Dr AL Sharada
Jul 21, 2020

Creative Critique from a gender lens: 12-19 July

Dr AL Sharada, director, Population First, reviews a selection of ads from last week

Creative Critique from a gender lens: 12-19 July
A look at this week’s ads, which have come for review, shows that we have a long way to go in being gender inclusive in our communication, particularly when it comes to promoting finance and hospitality industries, where women are playing a substantial role yet are seen as male dominated industries. Women in hospitality industry are often under paid, under represented and unrecognised. They are mostly found in the lower rungs of the hierarchy and constitute around 50 per cent of the workforce in metros and  major cities. 
Giving visibility to them in our communication indicates that we acknowledge their presence and contribution to the industry. Over time such visibility helps normalise their acceptance in society and may inspire women to break the glass ceilings that are limiting their aspirations in the industry.
New times call for new behaviours. In this Covid time, the digital world has become the biggest boon helping us lead life as close to normal as possible - be it fulfilling our official duties, dealing with family obligations, handling our finances or exploring learning opportunities. Then, why not dating and engaging in romantic relationships? The ad brilliantly brings out the romance in the relationships and warms our hearts. By showing two men in a romantic relationship the creative team has taken romance beyond the typical man-woman equation. Thumbs up to them. 
GS Score: 3.5/5
Head and Shoulders
Is dandruff gender specific? When you have the option of making two ads does it not make sense to include grooming and hygiene concerns of men as well?
GS Score: 3/5
Motilal Oswal
Interesting concept but women are conspicuous by their absence as owners as well as workers in the eateries. Women make a substantial percentage of workers in hotels and eateries. Is it so difficult to project a woman as running an eatery. By sticking to project what is considered as ‘normal’, sometime we miss out on acknowledging and promoting positive changes that are taking place in society. 
GS Score: 2.75/5
Once again not a single visual of a woman in the ad. It looks like the number of women working in the hotel and eatery business are being made invisible! Women who work in this industry are equally impacted by loss of jobs. In addition, being women, they also suffer much more insecurity in terms of alternate job options. We need to give women due recognition for their contribution to this industry.
GS Score: 2.75/5 
SBI Life
Interesting ad. Strikes a chord with middle aged parents who are being constantly told what to do and what not to do in Covid times by their children. By choosing a male celebrity are we saying investment is a man’s concern? Would showing a daughter telling the father how to build his immunity have balanced the gender representation? Time to rethink our communication.
GS Score: 2.75/5
The two ads focusing on break-up and fitness have a fair representation of men and women, though still men seem to be more prominent in the fitness ad and women in the break up ad.
GS Score: 3.25/5
Portrays a spunky young woman who uses the digital media to create a place for herself in her profession even during lock down times. Apart from making young women buy Sunsilk shampoo, I hope the ad also inspires women to reinvent and reimagine their careers.
GS Score: 4.25/5


Campaign India