Real people on reel fempower
Here's what some real people, women and men, have to say about the reel fempower.
We showed them Nike's powerhouse film from last year, 'Da Da Ding' that had the likes of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg publicly praising the commercial. The second is Ariel's award-winning 'Share The Load' campaign that took on a familiar problem in most Indian homes: Why must women alone do all household chores, in addition to managing work and family life? And the third is a film by Myntra's Anouk that dwells into the issues pregnant women face in the workplace. Here's what some real people had to say about ad-reel women.
Nike: It's feisty, fearless and fun! And all the girls chosen to represent their respective sports are totally badass! The only thing that comes across a bit jarring is having Deepika Padukone in it. It was probably a brand compulsion but I think it would have been nicer to shoot the video minus a celebrity and hero the real athletes.
Ariel: I've always hated the typical detergent ads showing a matronly woman lamenting about "kitne daag hain", so this made for a refreshing change. It also struck a deeply personal chord as my dad never ever helps around the house while my mum juggles work and home chores. As a full time mum and a professional myself, I definitely feel we need more campaigns like this to talk about how men too have an equal responsibility in handling domestic chores.
Anouk: Again, I have my personal biases for really liking this campaign. I've just re-joined work after a 6 month maternity break and thank my stars every day that I work for an organisation that encourages women to come back to the workforce even after a baby. I think more Indian employers need to wake up to the fact that pregnancy or motherhood is not a handicap and that with the right kind of organisational support (day care, flexi hours, etc) they can ensure that women can rise within the organization, without a career break.
Nike: It's inspiring to see women from all walks of life going through hardship yet going strong and who have achieved new heights in sports but aren't too well promoted. Also, it's an addictive music track.
Ariel: A very powerful and insightful campaign, especially when it comes to detergents. In today's world when we speak about equality at work, we forget about it back at our home, where it should start from. The ad leaves us thinking about sharing our day-to-day responsibilities.
Anouk: Women over the years have gone through major discrimination at work during their pregnancy. Be it promotions or being appraised for the work they did. Myntra brings out a determined and strong ad about a woman, who can balance work with pregnancy. Employers should start respecting expecting mothers by supporting them at work and not by creating end-of-career situations.
Nike: One of the best campaigns that I have come across in recent times featuring athletes I didn't know of. It actually made me relate more to the story because we are all in some way or the other one of these unsung athletes in our own lives.
Ariel: The video was not just about a powerful message, encouraging men to do their fair share of housework but it also encourages all of us to do our fair share of work to reconstruct a society based on equality.
Anouk: Brilliantly executed campaign that made my head roll and triggered many social conversations. If I were to add a cognitive layer, I would rather see this video as more about 'individualism vs the herd mentality' in our society rather than just social biases against free spirited, new age women.
Nike: The film has been beautifully shot. The best part of the video is the way the girls are presented - strong. For me that's what women are in whatever they do. It's a fresh and welcome change from 'Fairness Cream' ads.
Ariel: This is my favourite one - firstly because of the emotional value (I became a father to a daughter few years back). Secondly, it's an eye opener for many of us. We often ignore our mothers and wives struggling with daily chores and careers everyday but get hurt when this happens to our daughters. Sad reality.
Anouk: A true picture of what's happening to our women who aspire to be successful professionally and have a family life as well. It's happening to many career-oriented women who want to pause for a maternity break. The video successfully portrays the strength that women have - emotionally and physically, in all stages of their lives.
Nike: Even as femininity gets defined and redefined on our screens with unflinching regularity, Nike jumps into the ring with this breathless hymn to choreographed sporting action designed to seduce. And it does a splendid job. In the post 'Chak-De' world, the parkour jump on the car roof sending the man ducking for cover is now par for the course. Well done, all!
Ariel: The Ariel ad makes one think sympathetically of all the men who will never get this ad. And of all the others who would, and will still not do shit about it.
Anouk: Seeing Uma complement Shaheen on her dress that 'almost hides the baby bump', and later in the film stopping short of naming her pregnant state are moments of epiphany. Shaheen's decision to strike out on her own is perfectly reasoned, barring one point that makes me uncomfortable. While the film makes the point that maternity and professional success need not be mutually exclusive, what is equally true is that maternity leave is a woman's right, and not a concession one makes to her. For me the film fails to address this crucial distinction. So, not bold enough.
Nike: Brilliant. I love the fact that they've broken every stereotype there is for sports in our country and shot an ad that's so in your face yet aesthetically brilliant. And the fact that they've showcased every sport we play in India. It's refreshing to see cricket sans Dhoni & Co. and no Sindhu or Nehwal for badminton.
Ariel: So thoughtful, it makes one think twice. The patriarchal stereotypes exist no more. And when we expect women to help us earn, then we too should help them in return. The money shot? The fact that it's shot through a father's perspective. Where it's experience that is talking and seeking forgiveness and change. Aligning it to the life of a modern working woman - brilliance.
Anouk: I thought the Anouk ad was a bit too over dramatic, which is probably why I did not enjoy it as much as the other two. While Nike is supposed to be over the top and Ariel, subtle, they stick to their core. Anouk as a theme looked out of place when it came to execution. No complaints about performances or concept, but the whole script or screenplay was a tad overdone in my view.