I have a bone to pick with many of the ads that they show on TV.
One of the prime candidate for bone picking is the PC Jewellers Ad...
Oooh, don't I dislike the ad?
The ad goes somewhat like this..
Daughter is looking at the marriage album of her parents. In one photo, she asks 'Ye Kaun Hai?'
Mom replies, 'Yeh aap ka papa hai. Ek din aap ko bhi aisa raajkumar milega'.
Hearing this the father says in a worried tone, 'Kaise milega? Sone ka bhav din prati din badte jaa raha hai?
Mom says 'Tension mat lo. PC Jewellers hai na? Unke scheme chal rahi hai. Barah Kisthe denge hum, do Kisthe denge PCJ'
Daughter is looking at the marriage album of her parents. In one photo, she asks 'Who is this?'
Mom replies, 'This is your daddy. One day, you will also get a prince like this'.
Hearing this the father says in a worried tone, 'How is it possible? The price of gold is going up by the day'
Mom says 'Don't get stressed. PC Jewellers is there no? They have a scheme going on. We will pay Twelve instalments, PCJ will pay two.' )
I dislike this ad at multiple levels. On the one hand, I dislike the stereotyping. A worried father, A daughter as a liability who has got to be married off. On the other hand, I dislike the overall negative tone of the message.
As a man, I dislike the idea of a dumb father who is worrying, but is being comforted by his knowledgeable wife. Ooh, I have a daughter, I don't know how I am going to get her married, OMG, the gold prices are sky-rocketing what will I do? What will I do?
Come on...Don't tell me that he did not know of the offer from PCJ. This ad has been going on everywhere for so many days? Despite this he did not know about this offer? Sounds implausible to me. Tell me, how did his wife know?. Of course, from the TV, stupid. And she did not inform him that this offer is going on? No sir, there is no way that the father did not know of this offer. He is simply bluffing, probably to keep his wife on her toes. It stands to reason that if the father is so worried about getting his daughter married, he will definitely know of the offer from the jeweller. It is like, if you are thinking of buying a red car, you will notice all the red cars on the road, and some off the road too.
Men may be dumb. They are not dumb as much.
That is stereotype one right there. A worried father, worried about the price of gold.
The second stereotype in that ad is the depiction of daughter as a cause of tension, as an object that has got to be married off at some time in future. Oh, come on, don't tell me this. The family looks reasonably middle class, and by looking at what is going on out there, the girl will end up being an air line pilot, a fashion designer, an anesthesiologist or a NASA (See how I am not talking about ISRO? Subtle...) scientist. She can earn enough and more to buy all the gold in the world. So why using the stupid stereotype of a girl child as a responsibility?
And now coming to the content.
Who are you targeting in this ad. In most of the Indian families, the target audience of gold purchase is invariably women. They are the drivers (except when they are being driven to the jewellery shop) of gold purchase in literally every Indian household. One has to just go to the nearby jewellery shop to see what I am talking about. The store will be teeming with animated, excited, voluble women (much like the gaggle of girls in the 'Lays Baked Chips Ad), walking around, admiring the necklace, vying for the attention of the salesperson and generally having a fun time.
And the hubbies?
They will be sitting there with a bored, 'women will be women' look in their eyes, ogling at the pretty ladies in the shop, and you can even see a few unromantic souls trying to complete the Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper. The more excited their spouses get, the more worried they will become.
So, which target audience should the ad have targeted? Of course, the women. And what did it target? the worried man.
Secondly, why this negative thrust? In every family, buying gold is a fun filled activity. The planning starts quite early and people get up in the morning, have their bath, say prayers to Goddess Lakshmi, before they go to purchase gold. Even the discussion about gold purchase is positive and exciting. And this ad puts a wet blanket of the whole discussion.
So what is the outcome?
An ad which could have ended up as a positive and uplifting presentation, ended up being bashed about in the social media for its negative stereotyping. Especially in the current environment where there is a national outcry against women stereotyping, this ad ended up doing just that.
The times are far ahead of this ad.