Is this really the message they should be sending?

May 21, 2007 at 11:29 pm 4 comments

These billboards are not new but I remember first seeing them and thinking to myself “Is this considered responsible advertising?” What was the bank trying to convey in this series of ads – that women borrow money for frivolous things like re-doing their drawing rooms and buying designer clothes (yes there was one that showed that too)! That fathers borrow money to send their sons for higher education and to get their daughters wedded off? After all, why waste money on a girl’s education right? Annoying as hell and certainly not the kind of values we should be instilling in the new generation. While some of us work to convince young girls and their parents that there are no limits to the careers women can pursue, we have a respected organization conveying something totally different – spend money on educating your sons and spend lavishly on your daughters’ marriages. The other message – live beyond your means. If you see something that you can’t afford, just borrow the money and buy it anyway.

daughter's marriage

son's varsity education

re-decorating

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A four-hour work week? ISI next?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. vvcrishna  |  May 22, 2007 at 10:35 am

    I have seen these ads, that have their echoes in ads seen for other products and services (Fair and Lovely comes immediately to mind). It seems an unfortunate by-product, rather like sewage, of the unquestioned rush for consumerism that is being used as the channel to economic growth across the subcontinent.

    This would not be a totally Bad Thing, and in fact in some ways is definitely not a Bad Thing, but the proponents of this approach always seem to behave as though there is no other.

    Which reminds me of the slogan used by some of those who think different – Another Way is Possible. It rang out in Mumbai in 2004, and in Karachi in 2006, echoing its use elsewhere in the world. But it is not reflected in corporate sector advertisements – do they lack the imagination, the awareness, or are they simply blind to the possibilities?

    Reply
  • 2. zakintosh  |  May 23, 2007 at 10:34 am

    There’s an obvious reason, JA. The corporate world is still run (mainly) by MCPs. But a great deal of my anger is at the female Creatives/Visualizers/Designers who wiork at Ad Agencies and continue to let these myths and similar crap go unchallenged (and even contribute to it).
    Fair and Lovely, of course, in a slightly different context, perpetrates the colonial mindset: gora is good! Bleaaah!

    Reply
  • 3. sabizak  |  May 26, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    this post addresses what I have felt several times regarding these credit banking ads, these particular ones were especially annoying and the gender stereotypes they endlessly perpetuate I too have written (rather angrily) about on my blog.

    Good post!

    Reply
  • 4. Jehan  |  May 26, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks. You know perhaps I overact but I get a bit fed up when a newspaper boy assumes that all I am likely to buy is Women’s Own, Visage or Good Food. He doesn’t know any better (well now he does :-)) but these guys are educated, they are supposed to have a world view and Zak is right – very often it is women who are the visualizers and copywriters at the agencies that produce this junk. Must check out your blog. Hope you will be a regular visitor to mine.

    Reply

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