What's the connection between making a round roti and scooping up some crunchy butterscotch ice-cream? None.
But according to consumer goods giant, Hindustan Unilever, it apparently calls for a celebration when the little girl in the family makes her first round roti and comes out of the kitchen with flour on her forehead.
The rest of the family, brother, father, grandmom and grandfather are in the living room in a scene that looks like they are just wrapping up their dinner. So what was the little girl doing in the kitchen, while the rest of the family, including her brother, who seems to be in the same age-bracket, was enjoying dinner? Helping her mother in the kitchen!
The ad has already notched up more than 1.6 million hits on YouTube barely a week after it was unveiled on the platform. The ad has attracted its share of critics on social media. "Sometimes I wonder what ails marketing more - idiocy, sexism or lack of ability to make a half decent ad," said one advertising executive.
Another viewer on YouTube, who's a mother of a boy and a girl, wondered aloud that every time her son saw ads like these, it only reinforced certain assumptions in his young impressionable mind, that girls were born to cook.
This is the second time this year that Kwality Walls has made ads that are sexist in nature. In February this year, an ad film to publicise its rose Kulfi, which is animated as a female, referred to the ice-cream as an "item". In India, the term "item" is used in roadside slang to objectify women. Watch that film here:
The "girl making roti" ad is also in sharp contrast to an ad by Tata Tea a couple of months back, which says that inequality gets learnt as it begins at home. Watch that film here.
At Campaign India, that has taken the lead in scoring ads based on their Gender Sensitivity, the Kwality Walls ads certainly fail on several counts. We would certainly like to hear your views. Write to us