Women Talk

Cringeworthy: Sexist Indian Ads that Fail to Understand Gender at all


Understanding gender roles is difficult and these sexist Indian ads make it more difficult to understand


The advertising industry is one of the most blooming content industries at present. It is wonderful to see creators getting fuelled with ideas and drawing their vision in real. But what really disappoints is when creators go the wrong way with their representation. In the name of making their content relatable, many creators end up being stereotypical and hence give a misogynist and sexist representation in their ads. And considering the fact that these ads are made for the masses, an ad with foul representation can harm the generation’s understanding of the issue forever. Here is a list of sexist Indian ads that fail to understand gender at all.

Sexist Indian Ads that Fail to Under Gender at all

1. Voltas Beko’s Dishwasher Ad, the tagline says, “Tested by Real Moms”

Well, this ad might look completely fine, trust me it is not. The entire conversation of these four women has been about how this dishwasher has been so good. But we wonder, why all women? This ad removes men completely from the picture and the conversation of these women suggests that it is only women’s responsibility to maintain clean dishes. And of course, the tagline, “Tested by Real Moms” makes us wonder how are moms in the picture when the idea is to promote a dishwasher.

2. Snickers, Punchline of the ad remains “Jab isse bhuk lagti hai toh ye ekdum heroine ban jaata hai”

This ad, starring Sonam Kapoor is one of the most cringe-worthy ads ever. We wonder why has this ad deliberately has to say “Jab isse bhuk lagti hai toh ye ekdum heroine ban jaata hai”. What do they mean by ‘tu heroine ban jaata hai?’. What do the makers understand by the idea of being a heroine? In the ad, Sonal acts like a stereotypical delicate, crabby woman who, that a man becomes when he gets hungry. Basically, he doesn’t remain masculine and man enough.

3. Airtel Boss vs Wife ad

This ad should be a noteworthy ad as the outlook of it seems really progressive but it perhaps is not. Here the wife is the boss at the office, gives work to the husband who then works late at night even when the wife leaves the office. But then when she is home, she is the one making food and gets back to her stereotypical wifey avatar.

Read More: What’s so good about Motherhood?

4. Head & Shoulders, tagline – “Shutup before you stop being a man’


This is an ad about using men’s shampoo, but it uses overtly sexist terms for women and women’s shampoo and asks men to stop using their female partner’s shampoo before they stop being a man. Basically, they have to use men’s shampoo to be man enough.

5. Kelloggs Special K Ad

“The difference is the breakfast like special K every day. People who eat breakfast like low-fat Kelloggs K tend to be slimmer than those who don’t eat breakfast” – This is the voice-over in this ad. But what is the ad promoting? Slimmer bodies? And precisely, slimmer bodies for women? Its representation is wrong and does not get the body image right.

6. Prestige – “jo Bevi Se Kare Pyaar, voh Prestige se kaise kare inkaar”

A man needs to keep things that a wife likes, to please her, they have to keep what the wife likes, that can be as small as a pressure cooker. And, the man needs to get that pressure cooker. This is what this ad states, and no wonder how cringeworthy it is.

7. Moov – “aah se aaha tak”

Well, Moov’s ads could have been less problematic if they would not have always restricted to the female protagonists. The representation of the line, “aah se aaha tak” in Moov’s ad has been so that the woman working tirelessly gets aches, can use Moov so that she can get back to doing the unpaid job of being a housewife.

Well, these are only a few examples, and there are so many more. And we have not even counted the products like Fair and Lovely and Veet intimate wash, which are born out of the idea of a stereotype. These are only the ones that could have been completely non-sexist ads but have failed to be.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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