Dr AL Sharada
Sep 21, 2020

Creative Critique from a gender lens: 14-19 September

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

Dr Sharada reviews ads from last week
Dr Sharada reviews ads from last week
The series of four ads bring a smile to your face and are well executed. However the one with a woman and a man waiting in the queue is particularly note worthy. The story clearly brings out the mutual interest of the man and woman waiting in the queue in each other. It is also interesting to note the woman taking the initiative in taking the relationship forward by indicating her name and contact details in a smart way to the man. Usually, men are seen or shown as wooing and pursuing a relationship. This ad thus breaks that stereotype. 
GS Score: 3.5/5
Once again the ad is directed at men, who probably are the biggest segment of buyers for cars and therefore car insurance. It is important to understand that lack of mobility is one of the major reasons for women not being able to access services and development opportunities. There is a need to show more women using vehicles to encourage more women to feel comfortable using vehicles.The ad shows a woman also making decisions regarding insurance although uninformed which is a good initiation towards portraying women in the car buyers or users segment
GS Score: 3
A very powerful, sensitive and timely ad with high profile celebrity support to create awareness about domestic violence and promote by-stander engagement. It is true, domestic violence is considered a personal matter and people are often hesitant to intervene. However, it being a criminal act, instant response by by-standers may act as a deterrent for the men engaging in it, as often women are not in a position to seek police or legal intervention due to various reasons. And many men engaging in violence know that.
GS Score: 4.75
A simple straight forward message from Mr Akshay not particularly directed at women.
GS Score: 3/5
However, in the second ad once again only women feature as being responsible for toilet cleaning. A man telling women how to keep the toilets clean. Can it be more gendered? 
GS Score: 2/5
The ad has two positive features. Firstly, it shows a mother and two daughters going in a car without a male escort. Secondly, it shows them responding to the crisis of a flat tyre, middle of nowhere, by replacing it. Both of which are unusual portrayals of women and girls. The energy drinks mostly feature boys, hence this is a welcome change. It is time that girls are featured in ads which involve activities that seem physically challenging. It just sends a strong message that women could drive vehicles and could also respond to problems encountered with the vehicles while doing so.
GS Score 4.75/5
It is important to keep in mind that women can also be manipulative, insincere,and crafty. How come in a series of three ads not a single woman is portrayed. There is a need to portray women in diverse characters and moods to avoid glamourising, defying and straight jacketing them in to gendered roles and expectations.
GS Score: 2.75/5
It is a heart warming ad that portrays a beautiful relationship between a couple. The husband is shown waking up his tired and sleepy wife in the car, a medical professional, with an invigorating cup of coffee. In a country where men are not seen acknowledging how work could sap the energy of women, it is interesting to see a man portrayed not only recognising it and doing something about it .. however small the gesture may be. 
GS Score: 3.5/5
IPL is here in a Covid format; Young girls and women enjoy the game as much as the boys and men. Credit should be given to the creative team for showing girls and women also celebrating the game with gusto and enthusiasm.
GS Score: 4/5
The two ads portray the importance of wearing masks and raising awareness towards its wearing etiquette during COVID Times. Simple gestures such as eyeroll or stare in everyday context is relatable and indicative of civic responsibility. The ads give equal screen space to men and women indicating all of us are responsible for our health and safety,  irrespective of the gender. 
GS: 3.25/5
Campaign India

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