Offensive Ads-1

I understand that advertisements have to be dramatic and eye-catching if they’re to serve any purpose but some ads clearly push the envelope too far.

What do you think of this ad? Take a look.

This ad makes me see red, blue and green–and in no particular order. There’s so much wrong with it, I don’t know where to begin.

Now this girl is so touched when a cop calls her behenji (sister)  that she instantly fishes a rakhi out of her pocket–it is rakshabandhan day– and ties it on his wrist. Oh well, I suppose there are all manner of idiots in the world , and every fool must surely have her day.

But look on. The most intriguing part is the cop’s reaction.

First he tries to fish out money from his own pocket as ‘gift’ which the girl waves off like a good sister does. Then he gets all emotional and gives her his cellphone number–to call him just in case she ever gets into any ‘problem’. Because everyone knows how girls who venture out of their homes get into ‘problems’ all the time. And that you have a slim chance of the police ever coming to your rescue, should you ever get into a ‘problem’–unless your brother is a cop, apparently.

The implication is that the police do us a favour when they do their job. After all, they can very well choose not to do it at all. They only have to look the other way. And you would probably be well-advised to get the police to bestow this favour upon you by making use of a humble rakhi.

This reminded me a little of Asaram’s pearls of wisdom as to how the Delhi gangrape would not have come to pass if the victim had fallen at the feet of the assaulters, calling them bhai and begging for mercy, instead of fighting them like she did.  Apparently, there is a lot to be said about women going around appealing to the brotherly instincts of all men–cops and criminals alike. If it works, great! They told you so! If it doesn’t, well, too bad, but at least you tried. Heh.

And oh, notice how the ad ends–a couple of hoodlums are shown whistling at the girl even as she is talking to the cop! The cop shoos them away with exaggerated bravado, with the girl all the while giving him a grateful look. The message is that goons care two hoots about the presence or absence of police–what’s there to fear the police anyway when all they ever do is wave them away jovially as if the harassers were a bunch of naughty kids!


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19 Responses to Offensive Ads-1

  1. Fem says:

    Good analysis, but I can think of much worse ads. If this is going to be a series, do one on how women are rushing about getting everyone ready in the morning with a cheerful smile. THAT makes my blood boil!

  2. R's Mom says:

    Cant see the ad, but it sounds pretty weird…after all this, what is the ad trying to sell, Rakhis, Great Policemen, Holigans or Girls evoking brotherly feelings in men????

    • The ad is selling the “idea” of a bond of love between the public and the police!! At least that is what the tagline says. For good measure they also add that it is a ‘good’ idea!!!

  3. simple girl says:

    Great analysis… every small things portray the sick mentality of our society.. or may be it is deliberately done to reinforce the alreay pathetic state by the keepers of patriarchy ? dont know..

  4. Loved your analysis. When I saw the ad, alarm bells started ringing in my head, but couldn’t put my finger on it. You broke it down nicely – yes, this ad reinforces pathetic stereotypes about women and their safety, and makes a mockery of law enforcement.

  5. Amit says:

    I did not like it either.
    Then there are the ones where the guy is getting fat and lethargic and the wife is worried. And so she gets the brand new vegetable oil for him. And everyone is back to happy.

    • Yes! And also those health-drink ads where a mother ‘makes’ her son practice in an empty court–WTH!! I could write a big fat book raving and ranting about them.

      • Pink says:

        Good that you pointed out this… Reading ur line ‘mother makes her son practice…..’ made me realize- it is the son most times! Or is it all the time? I wonder why they don’t show daughters winning or practicing in such commercials… Is it really that way or am I doing a lot of nitpicking here?

    • Pink says:

      Absolutely annoying ads! See how the ads show the scenario like only wives are concerned about the family’s health and not the husbands or the fathers… Only when it comes to something financial, it is the guy’s decision or worry – like in the mutual fund ads, ICICI bank ads… It’s something like “Na sar jhukhaye khabhi… aur na jhukaayenge khabi”
      Other ads that I find ridiculous are some of the pain relief balm ads where they show women having backache…. Like men don’t get them! LOL 🙂

  6. Rekha says:

    Indian Advertising…a thick fat book or may be a series can be written on it. Great Analysis. You must do it more often.

  7. This ad was cringe-worthy and I too was not sure exactly how! I guessed it tried to be too cute and eventually fell flat. They might also have felt this topic was the “flavour of the season”. One way or the other, it looks bad, simplistic, naive and stereotyped, perhaps even regressive.

  8. Pink says:

    Seeing it in an unbiased way, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying ‘call me whenever there is a problem.’ If we see it in the light of male chauvanism, it is disturbing.
    The actual disturbing thing about this ad is not him saying those lines but she tying rakhi to the policeman. Are the police or people or even the common public not entitled to protect each other in times of trouble?Why does it always have to be a brother? Never liked the concept of tying a rakhi, especially to random people.Also why does it always have to be a girl tying rakhi to a guy why not guys tying rakhi to another guy or a girl?
    …If a guy is suspected getting close, if the girl doesn’t like it or feels guilty about it, just call him brother or tie a rakhi!!? seriously?! If people genuinely like someone as a brother or as a sister, I don’t have a problem with that…Most times, it is seen as wading away from being in a relationship with them or even being suspected being in relationship with them…

    Leaving u with this funny video-

    • True, tying rakhis is by itself problematic due to its regressive assumptions and certainly doubly so when tied onto random strangers!! One can only put it down to downright foolishness. I was, however, more irked by the policeman’s pompous response.I thought It was condescending and patronising and seemed to imply that relatives/friends/acquaintances of the police can expect to get better law enforcement services.

      Welcome here, Pink, and thanks for taking the time to comment !

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