An ad that objectifies women and promotes eve teasing
Alpna Manchanda

Alpna Manchanda

Advertising Consultant, traveler,

Ads that encourage eve teasing

Language has changed. And although print, radio, and TV beep out the more crass words, people do not. Conversations are littered with MC, BC, F(Beeeeeep) and worse. With little or no governance channels like Youtube have limited censorship. But what comes out of your mouth is what is on your mind and you are at liberty to use whatever language you like. I may not endorse it, but it has never bothered me either.

In contrast, pre-historic mindsets, gender stereotypes, perpetuating and encouraging behavior that negatively impacts women, are matters that get me all riled up. And if Hindi movies are the biggest defaulters, our Advertising industry is not very far behind. You may argue that the purpose of Advertising is to reflect the mindset of the audience and not make a comment on it or try to change it. but that even for the most naive, this is a flawed argument.

Advertising is trying to change buying behavior. So, why is it not at least reflecting acceptable behavior rather than glorifying the more objectionable kind? TVCs for improved cameras on phones are a case to point.  One shows Ranbir Kapoor (Ex-boyfriend of Katrina) taking a long-distance photograph of her while she sits on a deck chair. The other one shows that only the hero knows which photos to take. His loser friends do not. Because they do not have the camera with a better zoom.

Scenario 1:

Any young Indian woman who does or does not enjoy/approve of eve-teasing knows that nowadays all these innocent Indian boys get their kicks out of surreptitiously taking pictures and videos of young girls. What they do with these images, I leave to your imagination. So here we have a young or old marketing and advertising person creating a multi-starrer ad suggesting these young men order the new improved camera so now they don’t even need to get up close to get that picture to jerk off to.

On second thoughts, that may be a very good idea. What she doesn’t know, can’t hurt her.

Scenario 2:

The fat friend and the buck-toothed one are getting excited watching a supposedly long-haired beauty. The handsome successful hero comes along and with his superior camera phone dispels their misdirected lust. Guess who our audience identifies with.

Having worked in advertising agencies, I can imagine what went on while the client gave the brief and the agency made its strategy and creative presentation. I can also imagine the excitement of the shoot and the insta uploading of pictures with the stars.

But most vivid is my imagination of the client giving a powerpoint presentation to his bosses. Graphs and pie charts showing how sales shot up. The entire marketing and advertising teams patting each other on the back.  And the unmentioned sighs of relief. Phew! my next month’s salary will be in the bank. EMI’s and school fees will be paid on time. My future looks bright.

No one cared about their young wives and little girls back home. Because eve-teasing is something that happens only to other people’s daughters.

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