Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brand Talk: I am not a Gorilla

Anger is an emotion which we’re all familiar with regardless of age, height, weight, social status, race, creed, sect and gender, especially gender. And even though men are the ones who display their anger in the form of fist fights at the first opportunity they get, it’s the fairer sex who’s the ugly gorilla in the ad of the sickly sweet, excuse for a chocolate, Cadbury’s Perk (ad at bottom).

I am not a gorilla. I am a woman. Yes, I get angry, especially when I’m hungry but THAT does not make me a chest pounding, hairy creature with huge nostrils. A fire spitting dragon maybe but definitely not a gorilla!

Here are the problems I have with this ad. Firstly, there is the setting. The typical rishta aunty, the larki walay (parents of the girl) and the prospective in-laws. The former two are  singing praises of the girl in a manner similar to professional salespersons selling a new product to a difficult/moody customer while the latter are impatient to see the 'product' itself so that they can make their own judgment. When will we rid ourselves of drawing rooms where girls walk in holding neatly arranged cups of tea on a tray?

Stop portraying women in stereotypical roles! If you want to show an angry woman, why not show her in the role of the boss, screaming at her team?  What? It hurts your male ego? Admit it. You don’t have the balls to show women in a power position. And please don’t give me the bull about target market because a). Girls don’t eat Perk because it is sweet and full of calories (and tasteless) and increases their weight and b). Children usually eat it and they’re probably going to be more interested in an ad which they can relate to (they’re not stupid) -  not one with a girl their elder sister’s age. Sibling rivalry, you know.

My second problem is with the gorilla. I know Cadbury’s Dairy Milk has this one great ad in which a gorilla plays drums while listening to Phil Collins but this gorilla thing can’t work for you in all your campaigns, can it? Girls, usually, are sugar and spice and all things nice. Maybe you wanted to show how a simple, nice, obedient girl can turn into a monster when she’s hungry. Okay, but why a gorilla? Why not a tigress? And please don’t give me a Charles Darwin Theory here about selecting an animal which is closest to humans because I’m not going to buy it.

Tigers are sexy.

My third problem is with the premise that girl turns into monster when hungry. So are you implying that, when angry, men grow wings and halos appear over their heads? I’ll like to see such men because most of them, in our country, look like gorillas anyways, anger or no anger.

Besides, why would any girl, and especially one with such a temper, marry a wimp? And trust me, any guy who sits between his parents on the sofa is a wimp with a capital W!