And there's yet another apparel brand that's trying to send out a message.
Last year, we saw a couple of ads that tried to break the norm, the lesbian couple ad by Anouk, and the Radhika Apte ad about the woman who was sure to build her career and have a baby at the same time.
This time, it's Biba. The brand's latest ad is a positive step towards changing the game when it comes to arranged marriges in India. The ad starts with a woman getting ready in front of the mirror. The woman happens to have a dusky complexion, as is with all 'path-breaking' ads. And then we see her father come in and ask her to come down. The woman at this point expresses her hesitation about saying 'yes' on the basis of simply feeding him samosas. The father doesn't respond and we're then taken straight to the actual talk.
The boy's family confirms they like the girl and asks if they should consider the 'alliance' as 'fixed' when the girl's father says, "Ji zaroor. Lekin humein bhi toh aapke ghar aana hoga. Humari beti ko bhi dekhna hai agar aapka ladka ghar sambhal sakta hai ya nahin, khaana bana sakta hai ya nahin."
To which, the boy's mother says that her son doesn't even know how to boil water and can only manage to cook some noodles in the microwave from time to time. The girl's father then refuses the alliance and finally we hear the boy speak. He asks them to come to their house after ten days so he can learn how to cook something.
Here, check out the ad.
Sure, it's progressive, but here's my problem. When you've taken the stand to be different, and to be change thinking, why use the most archaic and stereotypical example out there? Instead of food, why not talk about education? Or career, for that matter. Sure, you've made an attempt to change the stereotype that only women should know how to cook, or do the cooking for that matter. But why are we talking about cooking? The stereotype hasn't changed at all then. Men may be expected to know how to cook (big step!), but we also still assume that women must know how to cook. And therein lies the problem.
Well done Biba, but I'm hoping this year we'll see some ads that actually influence change.