THE BARBERSHOP GIRLS - SHAVING STEREOTYPES

Short List
TitleTHE BARBERSHOP GIRLS - SHAVING STEREOTYPES
BrandGILLETTE/P&G
Product / ServiceCSR
CategoryA01. Glass
EntrantGREY INDIA Mumbai, INDIA
Idea Creation GREY INDIA Mumbai, INDIA
Media Placement AUTUMN GREY Mumbai, INDIA
Media Placement 2 MEDIACOM Mumbai, INDIA
PR GENESIS BURSON COHN & WOLFE Mumbai, INDIA
Production TOWNHOUSE PRODUCTIONS Mumbai, INDIA
Additional Company ENCOMPASS Mumbai, INDIA

Credits

Name Company Position
Sandipan Bhattacharyya GREY India Chief Creative Officer
Juneston Mathana GREY India Group Creative Director
Pooja Ambulkar GREY India Associate Creative Director
Bhavesh Kosambia GREY India Group Creative Director
Jeh Alexendar GREY India Junior Copywriter
Virendra Saigaonkar GREY India Associate Creative Director
Rahul Jaigadkar GREY India Creative Supervisor
Puneet Prakash Townhouse Director
Anand Bajpai Independent Music Director
Arun Raman GREY INDIA National Planning Head
Yash Samat GREY INDIA Chairman and Managing Director
Nishant Saurabh GREY India Sr. Vice President & Office Head
Nishant Venkatram GREY India Account Director
Yash Jain GREY India Account Executive
Samir Chadha GREY INDIA Agency Film Producer
Mitalee Prabhu Townhouse Line Producer
Jignya Shedge GREY INDIA Agency Film Producer
Nihit Agarwal Townhouse Line Producer
Arnab Gayan Townhouse DOP
Jyoti Narayan Independent Real Life Hero
Neha Narayan Independent Real Life Hero
Chinmay Dalvi Townhouse Assistant Director
Manasvi Sharma Townhouse Assistant Director
Mukesh Thakur Townhouse Offline Editor
Shashank Jha Townhouse Offline Editor
Rishabh Agarwal Tonic Sound Engineer
Suvarna Tiwari Independent Singer
Satya Prakash Aseem Independent Lyricist
Anusha Shetty Autumn GREY Founder & CEO
Noopur Vasuraj Autumn GREY Creative Director
Sasha Munshi Autumn GREY Junior Copywriter
Diya Vasuraj Autumn GREY Copy Supervisor
Nishant Sethi Autumn GREY Art Director
Soumyadeep Ghosh Autumn GREY Video Supervisor
Tuhina Bapuli Autumn GREY Director - Account Management & Servicing
Shalini Ghildiyal Autumn GREY Account Director
Mithun Cotha Autumn GREY Vice President Analytics
Karthik Srivatsan Procter & Gamble Country Marketing Manager, Gillette
Omkar Bhat Procter & Gamble Brand Manager
Sambit Dwivedi Procter & Gamble Assistant Brand Manager
Anshika Maheshwari Procter & Gamble Assistant Brand Manager
Dolly Tayal Genesis BCW India Practice Chair – Brand, Sports and Entertainment
Nithin Rajasekaram Genesis BCW Associate Director
Ashish Sahoo Genesis BCW Senior Account Manager
Karuna Iyer Genesis BCW Senior Account Manager
Karishma Changlani Genesis BCW Account Manager
Saadia Memon Genesis BCW Senior Account Executive
Pranali Gandhi Genesis BCW Account Executive
Rachana Monteiro Mediacom Senior Business Director
Kalpesh Chavan Mediacom Associate Business Director
Radhikarani Sengupta Mediacom National Director
Abhishek Roy Mediacom Business Executive
Neha Bagchi Encompass Account Director
Udit Vyas Encompass Assistant Manager
Mansi Sule Kwan Client Servicing Head

Background

Gillette has always been a men’s brand. It has always encouraged them to be “The Best a Man Can Get”. Which is about encouraging them to be an even better version of themselves. Everyday. The brand believes that the future of humanity rests in inspiring our boys to treat women as equals, move past gender biases and become better fathers, sons and partners. Those who not only encourage the breaking down of stereotypes, but do so themselves. India, especially Rural India, has a history of gender bias and gender discrimination. An overtly patriarchal society has created gender imbalances: at home, in work places and in communities. The brief thus was to inspire young boys in India to learn a new definition of masculinity: acceptance, acknowledgement and respect for women who have dared to break gender stereotypes. To lead by example and inspire these boys to create a future where such stereotypes won’t exist.

Describe the cultural/social/political climate in your region and the significance of your campaign within this context

In India, centuries of gender bias has stereotyped both the genders with respect to what’s acceptable and what’s not. These invisible, though palpable boundaries dictate roles and rules with respect to what women can and cannot do. Such stereotypes are starker in rural India, where lower education levels and lesser exposure to the 21st century world, have normalised such deep-rooted biases. While a male is occupied in everything outside the house - farming, working, earning money; women are restricted to home and hearth. Cooking, cleaning and child-rearing are the only permitted roles. In most villages, women are not even allowed to leave the house without the permission of a man. Making every woman less confident about herself and entirely dependent on her father initially and later, her husband. These stereotypical gender roles, passed on through generations, have cemented the role of a woman as sub-servient to the male. Gillette believes that to become better men, boys must understand the inherent bias to these stereotypes and refuse to accept them as ‘normal’. This will not only ensure that Indian society is no longer unfair to women, but will also condition the men of tomorrow to create a society that’s truly gender-equal.

Describe the creative idea

Two girls from Banwari Tola, a backward village in India, challenged deep-rooted stereotypes by taking over their father’s barbershop, a profession solely reserved for men. Can their story inspire the next generation to rethink the gender biases they’re growing up with? Gillette saw this as the perfect story to drive the change in mindsets that they wish to see. They told this inspiring story through the eyes of an 8-year-old boy, who witnesses gender biases around him and is conditioned to think it’s normal. That’s until he meets these two girls running a barbershop, which compels him to question everything he’s been growing up with. This was the first time in India that a men’s brand featured women as protagonists of their film and showed the importance of having positive role models for the next generation of men.

Describe the strategy

It’s odd that the world’s 5th largest economy ranks 108th in gender inequality index. This startling fact points to the much-needed change for a gender-equal India. To inspire a new way of thinking, especially where Gender biases have been cemented for centuries, it was imperative to show the next generation a new set of role models. So Gillette decided to tell the story of 2 brave sisters from a conservative village in India, who had broken taboos by ‘manning’ a barber shop, traditionally run only by men. We believed, it was imperative to present these two brave Barbershop Girls as role models for a new way of thinking. To inspire the next generation of men to break free from hand-me-down-notions. Because children learn from what they see. So Gillette decided to show that it is perfectly normal and acceptable for even women to handle razors for a living.

Describe the execution

Instead of documenting the events in the lives of these real Barbershop Girls, Gillette chose to demonstrate the impact of their actions on the mind of a young boy through a film. The focus was then to carry the message behind the film as much as the film itself. We thus brought together top influencers from novelists to musicians to actors and sportsmen who themselves believed in the idea of a gender-neutral world and created an unprecedented national conversation in a matter of days. Gillette even announced a scholarship to further the careers of the girls. They underwent training under India’s top hairstylist and took centre stage at press events where they gave Bollywood celebrities a shave. This sparked further conversations while the campaign directed attention to the track used in the film – a twist on a traditional folk song sung only to celebrate the birth of a boy.

Describe the results/impact

Garnering over 50 Mn views and close to 42 Mn conversations across social media in just 2 WEEKS #ShavingStereotypes caused a conversation unparalleled in India. With over 99% of the comments being positive, there was an outpour of support for the Barbershop Girls, within and outside digital media. Brand conversations went up by over 700%. The campaign earned 2.8 Bn PR impressions worth INR 113 Mn. Male icons including former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood stars took a step forward and got themselves shaved by the girls during public events. India’s biggest radio stations and top TV news channels featured them. Even the intention behind repurposing the ’Sohar’ was applauded by people from the music fraternity and the ‘New Sohar’ was made available on various audio streaming platforms. Because many believed, music of all things should not hold any biases.

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