Dr AL Sharada
Oct 29, 2021

Creative critique from a gender lens: 18-22 October

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

Creative critique from a gender lens: 18-22 October

The film contrasts the very different personalities of Kapil Dev and Ranveer Singh and switches their personalities to establish the incredulity of the rewards coins offer on the use of credit cards, as opposed to the typical expectation one has of a credit card. By showing Kapil Dev bowling in a woman’s costume and wearing pink, the ad establishes that  these are outrageous choices and reinforces stereotypical mindsets about what constitutes 'normal male behaviour'.
Gender Sensitivity Score (GSS): 2/5

The ad showcases the hurdles domestic travellers have to battle to get an easy travel experience and how RedBus makes travel hassle-free. ‘Hot Seat Ka Natak’ features a bevvy of travellers hustling to get a seat. The woman Nunchuk is a welcome change from the usual diminutive woman. 
GSS: 3.25/5
The story of a young man who finally is an owner of a bike because of the easily available loan captures the difficulty in obtaining the loans effortlessly. However, barring the presence of a female colleague of the male salesperson, the film is very male-centric.  In a country where women often find it hard to get easy loans, particularly for purchasing bikes, cars etc., I wish the creative team had moved beyond the stereotype of men owning bikes and had shown empowered women benefitting from the bike loans.
GSS: 3/5

The film demonstrates the effectiveness of the glucometer. Boman Irani’s casual conversational style urges the viewers to be vigilant about their health and adopt self-monitoring as a standard practice. Considering the fact that women often do not invest in such medical gadgets, the ad could have highlighted that fact subtly. 
GSS: 3/5

The film about a couple on the threshold of taking their relationship to the next level, portrays an easy-going, mutually respectful bond. The sensitivity of the man to what the woman wishes and the assertiveness of the woman when she asks, where her father will be sit, subtly yet effectively highlight a relationship built on equal footing. Definitely a welcome change from skewed relationships depicted as a norm.
GSS: 3.75/5

The film shows a woman urging her husband to take on the daily household chores for a day and the husband and the enthusiastic children taking up the task. This ad highlights a shift from the power dynamics where a woman is solely responsible for the household chores at all costs. The portrayal of the father and children team taking on the task gleefully with high levels of energy and the nonchalant attitude of the woman as they make many mistakes is delightful.
GS Score: 3.75/5
The film features a lady bored of working from home. Her grooving unabashedly to distant music and the relief she experiences when her phone does not get scratched even though it falls from the table shows a person in charge of her life. The ad portrays a working, self-assured, tech-savvy woman, and not someone frazzled and burdened with gendered expectations.
GSS: 3.5/5

The futuristic centre for gamers which aims to develop their humanistic traits like focus, multi-tasking, and reflexes, may crush the societal myth that gaming lowers a human's IQ, but barring a few glimpses of women gamers, it does nothing to break the gendered idea of technology consumption. Even the choice of scientists enumerated in the opening sequence could have been more inclusive.
GSS: 2.5/5
The film showing the bond between a couple who have separated but still care for each other, questions the typical expectation that people who break up cannot be on talking terms with each other. It also shows the comfort that their current partners have with this bond. Equality and respect at all levels are what come through in a well-nuanced manner.
GSS: 3.5/5

The Diicii film has done a great job of reimagining the traditional dice but reinforces the gender stereotypes as it sticks to a father and son duo and an all-male team of a teacher and principal who decide the fate of a low performing student through a throw of dice.
GSS: 2.5/5

This social media campaign that promotes cyber safety practices begins with a cybercriminal trying to persuade a woman to change her bank password, the way she revamps her wardrobe. Her reaction through this interchange where she is subject to a sexist slight to her presence of mind shows her being in charge of the situation in a subtle yet firm manner.
GSS: 3.5/5

Who says, women cannot be taller than their male partners? ‘You Do You’, encourages the youth to be body-positive and celebrate each other for what and who they are. It challenges the commonly held norm that taller women are freaks.
GSS: 4/5

The film raises a toast to freedom and invites women to celebrate their bodies, irrespective of their size and shape. Fresh and liberating as it features women of all body types, trying different denim styles, and picking one that fits them best. 
GSS: 4/5
Campaign India

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