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Top 10 Indian Advertisements Indecently Featuring Proud Sexism

Indian Advertisements

More women are portrayed as commodities in Indian advertisements than the actual number of commodities listed in the stock market. Actors propagate the idea of feminism and respect for women, and at the same time work on projects, advertisements and movies that objectify women. Tv and cinema have a huge role to play in influencing the perception of Feminism in India. To prevent this, India had passed the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act in 1984 to prevent indecent representation of women in advertisements. Doesn’t look like companies adhere to this rule as we can see in the advertisements below. 

The top ten Indian advertisements that indecently feature proud sexism in India are:

1. Idea

Source: Idea

In one of their advertisements, Abhishek Bachchan explains how India’s overpopulation is caused by power cuts. For entertainment, men watch tv, and when there is no tv, his source of entertainment is his wife. This entertainment leads to overpopulation. What an Idea actually. The ad goes on to state that a better form of entertainment than your wife is 3G (ab biwi se 3G).

2. Lux

Source: Lux

This is one of Lux’s older adverts representing Lux for its whiteness and purity. Recently, the soap advertisements by Lux feature all legs and skin of a woman in a bathtub, smiling like a maniac at soap because all women have a bath like that. Vir Das did a pretty good skit on gender role reversal for this ad.

3. Bikes

Source: Pinterest

Yep, a woman half naked on a bike is expected to drive up sales. If people did end up buying the bike because of that, then I don’t know who to feel sorry for. The booming auto industry in India barely ever helps in removing negative stereotypes associated with women instead, reinforces such norms. 

4. Axe 

Source: Axe

I remember watching those Axe ads on tv as a kid (and still), a guy sprays on some deodorant and several pretty women run after the guy, trying to rape him I suppose. These ads haven’t changed much since. Even Tarzan could get his groove on with Axe. Wonder what Jane has to say.

5. Dairy Milk

Source: Tmaza.com

Well, not sexism although it should get a spot on this list. I don’t think Cadbury knows that they constantly show people getting orgasms after eating a slab of dairy milk in their advertisements. I know chocolate is an aphrodisiac, but to depict an orgasm is just silly. Honestly, dairy milk is not even that good.

6. Slice 

That’s right. When the King of fruit makes you feel sensual and sexual as well. We all should remember this Slice ad with Katrina Kaif and the mango. Yeah. Talk about trying to sell mangos. I absolutely love mangoes, but I don’t think a mango could ever get me to do a Katrina. 

7. Fairness cream

Source: Indiatimes

The tagline for most fairness cream ads is you go from this shade to a few shades lighter in only a few weeks. Cream companies highlight how dark skin was unappealing and could be made fairer by using their cream. Unrealistic standards, borderline racism. And it does not work. 

8. Seagrams IB

Source: Postpickle

You know the whiskey brand Imperial Blue. The tagline for one of their advertisements: ‘men will be men’ because the ads depict a guy flirting with a woman or he imagines an air hostess to be his wife. More along the lines of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment “boys will be boys” if you ask me. Surprisingly, Pakistan made a meme on this.

9. Pizza Hut

Source: Filmy

These guys got Lara Dutta to seduce everyone into eating Pizza Hut. Since that seems like the only way  Pizza Hut could get people to eat their pizzas. Honestly, even with Lara Dutta holding on to a Pizza, it does not make it more appealing.

10. Jack & Jones

 

Source: Hindustan Times

Jack & Jones had put up this billboard featuring Ranvir Singh in around twelve cities. The billboard features Ranvir taking his work home (a female colleague) which has to be a new low for Indian feminism directed at working class women. J&J faced severe backlash on social media, forcing the company to remove the billboards.

Ad for thought: In every sanitary napkin advertisement, the advertisers use a blue liquid instead of a red one. What blue liquid ever goes on a sanitary napkin?

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One thought on “Top 10 Indian Advertisements Indecently Featuring Proud Sexism

  1. Excellent article Ashwin. Most of the answers will be based on crass-exploitation. A case in point is mentioned as a very good example ( in your article)- The tagline men will be men’ because the ads depict a guy flirting with a woman or he imagines an air hostess to be his wife. In one of their advertisements, Abhishek Bachchan explains how India’s overpopulation is caused by power cuts. For entertainment, men watch TV, and when there is no TV, his source of entertainment is his wife.

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