Flix Friday, June 19, 2015 - 05:30
  Deodorant advertisements the world over may hold the record for being the stupidest ones on the planet. For starters, the dominant part of the ad is usually a description of a possible sexual encounter, as opposed to the merits of the product.   Normally, a deodorant is used to prevent body odour. But going by the advertisements, you can interpret the ads in a variety of imaginative ways including thinking that deos encourage adultery – male stranger with (SHOCKINGLY!!) married woman, or that they are a strategic approach to attract someone of the opposite sex without using a matrimonial website/dating service.   The nympho and the creepy chivalrous guy stereotypes Obviously, women were going to be shown as the nymphos. This is what most ads on deos for men imply: Use the deo, and women will just throw themselves at you and the result will be a sexual encounter (often) in non-bedroom locations. (The only thing missing from most of these ads is a condom, which they could have included in public interest.) The bhabhi with the nice red bindi on her forehead and even a newly married woman still in her wedding clothes, all are just raring to have sex just by smelling the oh-so-male fragrance. Men should actually find this offensive – it implies they have absolutely nothing else to attract a woman with. Intelligence, or kindness for example. While there is a range of advertisements where the above scenario plays out for men’s deos, ads on deos for women rather lack even that much effort. This is what one ad with actor Shraddha Kapoor implied: Using the deo somehow spreads a virus that turns men of all ages into a bunch of harmless stalkers who are content to watch you from a distance and help you (give you flowers and umbrellas, sing the occasional song,) but do nothing. (Thankfully, there is a law now, to deal with such behaviour when unwanted). There aren’t really too many varieties of these ads, but a recent advertisement for Cobra deos (highly unimaginative name for a deo, by the way) took the sex metaphor to a whole new level, and a plagiarized level at that, as this Firstpost report points out. Banned, but more of the same FYI, YouTube has a rather helpful list of banned ads which are easily accessible. These aren’t more disgusting, just more explicit. One for instance, shows a woman having an instant sexual fantasy about a man who she bumps into. Women do have fantasies, and sexual encounters with strangers do happen, but it is hardly going to happen because of a goddam deo. But the worst thing isn't the stereotyping The worst thing about these ads is not that they use stereotypes, of course they do, and of course they will objectify both women and men. Yes, men too. We live the age of Fair and Handsome, remember? The most offensive thing about these advertisements is that the casual way in which they insult the intelligence of men and women (and of course, do not acknowledge other sexualities and sexual orientations) and think that they will buy into stupid ideas. We all know its possible to make intelligent, progressive ads – as some of the Tanishq ads show. So we’ll end by lauding the exception to the rule of making deo ads: Milind Soman being “Mantastic” in the Old Spice ad. In case somebody din’t get the joke, the ad is almost a self-parody.
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