A leading news network has ended up discrediting actress Priyanka Chopra in the process of their ad campaign aimed at creating awareness about women viewership for English News in India. This advertisement has backfired massively since it reduces her identity to her alleged exs Khan, Kapoor, Baweja… The ad, which appears to be part of a series to create awareness on how women are on top of the news has ironically ended up coming across as sexist. Naturally, people are not happy with it and calling out the network for this insensitive ad.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 23, 2018
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 22, 2018
Perhaps the campaign makers thought it was funny and cheeky. While acknowledging how she is conquering Hollywood, must it be mentioned how many men /co-actors she has apparently been in a romantic relationship with? Is that all that is to Chopra?
This is one of those occasions when the overenthusiastic ad machines overshoot their briefs and end up negating the very point they were asked to put across.
Female journalists on the said group’s news channels are doing really well, which is indeed applaud worthy. This initiative to raise awareness about female viewership of English news channels is also commendable. In fact, it would have been a valiant effort had the advertisers stuck to the concept of showcasing how women from all walks of life are generating, presenting and consuming news.
The ad makers could have easily used names of popular characters played by Chopra– Kashibai, Roma, Alex, Sweety, Jhilmil and it would have had a somewhat similar effect. Or they could have used unrelated surnames as they did in other ads. Using the surnames of her alleged exs reduces all of Chopra’s achievements to men she has been with.
The ad hooks onto her alleged romance with Nick Jonas as a vital part of her Hollywood feats.
The only question these ad-makers should ask themselves is, would they have used the same strategy had their ad been about men? Would they have used surnames of alleged ex-girlfriends, had it been one of the leading men from the industry? If no, then why is it appropriate to do so with a female achiever? Why must the media make the men in their lives into such an important part of their identity?
It is easy to end up with sexist advertising content, even when the topic is women empowerment. We have seen this happen before in so many advertisements and giants like Zomato, Jack and Jones had to pay the price of this. Nothing goes unnoticed in this age of Internet, and someone or the other will call out such derogatory content. Wouldn’t it be easier to skirt away from such tactics? Or must the awareness always come after an outrage and loss of public face?
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.