Is This Not Racism ? June 17, 2008Posted by astralwicks in advertisement, Advertising, Blogging, Business, Celebrity Endorsement, Commerce, Culture, Economy, india, Ponds Skin White, Racism, Writing.
Tags: ad monitoring, coke, conditioning, Indian MNC, pepsi, pullela gopichand, skin whitening creams
Turn on the channels and what do you see. Advertisements. For that matter, look around and there they are – on hoardings, magazines, shops, windows. They catch your eye because of humorous reasons.
Some because they are funny. Like the Mirinda ‘Paagalpanti Bhi Zaroori Hai’. The recent one at the mandap, Indian father and daughter getting emotional at the bidai of the daughter and then viola the daughter scaring the father with an attack / gesture to his knees which makes him jump.
As kids we used to do that a lot to scare people. It instantly brings a smile to your face.
Welcome to Ad Novellas – commercials that tell a story – chapter by chapter.
Welcome to Ponds White Beauty Range.
This one is doing heavy rotation. One featuring 2 superstars of Indian cinema Saif Ali Khan and Priyanka Chopra also featuring Neha Dhupia.
Some time back a teaser started to air which looked like a teaser for an upcoming film Kabhi Kabhi Pyar Main without revealing the association with the product. Very interesting people would say and wait for the big reveal. Then the reveal happened.
Saif and Priyanka looking appropriately sad, romantic and heart-broken part ways. The diptych locket is halved and Priyanka comes face to face with a shop-window and its beautiful products – Ponds White Beauty Range
I don’t even want to go beyond. Most would have guessed.
Here is an international beauty pageant winner – apparently a woman who should set up an example for the woman of her generation – that’s what they profess in all the their interviews, being bought over by an MNC (Unilever India) to endorse a skin cream that will make you white – which is the accepted color of success in all spheres (personal, professional – remember Rakesh Roshan, in another such socially meaningful, discovering the commentator ad?).
Saif too has been paid millions for this ad I am sure and everybody loves millions.
Pullela Gopichnd too was offered millios after he won the All England Badminton championships. By both Pepsi and Coke. He refused. Saying both the drinks were health hazards. He had knee injuries and some would say his career ended prematurely. He runs an academy in Hyderabad without any huge sponsorships.
There are other creams for men now which assault you day and night. Is this not Racism? Is this insidious celebration of all things white not indoctrination, conditioning of young minds by MNC’s using successful people to sell their products? Is it less harmful than Shah Rukh smoking on screen? Is it any less regressive than the soaps that Ekta dishes out to the Indian audience daily and whom we criticize endlessly?