#Mywifemyboss #Mybossisahitler #Mybosscooksforme #Mywifecaresforme #Mybossliveswithme #Mybossunderstandsme #mywifelovesme
These were some of the hashtags (or maybe the thoughts going on in the protagonist’s head) that best describe airtel’s latest ad, which sparked a raging debate on Twitter this morning. Different tweeple had different opinions about this ad that breaks gender stereotypes in its first half (where your wife is your boss, and forces husband to stay up till late to complete his deadline), and goes on to reaffirm a stereotype (your wife cooks a generous meal for you and waits for you to come back from office). The result of this ‘khichdi’ was a flurry of mixed reactions from Twitterati, which included jokes on what airtel wanted to say and what was actually conveyed.
Interestingly, the ad is directed by Vinil Mathew, director of Bollywood movie Hasee Toh Phasee, starring Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra in main leads.
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Here’s the ad:
We present their arguments:
This airtel ad sends the wrong message. A double income, no kids couple can’t afford a cook?! Demoralising for management students!
— gaurav kapur (@gauravkapur) July 28, 2014
My only response to the Airtel ad: why doesn’t the boss woman employ a cook to make dinner for her (and the husband)? — Seema Goswami (@seemagoswami) July 28, 2014
only one question on the #airtel ad – what kind of a company allows husband & wife to work together, in a direct reporting relationship..
— Harini Calamur (@calamur) July 28, 2014
The Indian Airtel ad:breaking of stereotypes.The wife’s more successful than the hubby.She looks great.She cooks.And she romances w/him.Fab! — Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) July 28, 2014
— Ruchica Tomar (@ruchicatomar) July 28, 2014
I seem to be the only one not offended by the airtel “wife”ad .. Spouse as boss is complicated. What If the genders were reversed in ad? — twilightfairy (@twilightfairy) July 28, 2014
The Airtel ad guy should have brought the work home & asked his wife to do the remainder since she had started acting oh-so-homely n caring
— Free Wheeler (@RoadHound) July 29, 2014
JOKES AROUND THE CONTROVERSY
Realistic ending to the Airtel Ad: Wife: Come home na.. Husband: But you’re the one that’s making me work so late WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM. — José Covaco (@HoeZaay) July 28, 2014
Two things to learn from the Airtel ad: 1. Boss is always right. 2. All hot women are taken. #crie
— Asli Scotchy (@scotchism) July 28, 2014
In the new Airtel ad, that last shot of the guy makes me think he’s planning to either leave his wife or quit his job.
— Harneet Singh (@Harneetsin) July 28, 2014
Looking at this controversy, we thought of ads which were highly stereotypical
1) Remember the Axe ad which shows a pair of headless breasts? Yes, just that. Needless to say it faced the music
2) Then there was a series of car ads, including one showing women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford driven by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
3) The brainess ad of shampoo company Head & Shoulders that urges men to stop using their wives’ shampoo before they “stop being a man”. Here’s the funny/offensive tagline: “Aap ki biwi ka shampoo chodo. Get the new Head and Shoulders for Men and rediscover the man you once were. Tabhi toh confidence ke saath, zindagi milegi dobara”. (Chuck your wife’s shampoo and opt for Head and Shoulders for Men and rediscover the man you once were. Then only you’ll get back your life with confidence)
Then there were ads that broke stereotypes
1) Tanishq’s ad that revolves around remarriage is still fresh in public memory, owing to the powerful message it conveyed.
2) A Havells Fans Ad shows a man asking for a surname change in registrar’s office.
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