Once again Bharat Matrimony comes up with an ad that celebrates the right of women to exercise their choice and fulfil their aspirations. The ad focuses on a common practice of painting the wedding details on the wall in rural areas and thus touches a chord in the hearts of the parents in rural areas where child marriages are more rampant. The initiative of Bharat matrimony of providing scholarships to girls wanting to study is particularly laudable in current times when the exigencies of the pandemic are forcing many families to resort to child marriages.
One of the dominant images in our mind of a film director is that of a man wearing a cap and shouting 'action' and 'cut'. It is, therefore, heartening to see a woman director being featured in the ad challenging the common perception of a director. With the increasing number of women professionals in the film and advertising world, it's time we project them in our ads as well to shape the aspirations of young women.
More men are indeed in the formal sector and paid jobs earning regular incomes. Obviously, they are the prime target audiences for many finance companies seeking investments. Yet, we cannot overlook the fact that increasingly women are influencing investment decisions, are employed in large numbers by banks and mutual fund companies and are involved in marketing investment schemes to the clients. Then how come women are inconspicuous in these ads? How difficult is it to have a few ads featuring a woman as the main protagonist especially when you are creating a series of ads? The series of humorous ads of Motilal Oswal fail on this count. And why not the voice over by a woman? Do we still think that a woman would sound less convincing when it comes to investment advice? It's time we acknowledge and challenge these internalised gender biases.