Lately, a few ads have been garnering attention for their nature. To hammer the point home; let’s talk about the specifics of the advertisements that are going to be covered in the article.
Dabur and FemIndia’s collaborated ad had been taken down due to a threat by a minister for legal action.
The advertisement is a breakthrough in the traditions of the Hindu festival called Karwachauth. And, it is because the advert is different from the normal celebrations of Karwachauth. Usually, a wife keeps a fast for her husband’s well-being but in the advertisement; 2 wives fast for each other.
Manyavaar’s ad; which is approximately a month’s old at the time of drafting this; also navigates the same lines of social tensions.
Manyavar chose Alia Bhatt to be a representation of the common woman of India. Shedding light on the fact that despite growing up in a privileged household with loving parents; one is subjected to subtle sexist traditions.
She questions why she is termed as “paraya dhan” (A stranger’s wealth) Furthermore, why are the terms “paraya” (stranger) and “dhan”(wealth; used in a way to reduce one’s identity to an item) used to refer to her in her own house. She wonders why her mother had been continuously focused; throughout her life; on outsourcing her to another family. With the same sceptic mentality, she questions her grandmother’s subtle intention of not accepting her as a family member.
There are more examples like such to quote; famously FabIndia’s latest advertisement for Diwali. Thus, is it safe to conclude that advertisers have started becoming bolder more recently? Though this might seem like a logical response. In reality, this is not true. Ads have tried the bolder themes in pasts as well. This isn’t some new breakthrough in the world of advertising. It has existed for a long time. Here is an advertisement from Ralco tyres merely 2 years ago:
Free the Roads
A transgender woman in Delhi finds it hard to find acceptability. She reaches a bus stop and a mother projects her microaggressions towards her. The bus arrives and the lines for women and men are made at separate entrances. She pushed away from the women’s line and as a result, she misses her bus. In urgency, she tries appealing to strangers with 4-wheelers to drop her at her location. Assuming she is a performer/beggar, she is given money. There is a happy ending to this advertisement, though. A biker offers to drop her at her location.
A Bold Thought?
Conclusively, these have more to do with the political atmosphere than anything. The idea and amount of freedom are only accepted only as far as the extreme believers allow it. To accentuate this, let’s look at the kinds of ads that also break social barriers but didn’t receive any such backlash.
It’s Just A Period
Stayfree tried to make an improv ad for Daughter’s Day where they called 70 pairs of dads and their daughters to a studio to make the fathers talk about periods to their daughters, face-to-face. They attempted to break the taboo of period talk that exists especially between fathers and daughters.
Perform Big, Silently
Trying to pay tribute to the first female amputee to scale Mount Everest, Dr Arunima Sinha; Haier uses her to make an inspirational advertisement. With the title, they seek to pay respect to her accomplishment. Alongside her, their product is also glamorised and advertised.