Dr AL Sharada
Jan 13, 2021

Creative critique from a gender lens: 4-8 January

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

Dr Sharada reviews nine ads from last week
Dr Sharada reviews nine ads from last week

Each one of us is looking for better times in 2021 after the harsh experience of the pandemic and the havoc it caused in our lives. Returning to normalcy seems to be the overwhelming desire. The ads showcased in this edition of 'Creative critique' resonate the dominant desires and sentiments of the people as we enter the new year.

The message conveyed in the ad is very profound and inspiring as well. The difference that one person can make to the world is brought out well. There have been many inspiring stories of young people reaching out to marginalised and deprived sections of the society during the pandemic. The ad presents one such story. However, the film is long and gets tedious to watch.
GS Score: 3.5/5
Once again the whole ad is very stereotypical in its depiction of the family, the pravachan-watching grandmother, the complaining grandson and the smart daughter-in-law ready to protect her family members always. We have seen this image so many times. Why are mosquitoes the responsibility of women alone?
GS Score 2.75/5

The ad brings out the disappointments and despair of 2020 and the hope of faring better while being cautious and safe in 2021. It is a watchable ad. But, it is still very stereotypical in its presentation of the characters with only male protagonists, whether it’s the boy, the young man or the elderly man.
GS Score: 2.75/5

It is interesting to note that all speaking characters are men in this, as women are shown in the background in the office and at the tea stall. It is important to have more women being shown as speaking characters; to acknowledge them as people with opinions, agency, and as decision-makers, advisors and not just as passive players or background characters in society.
GS Score: 2.5/5

If there is one major lesson that the pandemic has taught us, it is to value relationships and make good memories. The ad captures that spirit in a playful interaction between a father and a daughter. Although featuring a celebrity like MS Dhoni, it goes to the credit of the creative team that they manage to avoid making it a frivolous celebrity-driven ad.
GS Score: 3/5

One keeps wondering how we would have sailed through the lockdown and the subsequent restrictions without online shopping and digital payment services. Covid times also brought out the compassion, hope and resilience to the fore. The ad captures this reality and points to better times to come.
GS Score: 3/5

Yet another brand riding on the popularity of neem as a panacea for all the health problems!
GS Score: 3/5

Once again a male-centric ad. Personally, I have dealt with many women brokers while shifting homes in Mumbai. How come women do not figure as brokers, buyers, mechanics and construction professionals in ads? Giving more visibility to women in these roles would open up more occupational options to them, by changing public perceptions.
GS Score: 2/5
The burden of household chores in the absence of the househelp has been a big drain on people. The ad does well by focusing on a man struggling with household chores and not a woman, thus breaking a dominant stereotype. However, is the selection of a man as a protagonist determined by the thought that men would be more ready to invest in a dishwasher to avoid the drudgery?
GS Score: 3.25/5
Campaign India

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