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10 Indian Ads That Got Feminism Right

Have you had enough of your television teaching you how to be a ‘woman’ and get it right? Do stereotypical ads make you cringe before they even begin? While Indian ads have continuously missed the mark on being progressive and sensitive, there have been those few which have given us the gift of sensitivity and sensibility.

Here are 10 great Indian ads that actually give us hope for the future of advertising, and probably even humanity.

Forest Essentials 2015

What we love about this ad is how it separates the idea of being ‘beautiful’ and being ‘delicate.' The gender roles in this one have been very seamlessly reversed towards the end where we don’t see a boy taking his longing maa ka ashirwaad, but instead, a father blessing his daughter as she most likely prepares for war. Another thumbs up for her just-out-of-bed hair, which actually does look like she’s just out of bed and not straight out of a conditioner bottle.

TBZ Wedding Jewellery

This was one of those rare occasions when women in jewellery ads were shown as actual human beings and not jewellery mannequins. Her playful demeanour and the subtle reference to their relationship (which existed before marriage) are a rare find in a world where ads mostly show brides as bedecked props.

Dabur Vatika

With this ad, Dabur Vatika show down all those hair product ad clichés, like a boss! Not only does it celebrate cancer survivors (by showing them, inspiringly, as fully functional people living with the effects of chemotherapy), it also demolishes the stereotypical idea of beauty—by getting rid of the ‘discomfort’ one might have by looking at a bald woman whom society ostracizes and stigmatizes.

FabAlley's #Unfollow—Uncomfortable and What the f*ck should I wear ?

FabAlley and Radhika Vaz, both got our attention with these series of brilliantly scripted (and enacted) ads, and how! FabAlley broke down traditional ideas of ‘fashion,’ and presented a brutally honest perspective that resonated with real women with real wardrobe problems. Both ads present the message of being true to yourself and dressing for comfort, with a monologue that refrains from being preachy. Brownie points for Radhika Vaz being a total badass!

Ariel #ShareTheLoad

The first part of this campaign does end at a somewhat sexist cliff-hanger, but the second part more than makes up for it. The #ShareTheLoad campaign, so far, has done a brilliant job of shedding the sexist stereotype of laundry being a woman’s job. We love how the campaign also gives a nod to working women in the beginning.

Titan Raga

This was a warm fuzzy hug to our inner feminist. Titan Raga gives us their take on the ‘modern woman’ and totally gets it right. We did get a little bogged down by the unabashed douche-bag the guy was, but the fact the she left him, and for good reason, makes us want to give her a fist bump! Most recently, though, Titan Raga has telecast a new ad, featuring Katrina Kaif, that sets the record straight on marrying for the right reason .

Havells Appliances

Message, humour, sarcasm and product promotion—this ad gets it all right. Gone are the days when the regressive portrayal of women in kitchen appliance ads made us cringe. This ad takes a revolutionary turn from its regressive 1950’s counterpart, and stands out in its own way. Not only does it break the stereotype of a woman being a kitchen accessory, it also mocks the conventional tradition of arranged marriage. We would buy Havells just for restoring our faith in the ad world.

Tanishq Punjabi Wedding Jewellery

Another jewellery ad that doesn’t treat the bride as a prop. This one’s also a slap on the face of all the Honour Killers, Ghar Wapsi-Enthusiasts, and Love Jihaadists. And even though the grandmother speaks purely in the context of marriage, we love how she’s shown as forward and unconventional. So chill.

Havells Fan

Bold and unconventional, this ad makes a statement like never before. Its message is refreshing, and subtly hints at a good solution to the age-old excuse thinking behind female foeticide—that a girl can’t carry forward the family name. We would love this to catch on in real life too, this country needs it.

Femina

This is a relatively older ad, but this list would be incomplete without it. This ad speaks for itself, so we won’t spoil it for you. But we will mention the mad respect we have for this ad for breaking stereotypes and kicking age-old regressive traditions in the ass!

We do hope advertising continues with this trend. At least some things are changing for the better.

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