In Japan, the firmly ingrained stereotype that housework is women’s work means that, even today, women handle around 90% of household chores. Measures intended to address this disparity have proven largely ineffective, while media and advertisers continue to portray women tackling the housework alone.
JOY, a dishwashing detergent brand operated by P&G Japan, launched a campaign to tackle the issue of gender inequality in housework, and promote a nationwide attitude shift. Fifty-eight photos of couples enjoying chores together were prepared and supplied to Aflo, one of Japan’s largest photo agencies, for distribution to marketers and advertisers. Next came a video, Things Shared by Two People, contrasting the fun times a couple shared before marriage with the wife’s current lone struggles with the housework. Lastly, special marriage registration forms were issued, with an extra section for couples to make a pre-nuptial pledge to share their chores.
The Aflo pictures received more than 3,600 downloads, the marriage registration forms over 4,500, and the video was viewed over a million times within thirty hours of its release. The project has also won endorsements from numerous journalists and influencers, while P&G Japan recorded an increase in sales of JOY.