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Dentsu Impact, We Are Water Foundation promote #CloseOpenDefecation

It launched a social experiment on World Toilet Day

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MUMBAI: To mark World Toilet Day, Dentsu Impact, the creative agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, joined hands with We Are Water Foundation, CSR wing of Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd and launched a social experiment ‘#CloseOpenDefecation’ at Sector 29—Gurugram, Haryana.

A makeshift public toilet was constructed, the inside of which was a site – perhaps common to 250 million people in rural India – a railway track that’s used as an open defecating area. Children and women holding placards delivered the hard facts and adverse effects of open defecation. Following the experiment several people pledged to #CloseOpenDefecation by signing up on the We Are Water foundation portal. With each sign up/pledge, the foundation contributed to the construction of more toilets.

Dentsu Impact chief creative officer Soumitra Karnik said, “As advertisers, we must create communication which can assist the society we live in, in bringing about a positive change. As communication experts we can and should create content that delivers solutions that can impact a change in our society.”

Roca India marketing head and We are Water Foundation India management trustee Mayuri Saikia said, “The problem of open defecation has always been prevalent in the country and still 250 million rural Indians continue to defecate in the open exposing them to various disease and mishaps. Through We Are Water Foundation we have been promoting healthy living, better hygiene and improved sanitation in the country and have done some truly impactful work over the years. When the idea was presented to us, we saw immense potential in it. So far, we have received a heart-warming response for the campaign as more and more are joining the cause with the foundation. As corporates and individuals, we need to realise that beyond government initiatives, we have so much power to drive the desired behavioral change towards usage of toilets and work towards the common goal to #CloseOpenDefecation.”

Prior to the social experiment, a film featuring the plight of rural India was launched on social media platforms along with teasers. This was followed up by the Social Experiment film and the option to pledge and tweet was extended to the online urban audience.

As revealed by Dentsu, ever since the movement, #CloseOpenDefecation has grabbed many eyeballs. It even trended at the no. 2 spot on Twitter for a day and has garnered 428k views so far.

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