Commercial advertisements are a dime a dozen especially during the festival season and with Karwa Chauth, Diwali, Dhanteras all in quick successions, products have been coming out with advertisements and some of them have been been trying to make a statement. A recent advertisement by Dabur’s Fem has elicited mixed reactions after it rolled out an ad that celebrated ‘Karva Chauth’ but made it more dynamic and inclusive. The ad promoted a face bleaching product and it shows two young women getting ready for their first ‘Karwa Cahuth’ and thus indulging in make up and face cleansing products. The two women are also given festive clothes by an elderly woman to wear on the ocassion as they discuss why they are keeping the ‘Karwa Chauth’ fast.
The ad then moves to the next scene which shows both the women standing facing each other with the ornate sieve and a decorated thali in front of them, thus revealing they are each other’s partners. While many praised the ad for being progressive and LGBTQ friendly, promoting same-sex couples and relationships, it caused a divide on social media as always.
Check out the advertisement here:
While the advertisement tried to juxtapose a traditional Hindu ritual with an inclusive message, it was not taken kindly by many on social media. And the problem didn’t seem to be only about hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’ but also about catering to the fair skin syndrome so prevalant in the Indian society along with what some termed as a ‘often-criticized festival’.
Check out some of the comments on Twitter:
As much as I find the outrage over Fem Dabur ad fun, and the hypocrisy over skin colour, I still like the ad. And being someone who admires Karva Chauth, it's actually nice to see that Gay/Lesbian can observe fast for their partner, just like traditional straight couple 🙂
— Nived Nambiar (@NivedNambiar8) October 23, 2021
Love is love but first you need to be fair skinned
– fem/dabur https://t.co/ivXg3v8Cuf
— arcy ⚓︎ (@johnnyswifee) October 23, 2021
Bold advertisement. Hats off to Fem / Dabur group for going against the majority. I liked their open mindset and compassion towards everyone. Greater world needs to accept this reality and include them with others. #LGBTQ #fem @DaburIndia #burman @imohitburman @PunjabKingsIPL
— SM | Million Dollar Minds (@MlnDollarMinds) October 23, 2021
Since LGBT is part of our community and they don't cause us any harm, I don't see any reason to boycott fem advertisement…. their choice, their life…if anyone has any problem, they simply can ignore this advertisement and stop the consumption of Dabur products.
— Deependra. दीपेन्द्र (@dpendra_chauhan) October 23, 2021
Oh boy!!! This is fabulous
Well done Fem/ Dabur, very well done https://t.co/hzSRw8jksH
— Sunny Soral (@sunnysoral) October 23, 2021
Saw the new Dabur Fem Glow ad. I didn't find it demeaning at all. They didn't abuse any rituals. For me personally, it felt so satisfying. Because they showed the fem couple traditionally, which rarely happens (it's usually uptown rep, etc).
So yeah, I liked the ad.
— RadK (@RK_twuwu) October 23, 2021
— There_is_no_try (@akanna_42) October 23, 2021
Why would lesbian couple celebrate a allegedly patriarchal ritual like #KarwaChauth?
The conceptualisation of the ad itself is fundamentally flawed. It seems Dabur/Fem's only objective was to get their share of stick and outrage.
Its a new featish among brands.
— Vikrant ~ विक्रांत (@vikrantkumar) October 23, 2021
While many praised the ad for its inclusivity, many also complained about the continued spread of the fair skin idea which has been increasingly criticized for being racist. And many also didn’t like the idea of a traditional Hindu festival being ‘modernized’ like this.
What are your thoughts on the new Fem commercial?