On World Toilet Day, Dentsu Impact, the creative agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, joined hands with We Are Water Foundation, CSR wing of Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd. to launch a movement that’s getting everyone talking.
This was a social experiment at Sector 29, Gurugram, Haryana for which, a makeshift public toilet was constructed. But when people went in to perform their ablutions, they were in for a surprise. They came face to face with a site, perhaps common to 250 million people in rural India – a railway track that’s used as an open defecating area.
Children and women holding placards delivered the hard facts and adverse effects of open defecation. This not just shocked people but also sensitized them to the plight of rural India. Immediately, people pledged to #CloseOpenDefecation by signing up on the We Are Water foundation portal. With each sign up/pledge, the foundation is contributing to the construction of more toilets.
But the campaign has not been limited only to the social experiment. Prior to it, a film featuring the plight of rural India was launched on social media platforms along with teasers. This was followed up by the Social Experiment film and the option to pledge and tweet was extended to the online urban audience.
Ever since the movement, #CloseOpenDefecation has grabbed enough eyeballs. It even trended at the no. 2 spot on Twitter for a day and has garnered 428k views so far.
Soumitra Karnik, Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu Impact says, “As advertisers we must create communication which can assist the society we live in, in bringing about a positive change. As communication experts we can and should create content that delivers solutions that can impact a change in our society.”
Mayuri Saikia, Management Trustee, We are Water Foundation India & Marketing Head, Roca India says, “The problem of open defecation has always been prevalent in the country and still 250 million rural Indians continue to defecate in the open exposing them to various disease and mishaps. Through We Are Water Foundation we have been promoting healthy living, better hygiene and improved sanitation in the country and have done some truly impactful work over the years. When the idea was presented to us, we saw immense potential in it. So far, we have received a heartwarming response for the campaign as more and more are joining the cause with the foundation. As corporates and individuals, we need to realise that beyond government initiatives, we have so much power to drive the desired behavioral change towards usage of toilets and work towards the common goal to #CloseOpenDefecation.”