My cousin and family came visiting from The US. After going around the city for a while, my cousin’s wife, who was born and brought up in US, asked me, “I have been seeing many hoardings around. Most of the Indians are dusky. But why are all the models fair? There is not a single dusky colored model. Are they ashamed of their color?” It is a question that we must ask ourselves. Are we ashamed of our color? I am not ashamed of my color. Some of my relatives are and of course, the ad film makers must be.
According to me, an ad shouldn’t be aired if it advocates a wrong message. For instance, Fairness cream ads. Some portray that only fair men get girls and vice versa, fair girls get the chance to interview, fair girls get the job, the girl says the speech well when she becomes fair, the girl stands against injustice only after she becomes fair. Aaaand the creams sell!
They don’t sell creams. They sell self confidence in tubes!
Funny story. People say, “Use Fair & Lovely. It is very effective. My uncle’s wife’s sister’s servant’s neighbour’s grand-daughter used it. She was as dark as coal. Now you must see her! She is like milk.” We are the comic puppets in the hands of fairness ad makers.
The hilarious moment is when the model’s face is shown several times, each time, with improved fairness. Shoop shoop shoop!
With each shoop, she becomes fairer and fairer until she shines bright like a diamond. They should have used that song too. Shine bright like a diamond… Shine bright like a diamond… The model just glows like a patronus!
The fairness cream ads are purely selling our self confidence. When I am happy in my skin, someone comes and tells me,”Apply Fair and Lovely!”. That’s okay. When, on a daily basis people tell me that, my self confidence dips. That is when people buy the cream. They don’t sell creams. They sell self confidence in tubes.
An Ideal Ad
If you ask me, an ad, along with focusing on the brand, must also convey a good message. Or they could simply be heartwarming like the Oreo ads or for that matter most of the ads with children in them. Such ads remain in our hearts forever. Here is one such:
I’m sure you smiled when the child said, “I also go round and round”. There are some beautiful and subtle messages in here.
To start with, the bride is dusky complexioned damsel. It was a moment of wonder when I saw that! Dusky models are very rare. I have followed some ad agencies. Whenever they were in need of a model, being fair was a criteria.
There must be more ads like this. Do you know why? This is the first of its kind to break all stereotypes. As I said, the bride isn’t the glowing damsel thrown from heaven, she isn’t a graduate fresh out of college. She is a mother to a beautiful daughter. Second marriages aren’t new in our country. But considering the fact that widows were (and even now, in some places, are) said to bring bad luck, this ad shows that the mindset is changing.
She walks with her daughter up the pandhal, proudly, and sits for the rituals. When the child is fascinated by the rituals and wants to join in, she is shushed down. The handsome groom intervenes, and to take her ’round and round’. Some might say that, this happens only in movies. No. This happens in real life too. For those who can’t accept it, this is how it is supposed to happen. This is how a message is conveyed.
Before I sign off, I wanted to share another ad that has been making me smile. I watch this one from the beginning until the very end. Always. With a broad smile. You will know why.
Clearly, you got the message. 🙂
This Pepsi IPL, it’s not just about cricket. It’s time to crash with your own created ad! Make your own Pepsi ad & if it’s chosen, it could play on TV during Pepsi IPL! And hey, it doesn’t end here… Even if you’re chosen as a finalist, you stand a chance of winning a prize amount of Rs.1 lakh! So what are you waiting for guys? 🙂