Ariel’s brand story washing away generations of bias

For Bec Brideson, Indian washing detergent brand Ariel’s latest campaign is one which effectively targets males and females, and leaves behind outdated notions of gender roles and demonstrations so common in laundry product advertising.

There isn’t a stain-removing computer animated graphic demonstration in sight in this ad from Indian washing detergent brand Ariel.

And yet, it makes me want to join this brand, buy shares in its company and tell everyone I know about it. It wouldn’t even matter to me if the product were slightly inferior.

Seeing is believing and if I believe that Ariel understands my world – the world of women, mothers, workers– then Ariel have just joined my circle of trusted advisers. I have just made them one of my family. True story.

So many companies seem compelled to insert scientific graphics proving product efficacy with the hope that it subconsciously reinforces product benefits. Yet by creating empathy and emotion that truly connects to their female audience, as Ariel have done, they have demonstrated valuable insight that they actually understand my needs.

By portraying a father circumspect and contemplative of his modern daughter’s life resulting in a change to his own; they have tapped into a deep understanding of the father and daughter dynamic that resonates universally.

Perhaps we are just too hung-over from old marketing methods, and hubris from the 80’s and 90’s. But decades on, and at this point of history, brands that invoke our sensitivities and sing to our soul have it all over brands that use marketing ‘spray and prey’.

Ariel have made a good decision when it comes to men too – they aren’t alienated in this insight. Not only will every father already #sharingtheload feel a wave of self-pride, but also those who haven’t will start to notice the disparity, and feel a tiny prick from their conscience.

Ariel have smartly managed to capture the entire market. You got the women; you’ll grow the audience. You got the men thinking and again you are growing the audience; finding new markets and engendering new thinking. Job well done!

In any marketer’s book, this shows just how compelling the right ‘marketing to women’ campaign can be.

Well-played Ariel. Please come to Australia. There’s a place for you in my home.


Bec Brideson is a marketing-to-women pioneer helping brands and business leverage the growing female economy with more than 20 years advertising experience and insight. Bec is head of her own agency and was one of only 3% of females to attain the title of creative director.