×

Facebook’s Sandberg applauds Indian detergent ad

A new detergent advert addressing gender inequality has gone viral, even receiving the backing of Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

The latest commercial produced by laundry detergent firm, Ariel India, in partnership with Procter & Gamble and BBDO Worldwide, asks people everywhere to "share the load." It attempts to highlight that everyday house tasks aren't just "a mother's job".

In the video, a father observes his daughter undertaking a series of household tasks, from cooking to taking care of her child, while her husband watches TV. While the father is "so proud" of her achievements, he writes her a letter saying he's sorry she has to do all of it alone.

"Sorry that I never stopped you, while you were playing house. I never told you that it's not your job alone, but your husband's too."

As the grandfather helps his own wife with the laundry in the closing shot, Ariel writes "Why is laundry only a mother's job?" and asks dads to "#ShareTheLoad".

Since the video aired, the message and its hashtag "#ShareTheLoad" has surged in popularity on social media platforms. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, called it "one of the most powerful videos" she'd ever seen.

Sandberg uploaded the video to her personal Facebook account and by 3.30 p.m. London time on Friday it had received 160,000 shares and 6.5 million views.

Sandberg commended the brands involved, adding that the "real win" was the way they were changing stereotypes and demonstrating a "more equal world would be a better world for all of us."


Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed a similar message this week, asking society to redistribute the "burden of unpaid work" more evenly worldwide, in the nonprofit's annual letter.

"Unless things change, girls today will spend hundreds of thousands more hours than boys doing unpaid work simply because society assumes it's their responsibility," Melinda Gates said in 2016's annual letter, adding that assigning most unpaid work to women "harms everyone."