Dr AL Sharada
Aug 26, 2022

Creative critique from a gender lens: 15-19 August

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

Creative critique from a gender lens: 15-19 August

What worked:


Cadbury Bournvita

The larger message of the advertisement focuses on learning from one’s failures. However, it also conveys a message subtly about giving equal opportunities to both girls and boys. It shows a determined young girl playing badminton, encouraging her brother to not give up on the sport because of a defeat. And the mother is shown as a role model who is good at the game and helps her children, both the daughter and the son to overcome defeat with more hard work and practice. An empowering portrayal of the mother.


Gender Sensitivity Score (GSS): 4/5





Today, millions of seniors in India are living alone, either due to the loss of a partner or families moving away. The Goodfellows initiative of Ratan Tata is trying to bridge the loneliness that sets in. This heart-warming advertisement depicts a budding friendship between a woman senior citizen and a young girl. And the advertisement doesn’t exaggerate love and friendship– and keeps it simple, focusing on doing day-to-day activities together, like making tea, doing prayers and playing carrom. 


GSS: 3.25/5


What did not work:


Dabur Honey

A perfect example of how women get invisibilised in the ads. Throughout the advertisement, one can’t find a single woman, despite so many people being shown in the ad the businessmen, scientists, and on-field workers. Looks like apiculture is a man's job alone. Only at the fag end of the advertisement do we see a glimpse of a woman who is seen smiling at her husband and child who are sitting at the table, enjoying honey while she stands and tends to them. The ever-caring and loving mother, who doesn't eat with the family. Hmmm.


GSS: 2.25/5


Policy Bazaar


The series of ads reiterate the social expectation that men should solely be responsible for the economic security of their families. Women are only shown as nagging their husbands to take the insurance but never shown as taking the insurance themselves. Every advertisement focuses on the man deciding on investing in insurance or not. And the celebrities, Gulshan Kumar and Shakti Kapoor, both advise the husbands of the family to become the 'hero' of the family and invest in insurance.  


GSS: 2.25/5


Hercules Cycles

The advertisement showcases a group of young boys, led by cricketer Rishabh Pant, cycling through difficult terrains. They are portrayed as tough and adventurous, but the creative team didn’t think girls or young women could be part of this daredevil group. 


GSS: 2.25/5


Other films from the week:



GSS: 3/5


Flipkart Shopsy

GSS: 3.25/5




GSS: 3/5


Campaign India

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