Watching television is a part of everyone’s life,for some a major one (like me),for some a small one.You might be watching a movie, a serial,a reality show,a match,listening to music,news or whatever it may be,advertisements are one thing that are common in all.You might be seeing anything but ads are there in everything,because they are sponsoring these things so their promotion is justified.
There main motive in the typical business sense is to attract potential consumers and transform them into actual consumers ,promote their product and enhance their sale.Profit is everyone’s desire and so is their’s.But are these advertisements achieving their targets at the cost of something far more important?Can they be classified as non offensive and perfectly morally correct?
What I am talking about is the kind of effects it holds on the audiences and in specific women.Everybody with a television set watches advertisements,be it unwillingly,but the thing is -what is that everybody is seeing?The content of advertisements and the portrayal of woman in it is very upsetting.
First of all,lets come to the involvement of female artists in advertisements.Well one thing is there that is common in almost every ad-the ‘object’ of everyone’s affection-women.Yes in advertisements women are treated as mere objects,pretty and attractive pieces of furniture,who just lie in the background to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the shot and nothing else.There are woman in ads of cars,where the man is driving and they just sit next to them and do nothing else but to look good.I don’t get why is there a need for a female artist in advertisement for a men’s undergarment,men’s deodorant and every other thing.I think that one thing is definitely taught to all ad-makers-“sex sells and woman are sex symbols”.The ad-makers have learnt this ‘mantra’ by heart and use it for every advertisement.If a guy wants to have a girl,he just needs to wear a specific deo and girls will fall down from heaven for him.This thing is so believable ,right?Having half naked women in advertisements,wearing beach wears even in houses is their idea to promote their product. If this is not the reason I do not get what is.
Lets just ignore this issue of presence of women in every which ad,and concentrate on the portrayal.It is said that media mirrors society,if this is the way things are,our reflection is pathetic.If we sketch the character of a woman according to the ads then the result would be extremely offensive-“woman are only pretty and skinny girls ,who dream of boys and their main motive is to attract them, they are so dumb as to jump and go gaga over guys with a nice perfume or good under-wears. They totally aspire to be fair and are so shallow as to judge boys on the things they wear. Household work is only their task and they are dependent on boys when there comes a time to rescue them, and yes they instantly fall for the guy who helps them”.
Well that is the image I could trace out of ads I have seen,there might be other trades I could have ignored,ut the one’s I have mentioned are straight out of TV ads.the things that I have just mentioned are so offensive that surpasses every limit.What do they think while making such ads? Not just are they highly fictitious but very effective.
This is like setting standards for how a girl should be,and all these things forces them to change and improve themselves.What sort of improvement do they talk about.Lets talk about ads of fairness products,the basic concept they have traditionally followed is to show the consequences a girl might face if she has dark complexion,she would not be attractive,would not find a suitable groom and lots of other things.These things are really annoying,marriage and complexion are in no way related,so is not being attractive(God knows who decides on who is attractive and who is not).Some people pay to get the tan we Indians naturally own but no,just to promote their product they force girls to feel inferior about themselves.Is this technique worth it?surely not,anyone’s self esteem and confidence cannot be traded against sales.Being fat(because skinny is the new normal,that’s what our ads show) or having some deviations from the cliché definition of beauty is so highlighted that almost everybody is made to feel low.Nothing is good enough.
I don’t say that all advertisements are bad, no, there are advertisements which actually are very good, which aim at promoting sales and social responsibility ,and demonstrate the way to development.There are ad-makers that depict a better and different perspective,which is worth viewing and understanding.Like the NIrma ad-demonstrating women power and how they are equivalent in fact better than men.But this good batch is superimposed with the major chunk of stereotypical commercials.So what I say is that the ad-makers revive their set of rules and work accordingly ,if they are the one who create the mirror image they better create the actual true one.last little message to the ad-makers- you are selling consumer goods not sex,so dump your mantra,it is only useful when selling condoms otherwise it is completely bizarre.