Dr AL Sharada
Aug 04, 2020

Creative Critique from a gender lens: 27 July - 2 Aug

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

Ads for Kurkure and Tanishq top the list
Ads for Kurkure and Tanishq top the list

If there is one difference Covid-19 has made in our lives, it is the way we look at our family and the relationships in it. There is more bonding, dependence and more expression of concern for each others in most families. It is also true the forced 24x7 has brought out the fissures and differences in some families. However, it is interesting to see ads highlighting the positive changes in the families in their communication. Rakhi being a festival of bonding between brothers and sisters we see the ads contextualising the message to Covid times.

Bharti Axa

The ad speaks about what the farmers of the country do for our food security and the challenges and difficulties that they face. It is interesting to note that when the voice over is speaking on behalf of the farmers, we have only images of men of different ages and backgrounds but no women. Of course they show women later in a few frames. Remember women constitute 33 per cent of cultivators and 47 per cent of agricultural laborers. Don’t you think we need to acknowledge them as farmers particularly when we are euologising them so much?
GS Score: 2.25/5
Cadbury Celebrations
A typical Rakhi ad except it talks of the increasing bonding among the cousins in Covid times.
GS Score: 2/5
Honda City

Once again the ad equates the powerful machine, competitiveness, aggression and success as masculine characteristics. 
GS Score: 2/5
Once again a happy and fun loving  family. What is interesting about the ad is not just that the man is wearing the chef cap but it is the way women accept that fact and the way they are comfortable about it. It normalises men cooking, serving and seeking validation. 
GS Score 4.5/5
Lifelong Appliances
The selfless mother works selflessly, tirelessly and without complaining for your comfort. You feel guilty and you buy her a leg massager. This glorification of mothers insidiously creates expectations and anxiety among women and family members and is a major hurdle in making homes equal opportunity spaces reinforcing gender stereotypes in a big way. It is not just about doing the tasks but doing them selfless, tirelessly and uncomplainingly, which is problematic.  
GS Score: 2/5
Though the ad is typically framed in the context of sister and brother bonding, it creatively extends the message to the innumerable women health workers,  the 'sisters' in health services,  who are working day and night to protect us. Thus the concept of protection is reversed in an interesting way. 
GS Score: 4.5/5


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