A beautiful bride, waiting for her newlywed husband in a lavishly decorated room – a simple and true portrayal of Indian culture. While you are still comprehending the simplicity of what is on the screen, the bride suddenly gets enticed by a deodorant fragrance from the adjoining window and starts desiring the man wearing that ‘deodorant’. And at the end of the advertisement dawns the line – ‘Zatak her’.
How close are these advertisements to reality? They not only reduce women to beings who have no integrity, but also create a false image of ‘modern’ women, who are anyways still struggling for recognition in the society. While we see women excelling in all walks of life, they still need to put up a little fight to get out there and achieve it, and these deodorant advertisements are surely not helping.
We see an Amul ad featuring empowerment of rural women and then follows an ad showing a girl undoing her bikini for a man wearing a good deodorant, we are not exactly giving out the right message.
I might be sounding a little harsh, but when we live in a country where women are already subjected to a lot of superficial barriers, brands need to be a bit more sensitive in terms of how do they portray a woman in the process of promoting their product.
While making advertisements, brands are focused on their TG and what will click with them (which is justified). But to keep in mind how their commercial is taken by the major chunk of conservative people in the society is not a lot to ask.
The entire nation criticised the journalist who did not help the Guwahati molestation case victim. But aren’t these ads publicly and officially abusing a woman’s self-respect.
Lust is not the only emotion that sells. Deodorant campaigns require a paradigm shift in the sentiment that they are selling. A woman going berserk over fragrances is frankly not only silly, but a rather old thought.
Advertising is not only selling products, it is also selling emotions. Selling that one element that makes you buy a product. Advertisers, according to me, have a lot more power than feature films. If a Bournville ad can actually make you smell your chocolate, a Set Wet, Denver or an Axe advertisement can surely make you look at a woman in a way she should not be looked at.