On the eve of International Women's Day, many ads in our regular column rank high on their gender sensitivity scores (GSS). Of course, there are also some duds. This fortnight, Innocean Worldwide's Vivek Srivastava and Rediffusion's Rahul Jauhari review ads from the fortnight, while Population First's Dr AL Sharada scans them sporting the gender lens
Rahul Jauhari, CCO, Rediffusion Y&R (RJ): It’s an interesting connection made between a difficult student-teacher relationship and the demonetization drama. I don’t know why the film ends with ‘kindness’ - the film would have still worked. But I guess hashtags are there everywhere nowadays. I quite like the quietness in film.
Vivek Srivastava, joint MD, Innocean Worldwide (VS): A warm portrayal where a youngster turn the teacher. A bit too repetitive a theme in this digital age. Not too distinctive post the demonetisation phase spurt in digital payment films. Full marks for performances and production values though.
Dr Sharada, programme director, Laadli (Population first) (ALS): Gender Neutral.
RJ: Nice little twist about the son. Well executed. I think with so many long format ‘emotional’ stories coming our way, it’s going to get increasingly difficult to set your brand apart.
VS: An empty nest reality so well captured. Almost real leaf out of a mofussil town life. Effortless blend of the brand Red Label into the context highlighting the social context of tea drinking.
ALS: It beautifully expresses the loneliness of a woman Alzheimer's patient and the sensitivity of a young man and his humane behaviour towards her. It breaks the stereotype that young men do not express their emotions, in this case compassion, openly.
RJ: I doubt anyone’s going to dislike this film. Perfect timing post Dangal. Great execution – great point being made as well. Love the line – “kamyabi na ladka dekhti hai, na ladki.” Personally, I wish the girls had a bigger role on screen.
VS: A positive idea and social message rolled into one. Drives home the empowerment of girl child well. But it is a crowded space with all saying the same thing in almost the same manner.
ALS: A very watchable ad that makes people say “Yes, why not?”. Featuring a much respected actor Aamir Khan and portraying the girls as hands on in the shop and in promoting the business. the ad through it's line Gurdeep Singh and daughters dispels the myth that daughters cannot carry forward the family business.
RJ: Another long format film – makes the challenge of holding viewer interest greater. So the connection is nice, story is sweet, but a bit of overacting plays spoiler for me.
GSS Score: NA
VS: A tale with a twist. Nice treatment to lend weight to the brand’s history. A set of clichéd romantic interludes which are smoothened out by an expected exclamation. Good performances hold the film. The brand story not so well meshed.
GSS : NA
ALS: Narrates the story of a shy and non- aggressive boy who grows into an old man before he gathers the courage to meet the girl he loved always. The ad shows that not all men are macho and that men also include the adorable shy, timid and sensitive men.
RJ: Well, not a category where we see sense too often. Catchy jingle, prefer the gym one, sticks out more. Works for the category.
GSS Score: NA
VS: Bollywood kitsch at work and display. No real strategy or proposition here except branding backed by star appeal. They had to have a swooning girl to mess up there gender sensitivity score too!
GSS : 2
ALS: Good to see an inner wear ad that does not show women drooling over a muscular man in a banian. The antics of Ranveer Singh are watchable and the focus is on him being comfortable in his clothes rather than trying to impress the women around him. For a change the women in the ad are shown as being amused rather than being physically attracted to him.
RJ: Too many lines around ‘great’ in the last one year. Only one question. What does this greatness have to do with the car?
VS: Parents inspiring admiration in kids: A proven storyline with a years of usage. The montages are warm. You never go wrong with this mix. The product fit as narrated seems a bit forced as kids do not come in prejudices or perceptions. They simply admire the mom or dad. And the mom I found missing ! Classic case of sales arithmetic orientation : mostly men buy cars.
ALS: Once again an ad that portrays fathers who are different from the typical authoritarian figures but are hands on dad's who are involved actively in the lives of their children, reflecting the changing roles of fathers in families.
RJ: So this issue has resonated hugely with viewers – no secret there. Interesting flip of a very serious message coming from an otherwise ‘fun’ brand. Will it work? Depends on what the brand seeks. There was no direction pointer at the end of the film, though a youtube link did take me to a site which asks you to take the pledge. I think it’s a case where a the choice of a very relevant issue does half the job for the brand.
VS: A real issue brought out at the right time. But it overdoes the ‘parents as villains’ part. For a bunch of such parents, there is another which encourages their girls and boys to be sportsgirls/boys, dancers, musicians, theatre artists or chefs. Staging the real life anecdotes takes the empathy factor away. But credit for being bold as brand.
ALS: A very timely initiative by Mirinda. I see more girls than boys in the ad. Is it deliberate? Am I missing some profiling there?
RJ: Another beautiful one from the brand – guaranteed to make any dad’s eyes go moist. In cases like these, you don’t need an earthshattering product innovation – just press the right emotional button and you’re home.
VS: A Rajshri Productions like mush overload. All sequences laced with predictable patterns. Girls being loaded with jewellery by doting dads : not the most progressive gesture in today’s day age coming from a trendsetter like Tanishq. Dad’s understated and overstated love for daughters, both are known facts and not an insight mined with herculean planning efforts.
ALS: The ad focuses on the love of the fathers for their daughters in more ways than merely gifting jewelry which makes the ad different from others, keeping the jewelry in the background. The ad leaves you with lingering images of doting, loving and caring father's who are vulnerable, fragile and sensitive. These images are valuable in a country where girls are seen as the unwanted ones.
RJ: Great message – just felt too much was trying to be said in the seconds available. The girl initiating the love-making – the scene stood out the most, for me. GSS score: 10.
VS: In the face statement of purpose. Assertive tone that gets your attention. It may not be a universal reality yet but is surely a statement of intent. Such a change from the whining bit one tends to be deluged with!
ALS: Bang on. Conveys a powerful message of equality in the most powerful way covering a wide range of areas where equality is still elusive.