In 2014, Fastrack, one of the many brands owned by Titan, released an outdoor advertisement that made its way to all hoardings and billboards in many cities. The ad featured a girl wrapped in a sale tag offering 20 per cent discount. The ad faced a lot of flak for being sexist and was accused of objectifying women, and justifiably so.
Well, the company has done it yet again with its latest ad it shared on Twitter saying: “Decisions, decisions, decision! Make yours now and go #BackToCollege” with a picture of a boy visibly cheating on his girlfriend. The hashtag on the picture — #BackToCheating — makes the ad’s message clearer.
Decisions, decisions, decisions! Make yours now at https://t.co/dr9DRYe15d and go #BackToCollege! pic.twitter.com/qsb76CKDI1
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) April 25, 2016
For starters, it’s difficult to comprehend how the advertisement for a range of bags should be connected to cheating! What is even more troubling is the idea that the brand suggests that cheating on one’s partner is a perfectly normal aspect of college life, just like hanging out with your friends or getting back to the grind of studies (as other posters in the same series suggest). Unsurprisingly, people have been pouring out their outrage on social media platforms.
@Fastrack really is that the kind of ad u want to portray for college kids. When did u start with the ideologies of Chetan Bhagat.
— Inscrutable Indian (@maurya_tushar) April 26, 2016
@Fastrack what kind of ad is that!?! Really you’re making history in the league of shitty ads! Come on!you’ve a brand value!
— Raushan Kumar (@sh_raushan) April 26, 2016
Of late, there have been increased incidents of brands going for sexist and racist ads, despite being aware of its informed audience and the power of social media. A few days ago, Ola, online cab service providers, released an ad on YouTube that faced a lot of criticism for being blatantly sexist and stereotyping women. The ad titled “Too expensive to take GF out on a date?” tried to bolster that going out with women is more expensive than taking a ride in Ola. Well, the two are not even comparable. The mindless message in the end is,”Meri girlfriend chalti hai Rs 525 per km, but Ola Micro chalti hai sirf Rs 6 per km.”
The company was forced to put down the ad and took to Twitter to share the news, but clearly didn’t sound apologetic.
We understand one of our TVCs has ended up hurting some sentiments. We’ve pulled it down. However, #OlaMicro continues to run at Rs.6/km.
— Ola (@Olacabs) April 23, 2016
Earlier in March, Nando’s heavily sexist print ad — that compared its chicken to a woman’s body — drew a lot of criticism as well, leading the company to issue an apology later.
Using sexism as a tool in advertisement is not new, but going by the reactions on social media platforms, it’s clear that such sexist plays are definitely not being appreciated, and it’s time the ad creators took serious note of it.
Subscriber Only Stories
Gandhinagar civic polls: BJP, Congress win equal seats, lottery draw to decide Mayor