This ad by Gillette has been on TV for awhile now.
It started off with the intriguing ‘Soldiers wanted’. The build-up was great. And when it ended, I was groaning. Really now? We need to recruit men into ‘supporting women’? Like it’s a cool thing to do, not the have-to thing to do.
Worse, my overriding impression is that this is such a desperate attempt to cash in on all the hoopla around the Nirbhaya Delhi gangrape case. Very, very poor taste indeed. I mean, everyone and their sister and brother has felt the need to outrage and say something. Granted the numbers may have given this incident the required nation-wide attention that was long overdue. And admittedly the reportage on violence-against-women cases has snowballed because this news is hot, but what the hell, it’s getting people’s attention. I’m willing to be the realistic cynic in all of this. But hang a brand logo on that and attempt to ‘own’ the idea from a marketing standpoint and I’m sorry – you’ve alienated me.
Kiran Manral has a Facebook discussion going on this where she says,
“My issue is the throwing back of the debate into the ‘women to be protected by men’ category.”
Yes, that’s a valid thought. But it’s a whole other discussion that I’d get into if this were a short film or a Public Awareness video instead of a damn ad commercial.Atrociously poor form, Gillette.
* Also posted at The Idea-smithy.