It’s nothing but close to torturing ourselves when we have to come across stereotypical advertisements amidst a 1-minute break of a clichéd daily soap that’s ‘apparently’ progressive. (Sorry for the long sentence there, but it’s the frustration, I promise).

There’s no way out of this cycle of reinforcing the same old mentality, again and again. 

Brands promote stereotypes in order to advance their objectives, we know that. However there are certain brands whose campaigns primarily aim to dismiss the prejudices and are really progressive because honestly, it works for them and society, both.

1. Jabong – Be You

It was a bold move by a brand like Jabong to celebrate diversity while advocating the right to choice. The message of ‘be you’ was communicated by depicting a man wearing a nath, a woman wearing a turban, and by similar unconventional representations. This ad won us with its captivating background score too. 

2. Nike – Da Da Ding

Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign intended to inspire women to participate in sports, shattering the stereotype that only males are interested in games. Rani Rampal (hockey), Jyoti Ann Burrett (football), Joshna Chinappa (squash), and Ishita Malviya (surfing) were among the real life athletes who were a part of this campaign. Deepika Padukone (badminton) appeared in the ad as well, and impressively she was given equal screen time.

3. Ariel – Sons Share The Load 

When a mother discovers that her daughter is quitting her successful career in order to take care of the family since her husband apparently ‘cant help in the household work’, she instantly realises that her own son is also brewing to become a similar man. This ad demonstrates that, despite a rising wave of social progress, there is still a long way to go.

4. Dove – Let’s break the rules of beauty

“Isn’t that strange that in a country of 631 million women, there’s still only one face of beauty?” Dove, a leading beauty brand is questioning the beauty standards by displaying women of different age, size, shape and colour.  

5. Bournvita Badam Booster – Tayyari Har Exam Ki

“Aisa koi report card aaj tak bana nahi hain jo ek bache ki kabiliyat bata sake.” This advertisement is aimed at parents, and it urges them to place a greater emphasis on the learning experience rather than the grades. This ad is more intriguing since it is presented from the perspective of a principal in a pre-board context.

6. Dabur Vatika – Brave And Beautiful

Dabur Vatika, a leading hair care brand celebrates a bald woman is getting ready for office and who’s trying to regain her regular life post-cancer. This commercial reiterates the fact that ‘some people don’t need hair to look beautiful’. 

7. Kotak Mahindra 811 –  India Invited

This ad of Kotak Mahindra lifts the subject of ‘inclusivity’ in the Indian society. Singh, on a railway station shows how our society discriminates against people based on caste, creed, looks, religion, sexual identity etc. He metaphorically compares the railway bench to Kotak Mahindra 811 account which is open to anyone regardless of thier background.

8. Gillette India – Man Enough

‘Showing what you feel doesn’t make you less of a man.’ Gillette has set the path for a unconventional idea of manliness and toughness that the future generation of men should strive to by telling the true story of Lt Col M K Sinha SM (Retd) and his father. Disregarding the narrative of ‘men don’t cry’, this campaign has demonstrated the best a man can be. 

9. Max Fashion – Behen Kuch Bhi Pehen

‘Young or old, modest or old, fashion is for everyone.’ This campaign combats society’s judgments and questions about women’s clothes by turning them into compliments. It’s high time the society needs to get it straight that they don’t need to question what she wears! 

10. DIYCAM – Ek naya nazariya

This commercial emphasises how our biases against some community’s appearance cause us to be suspicious of them. However, we must refrain from passing judgement until we have learned the entire truth.

11. Surf Excel – Let colours bring us together

This advertisement released during Holi conveys a beautiful idea about how Holi’s colours may actually be the colours of oneness, dissolving divisions and uniting people across communities. 

12. Bhima Jewellery – Pure as love

This brand portrayed a tale about a transgender person that most brands shy away from presenting. Meera Singhania, the actress, is a real trans woman. This jewellery commercial went viral because it depicted an extra ordinary story.

13.  Prega News – Good News Is Gender Free

This advertisement is targeted towards those who are still concerned about the gender of their child. This Prega News ad, launched on Mother’s Day, promotes gender-neutral good news since the most important thing is the health of the baby and the mother.

14. Colgate – Smile Karo Aur Shuru Ho Jaao

Can there ever be a correct age to fall in love?’, asks this lovely advertismnt, which depicts an elderly woman breaking the news of her remarriage to her family. This campaign emphasises why we should welcome new beginnings, disregarding the ‘log kya kahenge’ narrative. 

15. Vicks – Touch Of Care

In this touching commercial, we witness how a transgender mother fights for her adopted kid every day despite all difficulties. This ad was the first of its type to feature a transgender person in an unorthodox way, based on the actual story of Gauri and Gayatri Sawant.

16. Tanishq 

Tanishq had recently launched an advertisement featuring a Hindu daughter-in-law in a Muslim family where the family celebrates the godh-bharai ceremony with love. Following this a love-jihad controversy was spiked on social media and succumbing to the pressure, Tata withdrew the ad. 

Which advertisement did absolutely move you? Let us know in the comments below.