In a society with an appalling strata gap, unwearyingly waiting for the good days, India still has an absence of the basic lifestyle necessities, one of the foremost being hygiene. Not often placed as a priority, the perilous concern of open defecation is only lowering the health statistics of the country at best.
With lack of attention from the system and public, Astral Pipes decided to take up this issue by sharing the campaign, #EveryWomansRight, to draw our attention.
At the break of dawn, indulging in some laid-back banter the village men walk towards their mission with a tiny bucket of water in their hand. Dispersing into the dense farms comfortably, the men almost about to practice open defecation are disturbed by a bunch of veiled village women who follow them into the greens.
Gathering around with handy Indian musical instruments of khartal cymbals, manjira and more, these women start reciting foot-tapping, poetic verses bashing the habitual open defecation practices of these men.
Despite the men urging them to leave, the women persistently keep singing as they emphasize on the significance of constructing a toilet at home to get rid of all the eve-teasing and rape attacks on them when they step out at late hours to use the toilet. Concluding with the branding of the product, men finally come to terms with building toilets in the house.
The social media reaction
Emphasizing on a specific cause, Astral Pipe talks of women hygiene precisely and picks a unique style to disseminate their content. Conceptualized by Lowe Lintas, the film attempted to voice a stern opinion, being indicative of an imperative change in the habits of the rural society.
The campaign on Facebook received 2.4 million views ever since its release on May 22, and has 66k reactions and 22,674 shares. To extend this campaign, the brand took it to Twitter where in association with Women’s Web the brand initiated a Twitter chat on May 25 between 4.30-6.30 on the topic of ‘Open Defecation is better? We do not think so!’ to bust some myths and get the queries solved.
Firstly, on May 21 the brand introduced the campaign by changing their cover picture and introducing #EveryWomensRight. The next day the video came out which gained momentum on Twitter as it started spreading like wildfire and finally after three days the brand decided to take things up a notch by becoming the voice against open defecation and women safety.
— Pankaj Ahuja (@panku_) May 22, 2017
Conditions for women need a typical bottom to top approach. We need to empower our rural population for any real change #EveryWomansRight
— richa singh (@richa_singh) May 22, 2017
— Aparna (@FuschiaScribe) May 22, 2017
The hygiene issue
Under Swachh Bharat Mission, asserting its role as an evangelist for the cause, the brand came up with a campaign that reaches out to the strata of the society that is absent from social media.
Striving to correct the social evils, the government has endeavored and passed laws to fight this cause wherein the Haryana government announced that drones would be used to keep an eye on people out for defecation, while in Madhya Pradesh a law was passed which strikes out a person from contesting in Panchayat elections if they do not have a flushing toilet at home. In fact, Chhattisgarh has ordered that people would be ineligible to access the government’s public distribution shops with the goal of the Swachh Bharat Mission to end open defecation by 2019.
According to statistics, 60% of the world’s open defecation happens in the country and the situation is worsens in the rural areas where, over 65% defecate in the open according to the WHO and UNICEF.
636 million of over a billion Indians are devoid of proper and clean toilets, according to the latest census data.
Apart from the obvious health hazards that tail this activity, this campaign portrayed the other evils wherein women are victims to eve-teasing and rapes.
The campaign garnered attention also because of its bang on timing, as recently Twitter was stirred up when stand-up comedians of the country initiated campaign #LahuKaLagaan urging Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to exempt tax on sanitary napkins.
— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) April 18, 2017
— SheSays (@SheSaysIndia) April 18, 2017
27% of the WORLDS cervical cancer deaths occur in India.
— Kenny Sebastian (@knowkenny) April 18, 2017
Last year, as a part of the Swacch Bharat Mission, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation released Bachchanji and Bachchaji, a campaign conceptualised by Ogilvy. The videos entailed, Big B indulging into a playful conversation with a child, bring home the concept of in-built toilets at home.
Women’s hygiene being the recent talk of the social media town, Astral Pipes managed to fit in the conversation through their educative content, and taking it further with a chat and other initiatives, walking the talk.
Yet again, striving towards a social change, this brand too has picked its cause and effortlessly snooped in the cause marketing bandwagon.