Household products giant Essity is highlighting how women still take on most of the household hygiene chores in a campaign that features little girls and boys competing on an "unfair" obstacle course.
The campaign is running in Hungary for Essity's Zewa brand (which makes household towels, tissues and toilet paper) and centers around a film created by Publicis London in partnership with Publicis Hungary.
In it, the girls and boys set off on what looks like the same course and at first make equal progress. However, before the finish line, the girls encounter extra obstacles and tasks, including stacking toilet rolls and using kitchen towel to remove dirt. The film also features interviews with real-life kids explaining who does what in their household (inevitably, their mother does more of the laundry, dishes and other cleaning tasks).
The campaign is designed to underline that, despite families' good intentions, women still do the lion's share of tasks that might involve Zewa's products, and it's not setting the right example for the next generation. Research conducted by Essity in Hungary revealed that while 97% of people agreed that "the future of my children is influenced by the examples we as parents set at home” and 87% people agreed that "it is important for me that my children grow up in a more equal family where home hygiene tasks are shared by all," household hygiene tasks are still split unevenly between men (31%) and women (69%).
Gabor Peter Kovacs, Global Brand Digital Manager at Essity, says in a statement: “We learned that these stereotypes are unquestioned not because parents don’t want to think about it, but rather they are simply not aware of their stereotypical behaviors and the impact on their children at an early age. By collaborating with children and highlighting their perspective we found a playful yet honest way to reveal these hidden stereotypes. We hope there will be a strong positive emotional reaction and that the campaign will help raise awareness in families around this important issue."
A campaign website hub hosts the film while the wider campaign will include celebrities and influencers discussing the issue, and a special event taking place in Budapest.