Andrex: Change The Story

This Change the Story TVC caught my eye due to the way it was presented rather than the content, to be honest. I’m a sucker for animation, especially using innovative ways like this. Using Andrex toilet roll as a blank canvas to project the animation on is a simple yet genius way of incorporating the product in with a corporate social responsibility (CSR) video.

What is CSR?

Corporate social responsibility is a self-regulating model making brands and companies socially accountable for how they and their suppliers work, making sure they work ethically throughout all of their processes. Although CSR has been around for a long time it’s become a much bigger subject with consumers now being more socially aware. This was shown not so long ago with Iceland’s Christmas TVC, Say Hello To Rang-tan, mentioned in my Christmas post. The controversial TVC saw an Orangutan making his home in a little girl’s room after his had been destroyed through deforestation. Iceland used the video to announce that palm oils, which cause deforestation in their production were being eliminated from all own-brand products.

It’s not just about making sure that what we use as consumers has been produced in an ethical way though. Big brands and companies can have such a big influence they should use this for good, they should be our role models, sharing our values as well as introducing us to new ones. This is where we see brands/companies teaming up with charities or even making their own like Coca-Cola with The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Change The Story

Through this well-presented animation Andrex announces its partnership with WaterAid to produce safe sanitary toilets for families in the deprived areas of Bangladesh. As much as I admire the medium of this TVC and what it promotes I feel like the content wasn’t loud enough.

We are told about the unclean conditions that many families have to deal with but to what magnitude? 1 in 3 people don’t have access to safe and hygienic toilets! Although you will find this shocking statistic on the WaterAid page of their site and through their World Toilet Day pop up it’s not featured in this TVC. Why?

The TVC shines a light on the subject and invites people to help ‘Change The Story’ by buying a pack of the promotional toilet roll. I can’t help but think that the issue may have been taken more seriously if more people knew the magnitude of the problem and the consequences that follow from not having a hygienic toilet to use.

Use Of Animation

Perhaps a lighter tone was intended with this TVC using animation as a tool to help create this tone.

We’ve all seen many charity videos showing us the horrific state people in third world countries live in. If you’re anything like me you hate the idea of someone filming people in these conditions to guilt trip people into donating. I understand that these people will be helped, showing this in a documentary way needs to be done in order to really show people what it’s like but it doesn’t make me like it. The animation approach means we are shown what people have to use and how it’s been improved without it feeling too intense.

Transitioning back into live action to briefly see the family whose life has been changed adds credibility into the animated story. Without needing to be told this simple technique tells us we’ve just been told a real story and this is the owner/subject of the story.  

World Toilet Day Pop Up

Another part of this Change the Story campaign was this pop up held in London’s Box Park. Personally I feel like pop ups like this are more effective than the TVC above. Pop ups intrigue us, we can’t help put interact and engage in the content. A TVC on the other hand can be skipped through, we may leave the room when the ad breaks come on to go get something to eat or go to the toilet (the irony I know!).

The pop up not only allowed people to see the kind of toilets people in third world countries use but they were also given the facts. They were educated and had the opportunity to get further information about the whole project without going any further.

Sharing this experience with other people ignites a discussion opening people up to new perspectives and understandings. On a business side this also boosts the social media activity with many participating in the pop up sharing their thoughts on the subject.

I hope you have enjoyed my brief look into Andrex’s Change The Story campaign. As always, I would love to see your comments below and I’m always up for a discussion on any of my blog topics if you want to drop me a message via LinkedIn or Instagram. What do you think to CSR and which medium grabs you the most?

Featured image courtesy of YouTube/Andrex.


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