Just ahead of the International Women's Day, Titan Raga released their latest ad showing the way a woman's success at a typical workplace is looked at. Like their other ads, this too has triggered an online discussion. In the past, they released a couple of advertisements that deconstructed stereotypical images of a woman — at home, her relationships and career.
The Titan Raga ad starring Katrina Kaif encourages women to get married for the right reasons and not because of societal pressures. As Kaif says in the ad, "Get married when you find the one who deserves your time."
As part of their campaign ‘Her Life Her Choices,’ this ad starring Nimrat Kaur tells the story of a modern woman, who is passionate about her work, comfortable in her identity and not willing to conform to societal norms.
With these ads, Titan Raga had set a trend of taking women's issues head on and starting a discussion, if not shattering common stereotypes.
However, in their latest ad, they have sort of missed the point.
The opening scene is set in an office meeting, during which a certain Kiran's name comes up for promotion. The name conjures up an image of a young, sexy woman. She is seen exchanging meaningful glances with her boss and working late nights with him. The big surprise arrives when Kiran is asked to come in, and the seniors discover that Kiran is not the sexy woman they imagined, but is simply a hard working man.
Though it managed to trigger a discussion on how a woman is perceived at the workplace and the way her relations are scrutinised, this Titan ad seems to breaking no bias, much unlike their hashtag #breakthebias. Does it really break the bias as it claims to? Not much. It felt like a half-hearted attempt to drive home the point that petty judgments and constricted views cannot come in the way of a woman's success. The message could have been stronger.
A sensual woman going by the name of Kiran, described as "young and fresh" and who spends a lot of time with her boss can't possibly be getting a promotion based only on merit. The stereotypical image of a smart and sexy woman who gets along with her boss can only elicit one response - she is probably sleeping her way up the corporate ladder.
The ad fails to drive home the point that just because she is getting promoted, and has her boss' support doesn't mean that there is something brewing between the two. In fact, what it shows is that the stereotypes that apply to women doesn't hold ground when it comes to a man. At the end of the ad, the visual of a sexy woman being favoured by her boss stays, but it doesn't establish the point that a woman can get promoted based purely on her work and not how she conducts herself in the office.
A young good looking woman can be judged if she is the boss' favourite, but the same rule doesn't apply if the employee is a man. Will the rules change if Kiran and his boss were a gay couple?