Creative Critique: Holi ads seen through the gender lens

Dr AL Sharada, director, Population First, reviews a selection of Women's Day ads

Mar 15, 2020 05:30:00 PM | Article | Dr AL Sharada Share - Share to Facebook


The ad while promoting eco friendly housing of ACC also promotes eco friendly Holi. What is heart warming about the ad is the bonding between the daughter and the father. While the daughter has pride in what the father is doing, the father has appreciation for her daughter and her friends. A positive and feel good portrayal of the girl child.
GS Score: 3.5/5
Bausch and Lomb

Gives equal screen time to boys and girls.
GS Score 3/5

Very gender stereotypical, portrays girls as being obsessive about their outfits at all times.
GS Score: 2.5/5
Molestation, teasing and misbehaviour towards girls and women is a common phenomena during Holi. Most women have horrific tales to share about these experiences. The ad is praiseworthy because it acknowledges the problem and brings it into the public domain. This is the first step towards addressing it. The ad touches a raw nerve among girls who are its target audience. By giving voice to a young girl to put out her message strongly, it inspires many others too to condemn such behaviours. The colourful hand marks on her T-shirt show the kind of molestation that takes place in the name of fun. Safe holi is not just about safe colours. 
Nice to see the gang of children in mission mode to promote water free Holi. We need more visibility of girls in diverse roles to make them more acceptable in families as well as in society.
GS Score 3.5/5
Max Fashion

Interesting - challenges the gendered image of girls as meek and boys as the naughty ones. 
GS Score 3.5/5
Surf Excel

Earlier it was a boy who tried to distract fighting men by playing in mud and now again it is a boy who is bringing estranged brothers together. I wonder if the creative team still continues to believe stains, getting dirty etc are good for boys only. Hope to see an ad featuring a girl taking the lead in addressing an issue and getting dirty in the process. 
GS Score 2.5/5
The ad shows a girl playing with boys and also taking lead in flashing rainbow colours on the boy denied permission to play Holi. We need more ads showing girls taking the lead and enjoying life as children should do.
GS SCORE: 3.25/5


Dr Sharada is director, Population First. Every week she reviews a selection of ads on Campaign India.


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