturers, retailers and designers; it also caught the attention of the media who covered it and the message of gender equality at home behind it. (source: http://www.welovead.com/en/works/details/792wesvCh)

The moving ad, which asked the question “Why is laundry only a mother’s job?” went viral in India, gathering millions of views in a very short time. It also sparked a national debate on women’s and men’s roles in the household…AND it increased Brand Awareness for Ariel by 132% in the first month and generated a 60% increase in sales. link

This example shows that companies can not only participate in positive social change by using their voice and image to question harmful social norms, but they can also gain a competitive advantage in the process.

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