Although Indian advertising remains vastly heteronormative and full of sexist norms, here are a few Indian ads with social messages that will move you and teach you important lessons.
Ground-breaking Indian Ads With Social Messages
Sabhyata – Mother-in-law ad
This ad brings to us the modern-age mother-in-law who cribs about her daughter-in-law’s inactivity in the kitchen, only to get her son to cook. The witty storytelling changes the way we look at the saas-bahu dynamic.
Vicks – Generations of Care
When we talk about gender, transgender people are unfortunately left out of mainstream depiction, or if they are included, they are used for comic relief. But Vicks’ Generations of Care approach the story of trans person Gauri Sawant with great humanism, leaving us teary-eyed. The ad teaches us “everyone deserves the touch of care.”
Bhima Jewellery – Pure as Love
Bhima also takes up another beautiful trans person, Meera Singhania, for a breath-taking ad. The ad highlights that their brand stands for love which is pure and does not discriminate. We need more such stories in advertising that are not heteronormative.
Anouk – Bold is Beautiful (The Calling)
In this ad, Radhika Apte plays an architect who decides to take her career into her own hands after being treated unfairly because of her pregnancy. The advert tears down the stereotype of pregnant women being fragile and not fit for work. It boldly illustrates that “pregnancy doesn’t mean the end of the career.”
Titan Raga – Break the Bias
If you have ever speculated on a woman’s success or had your success as a woman put to undue scrutiny, this ad depicts that perfectly. Taking apart sexism in corporate culture, this ad teaches its lesson very slyly.
BIBA – Change the Convention
It’s always the boy’s side who comes to the girl’s side with a rishta to scrutinize her while the prospective groom remains free of all the judgment. However, BIBA’s ad changes that convention and compels us to approach marriages in a gender-neutral way.
WEvolve – Let the Girls Be
WEvolve’s global campaign to spotlight societal norms that lead to gender violence features a sharp, audacious ad in collaboration with ELLE India. The advert conveys that rather than asking women to dress or carry themselves differently to be safe, we should change our behavior and mentality and “let the girls be.”
Dove – Stop the Beauty Test
Our standards of appearance, especially for women, are too restrictive to capture the nuances of every individual’s beauty. As much as we always blame the media for this, we are also at fault for being too critical of those who do not match our idea of beauty. So in this ad, Dove reminds us that we should not look for flaws but seek beauty in people and “stop the beauty test.”
Which adverts do you like the most?