Product / ServiceKECAP ABC
CategoryA01. Food / Drink
EntrantVMLY&R Jakarta, INDONESIA
Idea Creation VMLY&R Jakarta, INDONESIA
Additional Company 2 GEOMETRY INDONESIA Jakarta, INDONESIA


Name Company Position
Venkatagiri Rao VMLY&R CCO, SEA & India
Rahul Chawra VMLY&R Head of Planning, SEA & India
Andreas Christiadi Team WPP - Kraft Heinz Team WPP Lead - Kraft Heinz
Mudit Trivedi VMLY&R Managing Director

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

While gender equality is a much discussed issue, it remains exactly that, “discussed”. Lots of propaganda; little action. In the world’s largest Muslim majority nation, Indonesia; with a fiercely patriarchal culture; changing behaviour around this subject is tough. This is the case of a brand; Kecap ABC actually drove gender equality through its idea ‘Real Husbands Cook’. The campaign targeted men despite the target audience being almost entirely women. Using a combination of hard-hitting real stories and on-ground ACTS with real people, the campaign sparked a nationwide debate and culminated with a record where 1000+ husbands cooked for their wives.


Situation: Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim majority. A country where some provinces prohibit women from dining outside without male relatives. Culturally, a woman’s place is at home and in the kitchen despite the fact that more than 60% Indonesian housewives go out to work. Husbands have accepted that work is no longer just a man’s place, however they believe that the household responsibilities belong to women. As one of the largest traditional kitchen brand, we couldn’t remain a silent witness to this inequality. Brief: While digging to the root, we realized that the issue lied with the outlook of husbands towards household responsibilities. Men believed and therefore abstained from housework, the most glaring manifestation was in the kitchen where less than ‘3 out of 10 men cooked’. We chose to attack this core. Objective: Accelerate brand difference (thus penetration) by driving gender equality for Indonesian wives, in the kitchen.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

Patriarchal cultures are typically about ‘manliness’ and Indonesia is no exception with regular men learning from and mimicking the behaviours of other ‘real men’. OUR IDEA, REAL HUSBANDS COOK, WAS TO MAKE COOKING AND HELPING THE WIFE AT HOME A SIGN OF MANLINESS. We got real Indonesian men to share their real stories, the story of repentance from a divorcee who knew he hadn’t been an equal partner. We went on-ground across cities with Indonesia’s most macho-men (those traditionally defined as ‘real men’) to cook for their wives, and to not just do it within the confines of the kitchen but publicly where media and other men could see. It was a bold shift for a local traditional brand to adopt a modern courageous stance; even at the risk of losing its traditional loyalists. In a category and country where advertising is typically functional, we took on a purpose-driven approach.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Target Audience: ALL INDONESIAN WIVES WHO COOK. Approach: Our commissioned study revealed a strong paradox – equality existed in sharing finances but not in housework, where wives bore all responsibilities. This lack of gender equality within the Indonesian household directly impacted the institution of marriage; with one of the largest growth rates of divorce between 2012 and 2017; 70% being those initiated by women. It was time to act as marriages were increasingly failing. The action did not lie in pushing women to demand equality; but getting men to correct their behaviour at home. A traditionally loved brand staple in 50%+ Indonesian kitchens, it was our duty to push for equality in the kitchen and cooking. Despite the risk of losing conservative loyalists, we set our Brand Purpose to “REAL HUSBANDS COOK, THANKS TO KECAP ABC”. Our firm belief in serving Indonesian women, pushed us to push this purpose ahead.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

The execution was rooted in REAL ACTS, WITH REAL PEOPLE. NOT ADS. The “Real Husbands Cook Academy” was taken to 4 cities in Indonesia where over 1500 men were brought together and taught to cook. The men were “real” mean; as defined by traditional norms of masculinity, army men, bikers, rock-musicians, footballers. Because “Real Men cooked”. And then came the biggest Academy event, For Indonesian Mother’s Day on Dec 22nd, Kecap ABC got 1056 husbands to come together to cook for their wives. A certified Indonesian record. On the occasion of Ramadan, we broke cultural norms by getting a band of real husbands to wake up other husbands before their wives, to cook for their family. Content from these events was promoted online with 5 divorcees in real-time responding to clarifications and criticism for 72 hours. It also drove men to learn cooking at the online ‘Real Husbands Cook Academy’.

List the results (30% of vote)

Business Impact:  A 360 bps increase in Brand Health with close to 20% increase in Brand Differentiation. The largest growth in the category.  1040 bps Penetration growth over 18 months, while the market leader lost 700 bps; highest growth in the category.  A 9% YOY growth in Sales where the FMCG average stood at 2% in Indonesia for 2018. Engagement Impact:  Thousands of men participated and even more watched as the Real Men’s Academy went to 4 cities.  1056 men came together on Mother’s Day to set a Indonesia MURI record.  More than 67 Million views, with 81,000 engagements was created for the online content. Behavioural Impact:  Around 175,000 men took their first step towards becoming a Real Husband and learning how to cook at the Academy.