Vim: How This Company Challenged Gender Norms


Campaign Summary

Vim is a leading dishwash brand in India and one of the world's fastest-growing brands, as per a recent Kantar report. It provides best-in-class dishwashing solutions with its range of products, including variants of Vim Liquid and Dishwasher detergents.

While Vim Liquid leads in penetration vis-à-vis its competition in India, the overall penetration is low. Therefore, the objective was to drive quality conversations around Vim liquid, by bringing alive the brand's purpose.



Vim observed that during COVID-19, men participated in the kitchen. However, they considered it as "help" and not their duty. This tendency led to men bragging about their heroic act. However, post- pandemic, they conveniently went back to not doing chores.

Thus, Vim Liquid wanted to trigger a conversation and deliberately challenge gender norms when it comes to men owning their chores and normalizing their role in the kitchen.

Target Audience:

The dishwashing category has predominantly spoken to women. While there has been a gender-neutral shift recently, most campaigns glorify men who contribute towards household chores and errands.

Vim wanted to "de-genderize" dishwashing. So, it was important not just to change the narrative, but also its characters and audiences. The easiest target was metropolitan audiences that come from a relatively gender-neutral school of thought. Thus, the communication was targeted to:

  • Women (metro, aged 18 and over) who have been at the receiving end of the "help" provided by men who do the dishes at home
  • Men (metro, aged 18 and over who believe that dishwashing is a woman's job and them (rarely) doing their bit is something to brag about
  • Society at large who has invariably glorified Indian men for fulfilling their household responsibilities

Creative Strategy:

From men's grooming products to apparels, according to society, black equals machismo. Leveraging this notion, Vim Liquid launched a parody product called Vim Black. Designed and packaged in black, to appeal to the male audience, although the liquid content had no alterations.

The task was to convince men to do the dishes without sounding preachy. To drive home a hard-hitting message, the solution presented itself in the form of a satirical campaign. Taking such a brave step meant the campaign needed a bold, yet quirky, medium to land the message effectively.

Vim onboarded MTV India to bring the idea to life. A sarcastic TVC, calling out the "post-chore bragging" culture, was created and deployed in partnership with MTV India and its YME (youth, music, and entertainment) channels. This time, the protagonist wasn't a woman but Milind Soman, India's first male supermodel, who looked up to for his "macho" image.

To amplify the message further, two quirky, 20-second digital films were created, featuring male protagonists boasting about their dishwashing chore to receive preferential treatment.

But Vim knew this was not enough to create the dent the brand aspired to. Apart from gender inequity in the kitchen, there's another role that only a woman usually ends up playing: The Voice Assistant. So, to make dishwashing gender-neutral, the brand got Milind to voice and give quirky and interesting tips on "all things dishwashing." The idea was brought to life on Alexa and Google Assistant by saying, "Alexa, Activate Vim Black" or "OK Google, Talk to Vim Black." A male-voiced home assistant truly assisted men in doing chores at home. To further imprint this idea, an alluring calendar shoot with Milind Soman promoting dish washing was released. What's more is that there were fridge magnets, as physical reminders, present in people's kitchen.


Vim has addressed gender stereotypes over the past few years. It has taken on the purpose of changing society's perspective to see a woman's role beyond that of a homemaker. Since 2020, Vim has launched advertisements, including one with the with cricketer Virender Sehwag washing the dishes, to highlight that men need to take up more chores.


Overall Campaign Execution:

For the production and distribution, Vim partnered with MTV and Viacom's YME channels which have garnered 437 million viewers on TV, 484 million digital content views, 2.7 billion digital impressions, and 187 million followers on social media.

The TVC saw Milind Soman sarcastically urging men to stop bragging and start dishwashing. This was followed by two 20-second digital films that featured men trying to get away from sticky situations by boasting about helping with the dishes at home. They were met with over-the-top humorous reactions by the crowd around them.

Vim also partnered with Boltd, a voice app development agency, to develop the first ever male-voiced skill on Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant, to tackle all dishwashing issues and excuses by men. This allowed the audience to have a fun interaction with Milind who gave quirky hacks and tips about dishwashing.

Online influencers helped amplify the campaign message in a unique manner. Along with popular male influencers, Vim roped in Bollywood celebrities like Neha Dhupia, Sameera Reddy, etc., who are known for their opinionated content. They shared a video online, unboxing the Vim Black kit that had funny fridge magnets, a calendar, and an apron. The ladies were onboard to reveal the truth that Vim Black looked different but was the same liquid all along.

Mobile Execution:

India recorded the highest growth in mobile data consumption with data traffic increasing by 31 percent in 2021. The average mobile data consumption touches about 17 GB per user per month.

As 62 percent of mobile users in the country watch videos on their devices, Vim understood the increasing impact of mobile video advertising and launched their TVC and shorties on digital first platforms primarily.

Voice search queries in India are currently growing at 270 percent per year. A recent study revealed that the number of voice searches just on Google witnessed a whopping 78 per cent jump from 2021 to 2022.

The two stereotypical issues Vim tackled with this technology — all artificial assistants are by default set to have a female voice over and the notion that women have all the answers to dishwashing — was challenged.

Challenging this, the voice skill was scripted and developed for the users to experience a fun interaction with Milind Soman on the topic of Dishwashing. From tips and hacks to reminders being set via social media, the voice activation technology nudged more men to head over to the sink.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Vim is among the 20 most-chosen brands in the country, according to the 2022 edition of Kantar's Brand Footprint. Vim tops the rankings for the brand which gained the most shoppers in 2021. Three out of four homes in India use Vim.

However, over the past few years, the brand has stepped out of being viewed as a traditional brand and focused on actively steering positive conversations in society. Even though Vim Black was a spoof product, the product was listed on Ushop, the Unilever website, and sold out within hours of its announcement.

Despite being in a category like dishwashing, which is considered boring and mundane in their communication, Vim Black managed to get everyone talking about a chore and question stereotypes like it intended.

Ultimately, there were over 8,100 conversations generated online around the campaign within a week of its launch. More results included:

  • 27.8 million reached
  • 254,000 engagement
  • 33.1 million impressions
  • 10.5 million views
  • 500,000 engagement on influencer content
  • 500 organic memes
  • 91 percent of the conversations around the campaign and category were positive in nature and was trending across social media platforms.
  • The brand noted 92,000 online searches in the month of December, which is an 82 percent surge for search intent around Vim.
  • 35 percent searches were driven by the campaign
  • 46,000 "add to carts" in the time span of 2 to 3 hours
  • 22,000 purchases
  • Five times higher traffic on the Ushop/company website

Apart from the dramatic spark in conversation around dishwashing, this mundane category piqued everybody's interest around gender disparities at home.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Short or Long Form Video | Awards: X Global Bronze Winner