Dr AL Sharada
Feb 14, 2020

Creative Critique: Valentine's Day ads seen through the gender lens

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

Dr Sharada, Population First
Dr Sharada, Population First
Big Bazaar:
Both the ads depict the thread of love that runs through relationships in young and old married couples and takes the valentine day spirit from mere romance to the day to day expression of love in myriad ways. The ad also shows the young man casually speaking about his household and child care responsibilities which is a welcome change.  Gender Sensitive Score (GSS): 4/5
Britannia Little Hearts 
The ad carries an important message that love should not be an obsession. With Valentine's Day placing undue pressure on youngsters to have romantic links, this message is timely and relevant. It is important to note that the ad is inclusive, exhorting both men and women to break a few hearts if required and love themselves more. GSS: 4/5
Cadbury Silk
A very typical romantic ad. GSS: 3/5
The ad gives a new twist to the phrase 'dil dena' and pegs the euphoria of a Valentine's Day with the important cause of organ donation in a very clever fashion.  GSS: 3/5
While appearing to challenge the stereotypes of celebrating Valentine's Day, the Mellora ad ends up doubly reinforcing stereotypes by the way it portrays women and projecting their ultimate desire for change as being nothing more than getting a gift of Mellora jewellery ... Yawn!! GSS:  2/5
Titan Skinn
The ad in a casual manner depicts a man and a woman, who are obviously not in a relationship, sharing an apartment and also the fact that Valentine's Day could be equally significant for gay couples. GSS: 4/5
Manforce Condoms

In today's world where privacy is compromised tremendously due to easy availability of smart phones and social media, Manforce uses the occasion of Valentine's Day to give a strong message about being wary of compromising privacy and also provides information on the relevant laws under which legal recourse can be taken  when faced with such situations. This is particularly as women are generally more vulnerable to such exploitation from intimate partners. GSS: 4/5

Celebrates the independent spirit of a man who does not want to be shackled by relationships. But does it have to be by trivialising and showing women as nagging, demanding, irrational, emotional and tantrum throwing people? The ad celebrates the macho image of a man who can shoo away women and women who are obsessed with getting the attention of the man. GSS: 2/5
Campaign India