The new word of the day in neo-feminism is the blatant combatting of a few established, over-sexualised female tropes—and we see Vir Das do exactly that in his new commercial for HE deodorants.
Here, watch it first. That way you'll be able to decide whether you agree or disagree with full disclosure.
So, the thing is, their point comes across—like a sledgehammer to the face comes across, or a drill to a tooth comes across. The ad, while adhering to an intelligent perspective (and hoping to rope in intelligent consumers) is not pieced together very intelligently.
Yes, it puts a fork in all the right sexualised tropes—the hot girl on a bike, the flagrant misuse of a bikini-clad foreigner to sell anything from an energy drink to cement, the over-stretched idea of sexually-driven indulgence in commercials like (with obvious reference to) Katrina Kaif's Aamsutra for Slice...the thing is, it's TOO obvious.
The problem is, with the current climate of championing for change, we're sort letting the bar for creativity fall a smidge. Any effort to be socially progressive is rah-rahed to the point that we end up paying almost no attention to the stylistic aspect of how it's done.
The trouble is, we're in a space we're we are all simply so hungry for a change in point of view, we'll take it any way it's cooked. It doesn't even matter if:
1) There has been no imagination that's gone into the making of the ad, apart from sticking Vir in a couple of gender-bender costumes, to make their point. We don't even know what the hell Vir is doing, or WHY we segue into talking about the tropes at all.
2) The swift forgetting of the fact that the deodorant was about all about masculinity one campaign cycle ago, and that this comes across so openly as a sales ploy/ bandying for attention than it does relevant to the brand philosophy. I mean, come on, Axe commercials are ludicrously sex-driven, but at least they do it with integrity.
3) The man that's telling you about #herrespect, despite being EXACTLY the kind of person that would've otherwise been perfect for a women's rights campaign (there is an air of gender-respecting intelligence about him) was last seen selling out in the most sexist trope pornomedy of all time—Mastizaade.
Still, we suppose it's the thought that counts.