If you’ve been to an Indian wedding, you’re probably aware of the amount of gorgeous jewelry that’s worn by the bride. One of the makers of that jewelry—Tanishq—is facing backlash for a commercial some Americans might find completely innocuous.
Take a look at the ad in question:
See anything controversial? There are two aspects of it that have Indians buzzing. The top YouTube comment—“wow! Finally, normal skin tone!”—should give you a clue about the first. Adweek
reports that “agency Lowe Lintas chose a lovely model whose skin tone is apparently ‘duskier’ than that of most advertising brides.”
The second aspect is a bit more complicated. The ad depicts a bride who is clearly getting married for the second time. Widowed and divorced women are generally not looked upon favorably. By casting this woman, who is getting married for the second time, in a very positive light, Lowe Lintas has challenged India’s status quo. It’s huge for a country that isn’t used to having its status quo challenged.
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Lowe Lintas India’s national creative director, Arun Iyer, had this to say to Livemint
about the commercial:
“This is the thinking that most progressive people have. They may not be going through the same thing in their life, but the ad makes a bold, progressive, statement and people like to be associated with brands that make such statements.”
He added that the agency was conscious of the way the ad was shot to ensure that it did not come across too strongly. From the casting of the actors “it had to look like a marriage of equals, not something that was done out of pity,” to the execution of the ad, to ensure that it looked like a small, cozy wedding. “We didn’t want it to look like we were trying to make a point,” said Iyer.
Do you agree? Do brands have a responsibility to challenge social norms?