Dr AL Sharada
Jun 15, 2020

Creative Critique through the gender lens: 2-12 June

Dr AL Sharada, director, Population First, reviews a selection of ads from the last ten days

Dr Sharada reviews 12 ads
Dr Sharada reviews 12 ads
In the Corona context the biggest challenge for brands seems to be how to promote their products and services while being conscious about the sensitivities of coping with a pandemic. While we see some ads force fitting the government agenda into their communication, some have used the current context to address some sensitive issues creatively. Whatever may be the approach, personal and social safety seems to be the value the brands are identifying themselves with.
 
Asian Paints
 
It is a light hearted ad film that highlights the new safety standards the brand is adopting to meet the needs of corona times.
 
Refreshingly, it shows that both men and women can be nosy neighbours. It shows the man as the inquisitive neighbour, breaking the stereotype of  women as nosy, rumour mongering selves. 
It shows the couple sharing moments of fun on equal terms, not relegating the women to the background.  
 
GS Score 3.5/5
 
Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk
 
A cute romantic ad that may appeal to the younger generation, I presume. It depicts expressing love through gestures which are beyond the norm. But the line between romancing and stalking is so thin. It could also lead the youngsters to mimic some dangerous acts/stunts in the ad which may compromise their safety. I find the film, therefore, problematic.
 
GS Score 2.75/5
 
Dabur
 
While the focus is on the Indianness of the brand, it is interesting to note the visuals are male dominated and stereotypical. An equal gender distribution in roles is missing.
 
GS Score 2.75/5
 
Fastrack
 
A very young women centric film for a product that is unconventional and individualistic. It is heartening to note that the ad beseeches the young women to be comfortable in their skin and accept themselves as they are. It aims to engage with the younger generation girls who are now stuck at home with their own company to enjoy, motivating them to stay fit. In a society where girls face tremendous pressure to conform to fashion trends and be like someone else it is definitely a positive message to be conveyed to them.
 
GS Score 4/5
 
Freecultr
 
What a relief it is to see an ad film which shows men in awkward situations owing to ill fitting underwear! Particularly, after watching umpteen number of  ad films showing macho men in under-wears thrashing the evil men and protecting women or making women go on an orgasmic fantasy just imagining the man in a particular brand of underwear. Positioning the product as comfort wear and not as an expression of macho-ness is a welcome change. It will connect with men and for those around them.
 
GS Score 3.75/5
 
Havmor
 
A feel good film, that captures what all is being missed by people during the lockdown and ends with the prospect of celebrating the lifting of the lockdown with a cup of icecream. It includes varied age groups depicting that all age groups were affected due to lockdown. 
 
GS Score: 3/5
 
Lay's
 
The film tries to acknowledge people right from farmers to factory workers to delivery executives who have kept going about with their jobs despite the challenging times to ensure Lays reached the consumer even during Corona Times. 
 
GS Score 3/5
 
Reliance
 
A typical corporate film. However it is very disappointing to see only men as farmers, scientists and experts and women and girls being shown as beneficiaries of technology. It is important that we recognise women as farmers as frequently as possible, as they participate equally in farming activities but never get recognised as farmers and are denied all the benefits due to them as farmers.
 
GS Score 2.5/5
 
Stayfree
 
It is one of the most sensitive films that positions a product and an issue so beautifully in the Covid context. Issues related to menstruation are always kept under wraps, with communication being targeted primarily at women and girls. The creators of the ad have made menstruation everyone's issue with young men, fathers, grand fathers, etc talking about menstruation, showing empathy towards the girl and normalising and destigmatising periods. The ad contextualises the message by stating the fact that close to two million girls would have experienced  their first period during the lockdown. 
 
GS Score 5/5
 
Vivo 
 
 
 
Although the job here was to highlight the features, its surprising why technology and women can’t go together. It’s unfortunate to see that most mobile phones are promoted by male celebrities. The charm of the male kid could have been handled by a female child as well. We hope brands break these stereotype.
 
GS Score: 2.75/5
 
Welspun
 

Its good to see male celebrities promoting hand hygiene while handling chores in the kitchen which are usually considered as women's jobs.
 
GS Score 3.5/5
 
Zee5
 
It celebrates the eccentric identity of individuals by challenging the status quo.It reflects the varied culture, likes and dislikes through a unique approach. An ad which after a very long time portrays a physically challenged person also making choices in terms of what he views.
 
GS Score 3.25/5
Source:
Campaign India

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