GREY group India’s (one of India’s leading advertising and communications agency) popular campaign for Gillette tilted #the BarbershopGirls has been honored with the National Laadli Media and Advertising Award for ‘Gender Sensitivity’ 2020 by Population First in collaboration with UNFPA ((United Nations Population Fund Award).
The awards, in their 10th year now, are one of its kind awards that honor, recognize, and celebrate the efforts of those in media and advertising, who highlight gender concerns through their work.
Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Managing Director and Chief Creative Director, GREY group India said, ‘It’s incredibly gratifying to see the cultural and social impact of this campaign. Gillette has long been an iconic male brand, encouraging men to be the best version of themselves. Given the Indian context, we wanted to do something unprecedented for the brand – Celebrate women as role models who would inspire the next generation of men to move past their biases. It’s wonderful that this compelling point of view continues to spark conversations around breaking the chains of patriarchy.’
The campaign beautifully addressed the gender stereotypes prevalent in rural India.
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. These stereotypical gender roles, passed on through generations, have cemented the role of a woman as subservient 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.
Dr. AL Sharada, Director, Population First said, “The story of the Barbershop girls is told through the eyes of a boy, it shows how gendered roles are reinforced in the society. It also talks about the possibility of challenging them. The two young barber girls demonstrate not just to the amazement of the boy, but viewers as well, that occupation has no gender. The award is given in appreciation of the heartening and inspiring story of gender benders”
The award-winning campaign tells the story of two barbershop girls, 18-year-old Jyoti and 16-year-old Neha, from the village of Banwari Tola in Uttar Pradesh, and an eight-year-old boy whose thoughts are summed up from everything that he witnesses around him as he notices how gender roles are clearly defined in society. When the young boy accompanies his father to a barbershop and to his surprise, sees two girls ready to shave his father, the boy is puzzled and asks his father why girls can shave men’s hair. The father pauses before addressing the prejudice effect and subliminal patriarchy has on the young boy’s mind, responding that a razor wouldn’t know the difference between a boy and a girl. The film then moves to the two sisters Jyoti and Neha Narayan, showing how they have challenged gender stereotyping often found in Indian villages by running their father’s barbershop.
YouTube Link of the campaign:
TEAM GREY group India