Dr AL Sharada
Jul 15, 2022

Creative critique from a gender lens: 4-8 July

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

Creative critique from a gender lens: 4-8 July

What worked:



The ad shows the young father as a sensitive and loving person putting his baby to bed. It shows his inability to reach out and switch on the mosquito repellent as the baby is holding his finger. The mother of the baby switches it on. Symbolically, the ad shows the man as the care giver and the woman as the protector, thus reversing gender roles. 


Gender Sensitivity Score (GSS): 4/5



Though the ad is about acne, it steers clear of showing the young woman being hyper about her looks or being insecure about how her boyfriend would react. By using a problem solving approach the ad avoids projecting the woman as insecure, obsessed with looks and in need of validation from her boyfriend. It shows the woman as a mature person in control of the situation. 


GSS: 3.75/5


Bajaj Allianz 

Women may not be the face of the defence services which are male dominated. However, women do play a significant role in support services and supervisory roles.


According to a report on NDTV, the Indian Air Force had 13.09% women, Indian Navy 6% women, and Indian Army 3.80% women in supportive and supervisory roles as of December 2018. 


The campaign does well by using the term defence personnel and not army-men thus avoiding invisibilising women in defence services. It is also heartening to see women taking plank positions to thank the jawans.


However, there is an unresolved issue with regard to the terminology. The word jawan is identified with men and till we have a larger proportion of women in services and a new term is coined, the word jawan would be used as a gender agnostic word rather than a male specific word. Till then we will do well to give greater visibility to women in various capacities in the armed forces to associate the word jawan with her. Interestingly, all the visuals of people in the uniform in the ad film focus entirely on men.


GSS: 3.25/5





The ad does well by portraying a superwoman. However, there is considerable stereotyping of the rest of the characters in the narrative. The ad could have shown a woman losing her mobile or worried about a broken TV and a man worried about a kitchen gadget not working rather than a woman stressing about her botched-up make up and a man upset about a broken TV or a mobile.


GSS: 2.75/5


What did not work:


Cadbury Fuse

Men = strength = Khali. How stereotypical can one get? 


GSS: 2.5/5


An aside:



Though there is a disclaimer at the end, I feel promoting gambling using powerful influencers needs to be avoided. 


GSS: 3/5


Other films from the week


Shyam Steel 

GSS: 3/5





Ferns N Petals

GSS: 3/5

Campaign India

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