For years patriarchy has ruled the advertising industry for so long. The image of women in the previous ads has always been secondary to their male counterparts and has always been a symbol of a typical Indian housewife. The ideology practiced earlier in portraying women and placing their position in the advertisements defined the thought process of the people and society of those times. Majority of the women population being a homemaker, most of the ads related to cleaning, cooking and other household chores were associated with women only and showcased how life of a woman is complete only after she uses this particular product to clean or to cook. However, slowly but certainly the society changed it’s norm of holding woman responsible for all the household work and channeled in the direction to establish equality through television commercial where more than half of the Indian population can be influenced through.
This brisk process blossomed beautifully with some of the major ad commercials that became the highlight of the respective years they were released in. Visual depiction of women empowerment can be seen through various ads. In order to prove our point we have compiled a series of commercials that very beautifully portrays the position of women in the society in the present times!
1. Titan Raga
With #Khudsenayarishta as the theme of it’s new marketing campaign, Titan Raga really hit the nail hard with this campaign and presented the concept of quality in a subtle yet powerful way. Conceptualized by Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore this ad features a ‘Nimrat Kaur’ as a working woman who is waiting in the lounge for her flight and bumps into her ex. They get to talking and it is revealed to the viewers that how it didn’t work out between them because she chose her career over him and how the guy’s mentality of ‘men can’t leave their job’ is also evident as the ad proceeds. Nimrat’s reply of him being ‘the same since she left’ at the end of the ad is the highlight and closes the ad at a very powerful note.
1. Havells Fan
Lowe Lintas came up with this highly creative and very brilliant message in the form of a campaign called #HawaBadlegi (#WindofChange). This satirical and sarcastic take on daily life situations for a product as simple as a fan reveals the unmatched and peerless creativity involved in it’s making. This campaign became highly popular due to it’s sometimes funny and sometimes highly satirical ads. This ad featuring a situation in a hospital where while being asked for the religion of the child for the birth certificate the father’s reply shocks the nurse. They fill her religion as ‘Himu’ by combining Hindu- Muslim and later cuts it and as they believe that she can decide it later on her own when she grows up which is followed by the theme music of the campaign.
1. Nirma Ambulence Ad
Remember the famous Nirma ad and it’s evergreen jingle! From being poles apart as to how Nirma used to portray woman as only a homemaker and cleaning clothes and keeping them white was her only job to this commercial where woman are seen taking out an ambulance stuck in the mud. While men just play the bystander women decide to come forward and lend a hand as traffic is getting blocked, which they succeed in doing so. Made by ‘Purnima Advertising’ this ad placed Nirma in a complete different position in the minds of the viewers and it’s target audience.
1. Tanishq Ad
This ad with a very beautiful and progressive message conceptualized by ‘Lowe Lintas’ is about a single mother getting remarried and how her daughter bonds with her new father and joins them in their wedding rituals. This ad highlights the sensitive issue about how single mothers in our society are sometimes looked down upon and due to societal pressure hesitate to move in with their lives and get remarried. Directed by Gauri Shinde, this ad breaks all the stereotypes of being a single mother and getting remarried.
1. Google Ad
Ogilvy & Mather have hit the right nerve with their google ad titled ‘Reunion’ where a female is used a one of the main leads. Although the ad talks about two long lost friends who are stuck in their respective countries (India & Pakistan) and miss each other a lot. One of their friend’s granddaughter decides to arrange a reunion. The advertisements revolve around the story of two friends but the female lead is given the importance of the main lead and not sidelined at all.
1. Havells Coffee Maker
With the campaign #RespectforWomen, Lowe Lintas very brilliantly and in a very sarcastic manner conceptualized it. The ad opens to the families of the Bride-to-be and the Groom-to-be’s family and are discussing about how he is unable to even enjoy a cup of coffee on his own. The girl brings a coffee maker and asks him to marry that appliance instead, as she is not a kitchen appliance. This witty and clear hit on how far patriarchy has affected our society with such an affective storyline.
BBDO India conceptualized the campaign for Aerial called #SharetheLoad. This ad features dad observing how their daughters handle the house as well as outside work on their own. The voiceover of the father comes along where he apologizes for creating a patriarchal society and raising her in one. The ad beautifully captures the emotions and sentiments of the father and how affected he is after noticing the reality. This ad puts forward how multi-tasking and independent a woman is and how she works consistently without any help or support.
1. Vogue Empower
This powerful ad created by Ogilvy & Mather featuring Madhuri Dixit touches a very sensitive and least talked about problem in India ‘Domestic Violence’. This ad begins with a series of incidents which show boys from childhood to adulthood crying over something and are constantly being told not to cry as it’s not a guy thing. The end incident shows how a man tortures which further reveals to be a case of domestic violence. Madhuri Dixit delivers this powerful message in the end that ‘it would be better I we teach our boys to not make a woman cry’ with #StartwiththeBoys.
Anouk launched by Myntra came up with the most progressive advertisement campaign for it’s newly launched brand then. The campaign had series of ads dealing with various issues in the society to women. The most famous out of them all was the ad featuring ‘Radhita Apte’ who is portrayed as a pregnant lady in this ad and how she deals with her boss while heading home. Both of them being in the same car discussing about work and how later in the conversation Radhika realizes that she is not being promoted because she is a woman and also because of her situation. It turns out that she quits her job and decides to work on her own and be her own boss. Powerful and Independent are the qualities portrayed in this commercial, defining the qualities of today’s woman.
1. Titan Raga’s Garden of Eden
Another masterpiece by Ogilvy & Mather and a stunning addition to the ad series of #HerLifeHerChoices featuring Katrina Kaif, talks about the biggest question of all time ‘Marriage’. The ad begins with Katrina getting ready for a wedding along with her voiceover playing in the background stating valid reason after reason regarding when is the right time to get married and ends with her saying ‘Get married to someone who deserves your time’. This wonderfully crafted ad with a very deep meaning launches the Titan Raga’s Garden of Eden collection.
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