Thanks to years of conditioning, gender roles have become a common occurrence which frequently reflects in popular media, including the advertisements.
However, with changing times, people have been standing up for the right, making appeals to the brands and asking them to make necessary changes.
For instance, recently someone called out Scotch Brite and asked the brand to change its 'bindi donning woman' logo. And now, netizens are now pointing out clear sexism in the latest Voltas Beko ad for dishwashers.
In times like these, #VoltasBeko dishwashers have made lives easier and chores convenient. They're #TestedByRealMoms and bear their seal of approval. So, trust and bring home a dishwasher today. pic.twitter.com/RvC5bMTs66— Voltas Beko (@VoltasBeko) July 16, 2020
Firstly, the ad only features women who are shown to be talking to each other over a video call. At one point one of the women does mention that her husband is washing the dishes but that's about it.
Secondly, the hashtag the company is using for product promotion is this: #TestedByRealMoms.
So it isn't just sexist, but also reinforces the idea that only a mother can take good care of household, and hence would know whether the dishwasher is good or not.
Also, women who are not married or married women who don't have babies - they don't need dishwashers either.— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) July 21, 2020
This was highly criticised by people on Twitter, and here are some other reactions.
Errr, Voltas, do you think women who are not Moms and men in general don't wash dishes or should not wash dishes?— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) July 21, 2020
Advertising promotes gender divide more than anything else. Sad to see @VoltasBeko doing this.— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) July 21, 2020
"A woman's place is in the kitchen" - spoke Voltas in 2020!— Madhumita (@madhuchak) July 21, 2020
Didn't know motherhood and dishwashing were related. Keen to understand why you thought this was appropriate?— Azra Qaisar (@AzraQaisar) July 20, 2020
Where are the men in your ad voltas? Too busy doing the ‘important stuff’ is it?— manu arya (@manuarya83) July 20, 2020
After the backlash, the spokesperson of Voltas Beko released a statement which read:
As a brand, Voltas Beko has always celebrated the spirit of womanhood in all our campaigns. Likewise in this advertisement, we captured a fun, casual conversation between four independent and spirited friends who got together over a video call during the lockdown. One of the characters in the video refers to how the family has been managing household chores, with her husband taking over the responsibility of washing dishes. This is when the protagonist of the film recommends a dishwasher. Our products have been developed to create convenience and comfort for all our customers, and are gender agnostic.
Which is not a very convincing explanation for an advertisement which features only one gender throughout.
In a statement released for the media to clarify the intent behind brand's latest ad, #VoltasBeko Spokesperson said, “As a brand, Voltas Beko has always celebrated the spirit of womanhood in all our campaigns.— Advertising and Media Insider India (@admediainsider) July 21, 2020