Do you remember Amul Macho’s ‘Yeh toh bada toing hain’? The TV commercial had done enough damage before it was banned. After all, what purpose did it serve showing a woman wash a man’s undergarment and feeling aroused about it? The ad makers clearly goofed by demeaning women. Thankfully, there is an increasing clamour against stereotyping or objectification of women. And the recent spate of women-centric ads are cases in point.
Be it Cadbury Bournvita’s ‘Tayyari Jeet Ki’, Tupperware’s ‘She can you can’, or Havells Fan’s ‘Hawa Badlegi’, these ads clearly hold on to the changing face of Indian society. The first shows a mother lead by example and groom her child to succeed. The second is about a small-town woman taking pride in her career. And the third is a heartwarming portrayal of a man taking on his wife’s last name. The three ads are among the winners of the fifth edition of Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity.
While trying to romance women, many ads fail to draw the line between stereotyping and celebration. That women go gaga over shopping, they are bad at directions, or they love to gossip are now old wine in new bottles. Men can be all that women are and more. Brands need to be relevant to changing times by showing greater consciousness and sensitivity.
Today’s woman has taken major strides to make a mark for herself in the outside world. She is fully aware of her surroundings and takes her own decisions. She can no longer be shown confined to only the kitchen and home, playing passive or docile roles. She also won’t take kindly to her depiction as a sex object and will definitely question the need for skimpily dressed women to market cars or plunging necklines for selling pens. It is a society’s collective responsibility to change the perception of women. In that direction, marketers, advertisers and the media can play a major role in not just reflecting the positive changes taking place around us but also in shaping healthy attitudes and behaviours.
Focus on her being bold and beautiful. She’s more than worth it.