Creative critique from a gender lens: 29 August-2 September

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

Sep 09, 2022 08:38:00 AM | Article | Dr AL Sharada Share - Share to Facebook

What worked:


Maybelline New York

This ad scores on four fronts:


1. Addresses an important issue, the growing incidence of mental illnesses post-covid. 

2. It de-stigmatises it by saying that it is not your problem alone but a problem that is being faced by many. 

3. It shows both men and women as victims of mental illness, thus not associating it with any one particular gender.

4. Finally, it uses PV Sindhu, a youth icon and a role model, to talk about it with authenticity and honesty.


Gender sensitivity score (GSS): 4/5


Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance

Good to see a woman as an intelligent buyer of an investment plan and another woman as a convincing seller of it. For once, an ad for a finance product without men!


GSS: 4/5



Though the ad gives visibility to women achievers in sports and cinema and beseeches the viewers to aspire and achieve, it is not very clear how it is related to any of the products of the company, the brand identity or the current events. 


GSS: 3.25/5





Promoting online gambling with role models like Shahrukh Khan should be taken seriously by the ASCI. Post-covid many impressionable young adults have access to cell phones and may get addicted to online games. Just warning people, it could be addictive and asking people to be careful is not good enough. Like cigarette advertising, even these need to be banned. 


GSS: 2.5/5


What did not work: 


Lux Industries

Ads featuring Salman Khan are good examples of how machoism is projected in ads. The whole persona of the protagonist reeks of overconfidence, arrogance and foolhardiness, defining masculinity in a very dysfunctional way. The fact that they are so well shot and attractive makes these ads that much more dangerous because there is a likelihood that the perception of machoness is subliminally conveyed to the youth. Do you remember the videos of young men doing dangerous stunts on running trains? 


GSS: 2/5


Other films from the week:



GSS: 2.75/5



GSS: 3/5


Google India

GSS: 3/5



GSS: 2.75/5



GSS: 2.75/5



GSS: 2.75/5



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