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From Being A Propah Lady To Shaving Off Stereotypes – 4 Ad Campaigns That Broke Clichés!

Posted: November 12, 2019

In the age where women are constantly judged and shamed, these four ad campaigns are a ray of hope From Gillette to Puma, these ads definitely make you sit up and think.

Advertisements, more often than not, have a very strong hold over people and their minds. They remember ads from years ago and are strongly influenced by them. Taking these things into consideration, four ad campaign designers decided to make ads that make you sit up in awe and wonder. Here is a list of four ad campaigns in the past few years that break stereotypes or rather, ask you to!

Puma’s ‘Propah lady’

Puma’s ‘propah lady’ campaign that recently went viral is a classic example of how ads are breaking stereotypes for women. Women are constantly told to sit properly, talk softly, be more ‘feminine’, wear ‘decent’ clothes and basically to be ‘proper’ as the society deems them to be. From a young age, we are told to be ‘proper’ and fit into the ‘proper’ standards of others.

Questioning this notion, only gets us termed as unwomanly and rude and extremely ‘unsanskari.’ And given how that is drilled in our heads since a young age, we start believing that this is how a proper lady behaves. And this is the exact notion of being ‘proper’ that the Puma ad breaks.

The video went viral within the first few days of its release and starts with a software of a stereotypical lady who is asked to sit properly, eat properly, chew with her mouth closed! But then comes the software update- that of a ‘propah lady,’ a software that crashes the system!
The ad has names like Sara Ali Khan, Mary Kom, Dutee Chand- the national sprinting champion, and Lakmé Fashion Week’s first ever transgender mode- Anjali Lama. The ad is basically a reflection of what women are not supposed to do but can and should do to be a ‘propah lady.’

With its catchy tune and brilliant video, you can watch it here.

Katrina Kaif’s Kay Beauty

Actress Katrina Kaif recently launched her beauty line on beauty platform Nykaa. While it is not new for celebrities to launch their beauty line, what makes Katrina’s line different is her name and the approach.

She named her beauty range ‘Kay Beauty.’ And the ad for the beauty line was launched on her Instagram account. It echoes the line ‘It’s Kay to be you’ which basically means that it’s okay to be you.

The features influencer Kusha Kapila, director Zoya Akhtar, actor Nayantara, badminton player Saniya Nehwal and international rapper Rajakumari. It showcases the message that ‘beauty starts with knowing you and it’s okay to be you.’

You can watch the ad here

#ShaveStereotypes by Gillette

We are aware of Gillette’s ‘the best man can get’ tag-line. But Gillette’s #ShaveStereotypes is something that we should not just know but implement in our lives. The #ShaveStereotypes ad was the Indian counterpart of the Gillette’s famous #WeBelieve ad.

Calling out the culture of toxic masculinity in the American society, the #WeBelieve ad urged men to take up responsibility and eradicate the toxicity by shaving it off. It urged men to take up responsibility not just towards each other but towards women too and become ‘the best a man can get.’

The #ShaveStereotypes ad which was the Indian counterpart showed the real-life story of the story of Jyoti and Neha. These two are better known as the ‘India’s barbershop girls.’ Their father’s illness drove them to take up his occupation as the local barber in the village of Banwari Tola, in Uttar Pradesh.

The ad, narrated by a little boy shows how men and women are asked to do designated roles set by society. It sheds light on the everyday situation of how men are asked to work and how women asked to manage the house.

The ad questions how these stereotypes have become so normal that now these are not just stereotypes but roles that are inherited.

It questions the gender roles through Jyoti and Neha’s story as they inherited their father’s occupation of being a ‘nai’ (barber) despite society’s qualms. Generally the profession of a barber is considered to be the men’s domain. This campaign urges the society to ‘shave stereotypes.’

It ends with a beautiful note that ‘ustra kya jaane ladke-ladki ka faraq’ (How would the razor know if the user is a girl or a boy?)

You can watch both the ads here and here

‘Da Da Ding’ by Nike

‘Da Da Ding’ was launched in 2016 as part of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign.  Other than actor Deepika Padukone, it featured women athletes who you don’t hear about every day.

Field hockey player Rani Rampal, footballer Jyoti Ann Burrett, surfer Ishita Malavia, cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur and squash player Joshna Chinappa among others. The ad aims to trigger a movement to change the way sports is perceived in the country.

It challenges the notion of how women are not meant for ‘sports’ because sports and physical exertion is meant for men. By showing the role of various women in the field of sports, it made us believe that women can run, sweat, bleed and still be great at it. It is aimed to inspire young women to take up sports.

Watch the Da Da Ding campaign here

While we are still far away from the ideal world where men and women are treated as equals, these ads go on to show us there is some hope for women and the world.

Tell us in the comments which one was your favourite ad?

Picture credits: YouTube

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