Has Myntra missed the point or are we failing to acknowledge one?
December 8, 2015
My first reaction to the Latest Myntra Ad for Anouk was that of a viewer- absolutely delighted at the fact that finally, the kind of “ideal women” some of our advertisements are portraying, are not dark women who need a fairness cream to get a job.
My second reaction was that of an advertising professional- pure and unadulterated jealousy, the kind of jealousy that inspires you to work harder and make more of these.
After dutifully sharing the ad on Facebook I went on to read the reviews and comments. That is when I decided this article had to be written.
1. Please Understand, every brand has a target audience.
Myntra’s target audience can best be described as middle class or upper middle class in layman terms. India is home to people who are below the poverty line, above it, comfortably above it, way above it and so on till those to whom the poverty line might feel like a myth. All these people have different priorities and problems in life.
By what possible logic is this criticism justified that the ad did not cater to the problems of the rural women in India?
2. For once an advertising “Ideal” is not unreal, why is that a problem?
For as long as I can remember, advertising has played on the insecurities of men and women to help brands make profit. For once, a brand decides to not do that and instead tell its audience- You Do You! And we’ve a problem with that?
Sure, it isn’t easy starting out on your own, especially when you’re pregnant. Everyone in the same situation might not have the luxury to do what Shaheen does in the ad. But for once, a brand is trying to paint an onscreen flesh and bone image of the kind of spirit all women in their target market imagine in their heads. What is wrong with that? Sure it is a fairytale, albeit one you can actually live without having to objectify or belittle yourself. Is that a problem?
3. Did you notice that the ad portrays two types of women?
Do me a favor, paint yourself a picture, and imagine a male boss instead of a female one. Wouldn’t it have been more sensational for Myntra to make an ad where a woman is standing up to a man? Would it not have gotten them more “You go Girls”?
Then why did Myntra choose a female character? Because that is one repercussion of patriarchy that is so subtle, most women don’t even notice it. For instance, women themselves subconsciously assume, a pregnancy is a big bad roadblock in a woman’s professional life. The biggest threat to gender equality right now is the new and improved way in which women are subconsciously conforming. And I tip my hat to the copywriter who wrote this ad because; I see what you did there.
We’ve been shouting ourselves hoarse to change the way we advertise. It is about time that we acknowledge those who are trying to do that.