Campaign India Team
Jul 08, 2021

Creative critique from a gender lens: 28 June - 2 July

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

Creative critique from a gender lens: 28 June - 2 July

Though the ad features film celebrities from different states, they are not objectified or sexualised as is generally the case when featuring women celebrities for a fashion brand. The ad brings out young women’s fun-loving and independent spirits.
Gender Sensitivity Score (GSS): 3.25/5

While it is important to support neighbourhood businesses – vegetable vendors, grocers or others who provide us with products and services – the fear of contracting the virus, and the convenience of online shopping are proving disastrous for them. The ad, therefore, is timely and needed.
However, women are conspicuous by their absence in the ad as our neighbourhood shop owners. According to the International Finance Corporation of World Bank, women form only 33% of MSME entrepreneurs at the entry-level in India, which is considered as an indicator of low economic participation of women. Making them invisible in our communication, as the ad does, would be doing a great disservice to those women who are pursuing small businesses to support their families, by selling vegetables, fruits or running general stores. More visibility of women entrepreneurs in media and advertising would encourage many more women to choose to become entrepreneurs. It is just a question of being conscious of the ground realities and being fair in our representation of people.
GSS: 2.5/5

An inspiring ad that brings viewers the heroic stories of some amazing health workers, who have responded to challenging circumstances with courage and compassion. It is a well-balanced ad that gives equal screen time and importance to both, men and women health professionals.
GSS: 3.5/5

What a relief to see the brand, known for its hyper-sexualised presentation of its ambassador – Katrina Kaif, actually celebrating ‘Aam Janta’! This is a very positive initiative and a well-balanced ad that gives women Covid warriors their due recognition.
GSS: 3.5/5

The ad features the girl and the woman in a positive way. The girl is shown as someone who is taking action to promote the proper use of masks. It is rare in Indian advertisements to find girls taking decisions or doing something on their own. The woman, on the other hand, represents women Covid warriors who have been doing amazing work providing services to the needy.
However, both the protagonists are very typical, attractive, and good looking advertising models. What about the different kinds of girls and women we find in our lives? Don't they deserve to be seen more often on the screen? Are we ready to take the giant leap to be more inclusive and capture the diversity in our visual representations?
GSS: 3.5/5

It is interesting to note that the ad features two women pursuing professions not usually associated with women – a sculptor and a film editor. Both have dusky complexions and are shown to be strong women who pursue their professions with passion. We need more such portrayals of women in diverse contexts and professions to change the gendered perceptions of women and what they can aspire for and achieve.
GSS: 3.5/5

The film fails to hold viewers’ attention; it was an effort to watch. What’s more, it has a gloomy feel to it despite it focusing on a positive and inspiring real-life story. 
However, it is encouraging to see the portrayal of a woman moving forward bravely after losing her husband to Covid, to fulfil his dream of providing the best medical facilities to children in remote areas.
GSS: 3.25/5
Campaign India

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