Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Can your wife be your boss and cook at the same time? Airtel ad confuses Twitterati, evokes mixed reaction

boss-cook-main A new airtel ad shows a woman who's a reporting manager of her husband, but still opts to cooks for him
Written by Parmita Uniyal | New Delhi | Posted: July 29, 2014 2:57 pm | Updated: September 17, 2014 10:34 am

#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.

Here’s the ad: 

We present their arguments:

AGAINST

This airtel ad sends the wrong message. A double income, no kids couple can’t afford a cook?! Demoralising for management students!

FOR

THE SOLUTION?

JOKES AROUND THE CONTROVERSY

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.

E-mail author: parmita.uniyal@expressindia.com

Follow @parmitauniyal on Twitter

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