It plays as a sweet, if leaning toward saccharine, romantic short film about love. Director David Tsui chronicles one couple’s path towards divorce and shows us that is now broken was not always so.
We meet the couple as the husband is encouraging his wife to sign divorce papers. She agrees to only if he will hug her everyday for the rest of the month. What at first sounds like a somewhat pathetic grasp at saving the relationship soon becomes something else–a guided tour of the good times leading to their marriage.
At first this seems like a guilt trip from hell, borrowed from the plot of Gone Girl. The husband is clearly uncomfortable with this arrangement and just wants to hug n’ bolt, but in time his embrace becomes just as loving as hers. Perhaps it’s her gentle tone and open enthusiasm for these memories, or maybe some more visceral triggered by her touch . . . or maybe it’s how healthy and wonderful her hair feels and smells. Because this romantic short film is actually a freaking haircare ad–one that doubles as a social message to Chinese couples.
The film was created by Procter & Gamble brand Rejoice and agency Leo Burnett Hong Kong and it’s a campaign that’s taking a unique path to making an emotional connection with consumers. The spot shines a spotlight on a side effect of economic growth in China–the ad says more than 3 million Chinese couples were divorced last year. But! Almost 100,000 of them got back together and were remarried. No word on the role shampoo played in the reconciliations but Rejoice is looking to create some more love reconnections with the hashtag #IBelieveInLoveAgain. Whether or not the message is working to stem a tide of divorce, the film is working to attract attention–according to the agency, the film has chalked up more than 40 million views in four weeks.