Search This Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not Fair...

“The responsibility lies with us, whether we are okay with being taken for a ride or can we be a bit smart about it?” This is an extract from a friend’s blog that got me thinking. 

We have been seasoned to think that fair is good and dark…no way. As a result every Indian girl aspires to get a tone lighter every day. We use a sunscreen not to protect ourselves from skin cancer but to avoid tanning. We are more bothered about getting a fair skin than a healthy skin. Now what I’m wondering is whether the various fairness cream and lotion advertisements are a result of this Indian psyche or they are actually molding it in a way to make people aspire for fairer skin. Relating fairness with success in career and love is a complete bullshit, but there are certainly takers for these kinds of promotion as well. 

This takes me back to ‘consumer behaviour’ lessons learnt during MBA. Those who have read about means-ends chain model in consumer motivation would know what I’m trying to point at. This model provides a framework to the marketers through which they use a feedback loop to understand consumer motivation, build brand/product strategy and create marketing techniques. Let me try and build the ladder for a fairness cream.

Fairness Cream -> Fair Skin -> Look Good -> Self Confidence -> Perform Better -> Social Acceptance -> Success/Happiness

Almost every product or service created so far and which has a market is because people derive some value from it. But fairness cream advertisers need to be a little bit more sensible in designing their ads. Creativity should be smart, subtle and not dumb or straight on the face. 

A couple of years ago, the GoI tried to stop airing of such ads that promote fairness creams on the premise that these are demeaning to women and promote complexion prejudices, but that didn’t bear fruits. Below is a snapshot of ad-spend of companies like HUL and Emami on such skin whitening creams.

It is for sure that this trend is here to stay; the only concern is why are these ads not made in a dignified way. People who have seen the 9X fairness cream ad would know how demeaning and insensible an ad can be! I’m putting up the 9X ad for my readers. Have fun and pity us while watching. Now going back to where I started, it is time we get a little smarter and be proud of what we are, be it anything, the skin tone, the language, the food or the culture.  

No comments: