The overt display of sexism in our advertisements!
Have you ever taken a close look at the advertisements on the Indian television? It is commendable how they manage to appeal to you more often than not. How they know which cord to strike exactly to make you emotional and feel connected.
So the other day, I was listening to some ad jingle, and thanks to google's autoplay, found myself listening to the most emotional or heart touching ads on the Indian television. Well, having listened to about a dozen of such ads, I felt a little offended. I realized that most ads are highly sexist and subconsciously promote the gender stereotypes of the society. But this sexism is wrapped in so well in emotions and grand gestures that we all don't seem to notice it at first.
This is something really wrong with the advertisement industry. With one advertisement, they cancel out all the efforts and struggles that we as women face every single day. These ads not overtly sexist but you can notice sexism hidden subtly in the background. And with our younger generations growing in front of the plasma screen, you can't blame them when they start to internalize this behavior. They have after all grown up seeing this. Our ads reinforce the gender discrimination that exists in our day to day life. The discrimination we fight against every day.
There are many examples that I could give you but the worst of them all is "Men will be men" as if this was a good enough excuse to look the other way when men do something they aren't supposed to be doing. And the way this tagline is used, with such pride and pomp, make me want to questions the judgment of the entire industry. This can be seen in ads from almost all types of industries, be it insurance industries or groceries. When it comes to healthy oil or instant noodles or those pesky stains, it is always the mother or a female character to be found in the vicinity. If we were to go by such advertisements, the burden of the running the house is still firmly sitting on the woman's shoulder.
It is not just the portrayal of women in our ads that are problematic for the society. It is also, who these ads are targetted to. There is a very clear distinction when it comes to the target audience for certain products. If you take the insurance industry, for example, they are always speaking to the man of the house, as if the women maybe aren't good enough for their policies or are they still living in the past, and have failed to acknowledge the women workforce in the industry.
You could just go google the most popular or emotional ads in the industry and really look at the kind of message they are sending across, and you can see for yourself what I am trying to say here. The advertisement industry needs to understand the effect these ads have in our society, and maybe be a little less patronizing towards women.