An ad for Wild Stone talc created around January 2010 is being retelecast on some national television channels. The ad, which markets the men’s talcum powder manufactured by the company, mocks the supposedly effeminate behaviour of men who use talcum powder designed for women.
The old ads started to air on TV ever since the lockdown began. Yesterday I was watching Big Magic channel and during the ad break, this wild stone talc ad shown for at least 2 to 3 times. I was watching TV with my family and this ad would reimpose gender stereotypes in their mind. The ad, featuring typical thick voice over by a man in south Indian accent, starts with “Nowadays I see man look like woman (shows a long haired man), behave like a woman (shows reaction of man hurt by the equipment while having pedicure ), act like a woman (shows a man crying after getting rejected by a girl or over reacted joyful expressions while getting accepted by a girl)” and conclude “Sir ! if you smell like a woman, you will become woman,” and has the main male model falling on the bed in lace lingerie and a female model laughing contemptuously at him. The ad end with the words : ‘God already created woman. (So) this (effeminate man) wrong, (actual female model) right’.
Another Wild Stone Ad (created in 2019) that is also being aired, has the same content as above with some new touches. The ad tells Indian women to choose the right (gendered) talc for their man otherwise they will smell like a woman. The ad shows that if a man uses female talc, women can’t romance them anymore and they had also started a campaign #GoodChoiceSister.
These two ads from Wild Stone are reinforcing gender stereotypes and are really highly regressive for this age. The ads mock men for stepping outside of gender boundaries and are advocating set ways to “be a man” and “act and behave like a man”. Our society has only started to make some progress on LGBTQIA+ rights, but such regressive ads are pushing us down.