Advertisements That Broke Gender Stereotypes in Recent Times
While the entire world is progressing day by day, gender bias remains deeply rooted, and these undertones color our conversations and our media. It is one of the most dangerous evils prevalent across the globe. Media, as people widely believe, has a strong influence on society these days and may help to change the wider perspective and discourse. During this time, when the Coronavirus has got all of us down, we wish to take you back to better times. Here, we bring to you some famous advertisements from across the globe, which have contributed towards breaking gender stereotypes.
Titan Raga: #HerLifeHerChoices
The advertisement begins with a divorced couple meeting after years and discussing the reason behind parting ways. The man puts forward his point saying that they may have saved their relationship if she had quit her job. Upon being asked by the woman why he hadn't quit his, he explained that he was a man and needed to earn for the family. The woman smiled and ended by saying that nothing had changed since they parted ways. Though the advertisement does not provide clear cut answers to the viewers, it surely leaves them with a lot of questions in their heads. Subtleties such as this have the power to change discourse around gender roles in today's society.
Royal Air Force: “No room for clichés”
The advertisement shows a montage of female Air Force officials serving their nation. The interesting part is the juxtaposition of the visual of them serving their country with the background audio of satirical voices talking about skin aging, hair care, and lip balms (all clichés women hear almost every day). The entire message that the advertisement wanted to deliver was that women must be recognized by their actions and not such clichéd behaviour tropes.
Bumble: “The ball is in her court”
Bumble is a female-focused dating app. The advertisement for Bumble, starring Serena Williams, is made on the note that women should not be afraid to make the first move. It breaks the stereotype that it is always the responsibility of the men to move first. "If I waited to be invited in, I never would’ve stood out. So make the first move in work, in love, in life," Williams says in the 30-second ad.
Ariel: “Share the load”
The advertisement begins with a mother and daughter conversing over the telephone, and discussing the reason behind the daughter quitting her job, which eventually turns out to be her inability to manage the household chores. When the mother suggests that her husband might help her in the household chores, the daughter replies, saying that he does not know to perform any of those. It is then that the mother looks at her son, who is taking clothes out from the cupboard while carelessly dropping many others, and realizes how boys are never taught to perform any household chores since childhood. A poignant message, to be sure.
Always: “Like a girl”
The advertisement focuses on how every action becomes softer if one is asked to perform it 'like a girl'. In the advertisement, a set of people are asked to punch, kick, run, etc. like a girl, and they all start performing the task in an exaggeratedly soft and meek manner. A group of young girls are then asked to do the same things 'like a girl'. They shatter all stereotypes when they put renewed energy and vigor into each action. A few girls are then asked about their views on the phrase 'like a girl'. Older women in the group reply that though society may perceive the phrase differently, in reality there lies no difference at all. It tries to bring to the viewers, the message that whether an action is performed by a male or a female, the action remains the same, and women can do what men can do.
Greenply: “Stop saying women can’t”
The advertisement shows some people being taken to a room where a few objects are placed, and being asked to select objects 'made by women'. Almost everybody opens the cupboard placed in the room and takes out objects such as an embroidered jacket or small craftworks, thinking they must be definitely made by women. They are astonished to find out at the end that none of their expected objects were woman-made, but that the cupboard itself was made by women carpenters.
Havell’s: “Hawa Badlegi”
The advertisement has a couple sitting in a registrar's office, where the woman registrar is in the process of registering their marriage. The registrar asks expectantly if the woman would add her husband’s surname to her name, to which the husband replies that he shall add her wife’s surname to his name. Gender equality and shattering societal expectations with one stroke.
Kotak Silk: “Hauslon ki udaan”
The advertisement begins with a couple discussing a surprise for their child’s birthday. The wife then goes to sleep and a phone on the bed buzzes with a text message. He reads the text message, wakes his wife up, and takes out an Airport Fire Service uniform from the cupboard, signifying that the text message was a call to report for duty. All stereotypes are broken when it's revealed that the officer is in fact the woman. While leaving the house, she hands him a letter of confirmation of payment for his MBA program and asks him to celebrate their child’s birthday. The advertisement portrays how gender roles are actually undivided and it is society that has created the gaps between the roles of the men and women.