CULTURE AND SEX-ROLE STEREOTYPES IN ADVERTISEMENTS
The present research examines the stereotypical and cultural roles in advertisements. For many years the Advertising agencies are creating these stereotypical norms in society. We all know how advertisements and movies play a vital role in each and everyone’s life, actually we do learn many things from advertisements and movies. They also play an important role in one’s life, it’s very important to understand this topic that, how these advertising agencies are creating a gap between men and women and also, they promoting the stereotypical norms like, this is what well-mannered women should do or this is what well-mannered gentlemen should do. We need to understand how these advertisements play a vital role in our lives and what is the impacts of advertisements on our day-to-day life.
Advertisements have become a big business. They are promoted by celebrities drawn from various fields like films, sports, etc., leaving their influence on all people, especially the youngsters. what is an advertisement? According to, the Advertising Association of the UK, advertising is a means of communication with the users of a product or service. Advertisements are messages paid for by those who send them and are intended to inform or influence people who receive them. In simple words, advertisement is the promotion of a product and brand to attract viewers’ attention or interest to sell the product. It is the smoothest action of calling people’s attention to an idea, good, or service through a paid announcement by an identified sponsor. Advertisement is a pronouncement online, in the newspaper, on television, or poster about something such as an event, new product or job. The first product to be advertised on TV was Gwalior Suiting in an advertisement that appeared on 1 January 1976.
IMPACT OF ADVERTISEMENTS IN SOCIETY
In today’s world Advertisements plays an essential role in gaining people’s attention to a new product or brand because what people see, people buy. The types of ads being produced these days have shown great influence on the minds of people by persuading them through attractive advertising tactics, but sometimes these tactics of advertising have the show’s some positive as well as some negative impacts on society.
Nowadays people fulfil their needs the source of advertisements, every product from a single hairpin to a luxurious car, today everything is advertised to grab a large no. of people’s attention. Nowadays people fulfil their needs the source of advertisements, every product from a single hairpin to a luxurious car, today everything is advertised to grab a large no. of people’s attention.
But sometimes people buy wrong things without thinking whether they need that product or not because they take everything as competition to be unique in every way from the other person and this thinking made them choose the product which has been advertised often and this benefits the company with increased sales.
Advertisement is a way in which they provoke people to buy certain products or brands. In this way, advertisements control the mind of the interested person by fulfilling their want but sometimes they influence people to buy things that they don’t even need.
Advertising companies need to be aware before creating any type of adv. because sometimes without even knowing they create some stereotypical or racial comments and these comments affect society very much.
Advertisements enforce negative stereotypes, create a sense of discontentment, make racial comments, inspire stress in our relationships with ourselves and influence us to spend money without any need and this creates a great impact on our kids and youngsters very much.
SEX ROLE STEREOTYPES IN ADVERTISEMENT
A stereotype is a thought process that is imposed by society that they believe it’s right but often it’s wrong. (In advertisements, they often portray women as housewives which is not true) -In Indian advertisements everything seems to be divided by gender, thousands of examples are there that show how advertising agencies are dividing men and women based on gender. But the reality is that society itself is the advertisement agencies.
First, the portrait of women as a housewife from taking care of their home to taking care of their children as an ideal woman and, then if somehow, they find some spare time after doing all the household work, then they will be allowed to pursue their dreams. Men are there in this advertisement but whether they were shown like they can’t do anything at all, like someone or something is holding them back from helping their wives or they only lecture women teaching them how to work as an ideal woman.
Clothes stain remover adv like Vanish or toilet cleaning adv. like Harpic, where one man came and tells women’s how and what to use for cleaning washrooms.
Why are there never women who come and tell men how to use or what to use for household cleaning, it’s because of gender discrimination or we can say society’s stereotypical way of thinking?
Similarly in Vim Bar adv., a woman is cleaning dishes then suddenly her sister-in-law comes and says “wow Bhabhi Apki to khud Ki bakery Honi Chahine” and then her husband comes in the frame and says “ha tumhe Shaadi se Pahel bakery kholni thi na” and his wife replies that “Kya Karun Ghar Ke Kam se Kabhi waqt he nhi Mila” then she realises that after using vim bar she can save some time for her passion, then she says “mtlb Abhi Waqt Hai khud Ki Pechan Banane ka” seriously is this how it works.
I’m not targeting vim bar or any specific other brands the problem is not vim bar or any other brand or product the problem is lies within the advertising agencies, why are they portraying women as housewives why not men as house husband or why not both doing household together it’s because of the society and their stereotypical myths.
There are many more examples like baby products they always portray women as taking care of the baby, where are men? Is there no role for men for their children? Is taking care of children only a women’s job?
Brands like “Johnson baby” in their advertisements always women are holding their child with a soft background voice of a female saying “I am so blessed with a child; I feel so blessed when I touch him” and always women giving baths to his/her child there is no involvement of men at all.
Why are always women holding the child? Where are men? Why is there no involvement of men at all? Don’t they care about their child?
That’s how they portray men in these advertisements by not portraying them in these roles, these advertisement agencies are promoting the stereotypical men who think that this is women’s work only not their job.
There are many advertisements that show that only women care about their children, for example, Bournvita, Horlicks, complain, all these energy drink adv.
The portrait that the responsibility of children lies on women, she needs to take care of her children because this is what an ideal woman should do.
Why not men are shown in these advertisements why? there are thousands of advertisements that teach women, how and what is their work, and their role in society.
CULTURE IN ADVERTISEMENTS
Culture is the word used to describe the certain ‘way of life people live or the way they do things. An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour. The outlook, values, morals, goals, and customs are shared by a society. We all know how people were emotionally attached to their culture and emotions drive engagement, brand recall, and purchase intent.
Understanding and quantifying culture in advertising help to define the relevant emotional palette a brand can use with a particular audience and take advantage of people’s emotions. The way the advertising agencies work, they know how to attract people of different religions and cultures. They do know their market and how to grab the attention of their audience as well.
The brand Cadbury understands the Indian market very well, whether it’s Diwali or Holi we just have to name the festival, they have a different-different version of dairy milk for a specific festival, specific tag lines like “Kuch Mitha ho Jaye”, they just change the first word according to a specific festival like Diwali, Holi, Valentine’s Day, Raksha Bandhan, Bhai dooj and the list goes on.
They also have an exotic range of packs in which they also have their premium products like Silk, Oreo, Bubble, Cadbury celebrations, Dark chocolate, Fruit and Nut, etc.
They have changed the meaning of festival in India like if we won’t eat dairy milk our festival won’t be completed and if a company tries to break these differences like Tanishq did and we all know what happened after that, they have to go through several backlashes and anger, everyone started to accuse them of hurting religious sentiments of peoples. In the end, they have to drop their advertisement and apologies for the same.
LAW TO REGULATE ADVERTISEMENT
At present in India, there’s no central statutory agency or uniform legislation regulating the advertising trade. The Advertising Standards Council of India, a non-statutory body, regulates and controls the Indian advertising market as a whole (ASCI). within the absence of uniform integrated legislation, advertisers should make sure that promotional billboard, poster, commercial an advert} complies can all native and national advertisement laws. ASCI may be a voluntary self-regulatory council established in 1985 to push accountable advertising and enhance public confidence in advertisements. The council’s objectives are—
(a)To make sure the honesty and honesty of representations and claims created by advertisements
(b)To make sure that advertisements don’t seem to be offensive to typically accepted standards of public decency
(c)To protect against the indiscriminate use of advertising to promote products deemed dangerous to society or people.
CHANGES IN ADVERTISEMENTS
We all have to accept that with time advertisement has changed, there are many advertisements which shows women as a strong woman in the society, there is such adv. which are breaking the hierarchy as well such as:
Biba, Tanishq, Titan, Dr. otekar Fun Foods, Tide advertisement by Ayush man Khurana, Priel soap and baby wipes, etc. But these advertisements are merely shown on television they were more like web advertisements. -But still, we have to accept that with time many advertisements who are showing women as a housewife and portraying them as perfect women should do this or that, but now these adv agencies have changed by the time, such as Vim, Ariel, Jonson’s baby, etc.
Now they are showing how men should also help in household work and men should also take care of their children as well because that’s not a woman’s job this adv. has broken the stereotypes and also breaking Patriarchy.
Everything revolves around the social norms and stereotypes created by the society, where men and women both are weak and cannot stand for themselves because in the end ‘’log Kya kahenge’’wins.
Advertisements have increased the awareness of people by keeping them updated with the activities of the market like, which product is launched? What is the market price of that product? How is it used? What are the Merits and Demerits? This enables them to participate actively in the ongoing happenings of the market. Advertising impacts the economic stability of society.
The influence created by adv. on society builds the desire to purchase new products. This increases the sales of the company which sums up to benefit the economic structure of the country.
But I believe that in our country advertisements are not only a way to launch or publicise a new product. It is a way of communication between seller and consumer, by which people choose or differentiate between good or bad products or we can say the difference between branded products or cheap products.
Adv. has always affected us from being reserved to open-minded, we all know that there are thousands of Anti-feminists, religious comments, Political hatred and many more this type of advertisement that we see in our day-to-day life but have we become open-minded? Or have we ever tried to become one? Have we ever tried to stop them? we never tried to, nobody bothers a bit, and if somehow someone tries to do so no one notices or accepts the reality and it’s correct though because, in our society, Society rules and society is nothing but these advertising agencies.
I think there should be a serious debate on this issue because these advertisement agencies are making billions of dollars and spreading hate against feminism, brotherhood, family relations, religious hate, and political hatred.
There should be strict laws and punishments against these types of advertisement agencies who are making this world a more violent place. And to stop that our government need to remind these advertisement companies and society that Democracy rules.
Author: Ashok choudhary,
Indore Institute of Law/ LLB HONR.