Ask a simple question, get a shocking answer!

Who spends more time outside, a child, or a maximum security prisoner?
With Persil, a Unilever laundry cleaning brand, we find out.

Persil is using the shocking statistic that children are now spending less than an hour outside each day, which is less than a prisoner gets. They’ve turned this into a valuable and saleable insight, designed to shock and inspire parents into getting their kids outside, active and above all else, dirty. The campaign is also making good use of the social media platform Instagram under the banner #dirtisgood. An easy to remember hashtag that leverages something that parents are already proudly doing. Taking and sharing pictures of their kids all covered in dirt.

Perhaps labeling the campaign a movement may be a bit of an overreach given how many brands attempt to make the same claim. However, there’s no doubt that it’s certainly a good cause to which Persil can be seen to be fighting the good fight to get kids spending more time outside.

The decision to use maximum security prisoners as the talent within the TV shoot is both risky and rewarding. It flies in the face of what is otherwise a well crafted, squeaky clean, wholesome and family brand image. The decision that parents want prisoners to offer any kind of parenting advice is also a dubious one, and quite how it will resonate with Mums and families is also questionable. That being said, to deliver the shock and disrupt the category Persil needed to do something different. In a market that’s saturated by ‘same-same’ style advertising this campaign absolutely breaks the mould and will, for better or worse, provide some cut through within the category.

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