With reference to the article “Brands that stereotype” (December 27) advertising in India has become a challenging task as it has to be designed to attract attention of the intending buyers. At the same time, it has to ensure directness in communicating the message without trading on the social and political sensitivity of not only the target group but the public at large.
Non-stereotyped advertisements have the benefit of novelty to draw attention but their ability to create interest in the advertisement to listen/read further would depend on the speed with which the advertisement provides clarity about the features of the product rather than making the person wonder about the relevance of the chosen model.
Further in the Indian context, displaying a man cooking with the woman watching may not go down well with the traditional families. Besides, a pithy message creates more impact than an endorsement by a celebrity about the assurance of finding no dirty spots after using the said detergent. Any message trying to convey a social message by using the non-stereotype is likely to be misunderstood more often than not. Since the objective of a good advertisement is to convert created interest into desire to buy and actually buy a product, use of the non-stereotype roles has to be planned skillfully and sparingly so that there is no need to ban them completely.
Y G Chouksey Pune
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