Do we have the courage to say stereotyping is not my type?
Ever wondered why a bubble gum commercial never featured stunning models and luxurious settings Picture this – a svelte woman slowly unwraps a bubble gum and puts it in her mouth. She blows a big bubble and the brand name flashes on the screen. Red pout, classy font, stylish logo. What did you say, it will look better as an ad for non-transferrable lipsticks? That’s exactly how stereotyping works.
As you may have already observed, most of the insurance ads tug at your heart with their emotional approach. Men deodorant and shaving product brands focus more on users’ need for desirability. Sanitary napkins talk about fighting what holds you back. Whereas cosmetic brands have heavily filtered ads that make their models look flawless. Yet another controversial and cringe-worthy stereotype exists in the form of fairness creams that teach us that you have to looking fairer in order to gain confidence in life. All these stereotypes are borrowed from our societal beliefs and deep rooted desires. Advertising is all about creating needs and sometimes it’s done quite cunningly.
Just to add, have you noticed the recent phenomenon of using differently abled characters in TV commercials. Some brand started, and others followed blindly. One that comes to mind is the Samsung film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=779KwjAYTeQ
There are a few exceptions that manage to break these patterns and dare to stand out. They are the ones that are strongly remembered for their distinct brand identity and communication. These brands are widely liked for understanding people. Dove is one soap brand that has always used real women instead of made-up models. Watch this Dove activity video where the brand challenges the perceptions of beauty. A sanitary napkin brand – ‘Always’ tells us why you should behave #likeagirl. Also, this Joy body lotion ad was noticeable for using a popular comedy queen – Bharti Singh. Here, however, they have made these commercials on the foundation of the same instincts and fears. Instead of hiding them, these brands embrace those feelings and show us the beauty in normality. So as a brand, what would you want to be – a ‘Me too’ or a ‘Yes, that’s me’?