Creative critique from a gender lens: Diwali ads

Dr AL Sharada, director, Population First, reviews a selection of Diwali ads

Nov 12, 2021 03:21:00 AM | Article | Dr AL Sharada

Axis Bank
According to a World Bank Report, globally, female-owned businesses were found to be 5.9% more likely to have closed their businesses than male-owned businesses during the pandemic. And we don't even consider giving them visibility in our communication when we speak of protecting small businesses!
Gender Sensitivity Score (GSS) 2.5/5 
The storyline is repeated umpteen number of times and therefore the ad appears very uninspiring.
GSS: 3/5
PNB Housing
A very stereotypical presentation of a happy family. 
GSS: 2.5/5
Once again a very stereotypical presentation of a struggling middle-class family with a hardworking husband, a dissatisfied wife and a demanding son. Reinforces the stereotype of women being unreasonable and demanding.
GSS: 2.25/5
An interesting ad that plays on closeness and distance brought about by the mobiles. It also to an extent breaks the gender stereotypes by showing a man feeling happy making a Rangoli and a young woman smudging a well-made rangoli because of her preoccupation with her mobile. 
GSS: 3.25/5
A humorous ad which underscores that this is the right time to invest in stocks. However, it is very men centric, with women being conspicuous by their absence. 
GSS: 2.75/5
Spice Money
A positive ad that shows the girl as inquisitive and ambitious and a family that is supportive of her. It is interesting to note that the ad features a family with a single child- a girl child. This is particularly significant in a country where many think a family is incomplete without a son. 
GSS: 3.75/5
Lal Hit
Good to see Diwali ki Safai being carried out by the family including the husband and the son! 
GSS: 3.25/5
Captures the aspirations and the adventurousness of young people of both men and women equally. 
GSS: 3/5