Critique on Use of Women in Indian Television Commercials

Posted on May 7, 2010 in Media

Sanjukta Majumder:

Since the inception of television in household, advertisement has been the primary tool of manufacturers to showcase their product for fruitful consequences. The foremost role of advertisement is to run a economic and demographic survey of its target consumers, educate the section about the product and also to create new demands out of the potential demand present for the product, all of which are rendered effectively at the cost of making women, a commodity.

The heavy burden of carrying a product to make it reach its sell-able best is placed on the slender shoulders of women. Be there the need or not, every second product today is placed along with a female model in it. Whether it is a menswear or undergarment, shaving-kit : right from razors to cologne to a deo-spray, the best result of each can only be demonstrated when juxtaposed with a woman! The basic premise being men using the products are the most popular among women or women on their alluring best to seduce the fittest man, who is the person adorning the advertised products. Even electronic goods like frigde, who emphasize their ‘USP’, for instance, the freshness of fruits and vegetables that remain intact in it can only be understood when caressed by the cheek of a girl or the pulpiness and taste of a drink can be effectively portrayed only when a girl gulps it down in rain drenched clothes.

Recently a reputed cement company featured a scintillating scenario of a female lifeguard emerging from the sea in a swimsuit indicating and captioning the strength of its product. The basic question that comes in here is not morality but relevancy. How far is the above-mentioned advertisement justified? Does it somewhere not indicate perversion present in every individual? Or is it somewhere indulging voyeurism? Or more significantly are we running out of ideas and creativity?

The current circumstance remind me of a scene from the legendary film-maker Tapan Sinha’s ‘Golpo Holeo Sotti’ where the famous theatre personality RudraPrasad SenGupta admonishes the visual designer of his ad-agency with the reason that “it sells.”, when questioned about the justification of ‘lady’ wrapped in a tie, advertising the latter. Does it somewhere then refer that all our claims to be a progressive lot with each new generation is nothing but a void voice and that we are still thriving on primitive taboos?