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

The latest Airtel ad evokes a flurry of mixed reactions from Twitterati, which included jokes on what the company wanted to say and what was actually conveyed.

Written by Parmita Uniyal | New Delhi | Updated: September 17, 2014 10:34 am
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

#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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  1. G
    Ginni
    Aug 11, 2014 at 11:27 am
    Back in the 80"s we learnt something in school - mind your own business . I think its time people follow that principle rather than posting their thoughts about everything on twitter .
    Reply
  2. G
    Ginni
    Aug 11, 2014 at 11:24 am
    People take everything too seriously and twitter just eggs it on .Everything sparks off a debate on twitter . Uuuffff
    Reply
  3. G
    gsjas
    Jul 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm
    nice
    Reply
  4. B
    bakki
    Aug 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm
    I dont know why this much discussion. For me this is a perfect ad. They have started their own company, a start up, wife takes care of employees and accounts where hubby is tech person. She just show sheer love by cooking for him. Why do you think she is boss its their company... Grow up.
    Reply
  5. S
    SAM
    Aug 19, 2014 at 10:15 am
    Come on man! it's a very well executed adver. Though there is slight turn & twist in the storyline, but again in the present day scenario one cannot challenge such preposition where wife heads the family business and hubby looks after the execution part. To my mind, this is one of the most thoughtful ads...keep it up!
    Reply
  6. S
    s n
    Jul 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm
    1. The company that allows a wife to be boss at work of her husband (or vice versa) has serious personnel policy issues. No matter how good the husband his good performance rating will be considered as a sign of favoritism, also any domestic conflict can easily spill into work environment. Boss can give poor rating at work because the husband did not get the right gift to her for the birthday. You can come up with numerous situations like this.2. In this particular case the husband's goose is cooked.. he may please either his boss or his wife..Since both are making diametrically opposite demands, poor chap needs help. 3. But since both the boss and the wife are the same person making conflicting demands actually it is the wife (or is it the boss) that needs psychological help.Cheers
    Reply
  7. S
    Sukant
    Jul 29, 2014 at 7:46 pm
    Unnatural Boss feeding employees. lol
    Reply
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