Gillette India has launched its latest campaign – #ShavingStereotypes – with a storyline that redefines gender stereotypes. Featuring the Barbershop Girls of India, the film follows on from the hugely successful global campaign “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”.
The digital film, created by GREY India, tells the true story of two barbershop girls, Jyoti (18) and Neha (16), from the village of Banwari Tola in Uttar Pradesh. The film shows everyday village life from the eyes of an eight-year-old boy whose thoughts are summed up from everything that he witnesses around him. Based on the insight ‘children always learn from what they see’, he notices how gender roles are clearly defined in society, and while men get to earn a living or indulge in sports, women are restricted to household chores.
As the story progresses, we see the prejudice effect and what the subliminal patriarchy has on the young boy’s mind. It becomes vividly apparent when he accompanies his father to a barbershop and to his surprise he sees two girls ready to shave his father. The boy is puzzled and voices this concern to his father who pauses before 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 - providing a service one would most often associate with a male barber. With their father and the entire village of Banwari Tola supporting, encouraging and standing by the two girls, the village is seen to be setting the right example and inspiring the next generation of men because children do learn from what they see.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar later got a shave from the sisters, reported in the India Times and tweeted by Sachin himself.
Commenting on the campaign, Sandipan Bhattacharyya, chief creative officer, Grey Group, said, “Gillette, as a progressive man’s brand, believes in and propagates topics that are relevant to raising and inspiring the future generation of men. And with this campaign and a powerful message like #ShavingStereotypes, Gillette drives home a point that has utmost relevance in the times we live in. The boys watching today need inspiring role models so that they grow up to be better men.”
Speaking on the story, Karthik Srivatsan, associate director and country category leader, Shave Care, Indian Sub-Continent at P&aG, said, “Neha and Jyoti and the entire village of Banwari Tola are an example of how when we take positive actions, we create meaningful change and set the right example for next generation. Gillette is proud to further enable their dream through our Saflta Apni Muthi Mein program. It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. Our actions need to inspire us all to be better every day and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve. Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow.’’