6.2.08

Hall of Shame: SUNSILK

This will probably make no sense to anyone who isn't in India or who hasn't seen the ad, but I do have a strong urge to haul whoever created the latest round of Sunsilk shampoo adverts in to the Tower for a beheading. I'm not sure how else to punish the ****** **** (fill in uncomplimentary words) who thought the following line- I'm paraphrasing- was ok to use in an advertisement:

Did you know that 60% of girls bunk work when their hair's a mess?
Followed by shots of a girl fake-coughing on the phone with her boss, who tells her rather peremptorily to get well soon, and a celeb hairstylist chappie telling these presumed shirkers to "stop making excuses", and to "get a good haircut, and keep it styled".
I'm sorry there don't seem to be any video links to the advert in question, but frankly, the ad is beyond insulting. I don't give a damn if it was supposed to be lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek or whatever, I'm just lost for words to describe exactly how disgusted I am that something like this actually gets to go on air across the country. And I don't think that I'm overreacting, considering that I let a gazillion more examples of blatant objectification and stereotyping of women in advertisements slip like, all the time. But trivialising us and basically saying girls are unreliable workers if their hair's a little wonky? Whoever came up with it deserves a very severe telling-off (and more shame on them if they're female)- and I'm boycotting Sunsilk. I didn't use their products anyway, and it's not like one girl not buying their products makes any difference to Unilever, but it's the principle of the thing. Besides, hats and headscarves are a much cooler way to cover for bad hair days than anything Mr Javed Habib or his minions can do, so they can suck on that, I say.

23 comments:

headmistress said...

These kind of ads are not helpful for anyone. I can't see how this is meant to appeal to women in the first place - by playing on/creating more insecurity about the stability of their jobs?

but are there no advertising/trading standards organisations in india? I can never get over the fair and lovely type ads - the nonsense they put in those really shouldn't be allowed to air.

Stephie said...

The tagline is crappy and really, how would a girl feel good enough to buy a shampoo that says "You'll need to buy me or you can't make it to work on a bad hairday!"

WendyB said...

I'd have to see it myself to determine if any humor came through for me...but it certainly sounds annoying from your description.

Yohan said...

The worst ad ever was that Fair & Lovely thing with the dowry girl.

Murthy and I met Javed Habib! We didn't know he was afamous at the time. We were in first year, hunting for Harmony sponsorship. I think he even flirted with Murthy. He winked at him!

pR said...

apparently, the sunslik gangofgirls thing got 600,000 responses (or so TOI claims). probably tats how they polled the 60% stat.

and this Habib guy seems to have so many minions tat hez even opened a store in vijayawada. whats the world/vijayawada coming to? :(

Libertygirl said...

Oh for goodness sake. And rorry Wendy B, there's no way that's funny. It's just down right insulting to women.LLG xx

enc said...

It sounds like stereotypical shite to me. Your description is enough to tell the story of a pathetic ad campaign. I'm just sorry you had to see the advert!

Heather said...

Ugh. Ads like that.... don't get me started!

MASALA CHAI said...

bravo! My initial reaction to Stylist Sapna Bhavnani's enthusiastic 'Life doesn't wait' declaration , was one of utter confusion.By the time I found out she was asking me to get a haircut , I was doing the cocked head , 'MAD O WOT' face which is incidentally the name of Miss Bhavnani's salon.

The sad thing is that this is exactly the sort of Ad that will urge the average Indian adolescent to rush out and become a Sunsilk Zombie.

I guess their marketing strategy sort of resembles their product.It's crap.

The Clothes Horse said...

Those ads do sound terrible. It sounds like this old hiring instruction a teacher gave us once, it was to help employers help choose which women to hire--it said things like stocky women were more reliable and don't hire red-heads, etc. The thing is, that was written around World War 2, this ad is today! Disgusting.

headmistress said...

sunsilk zombie? what exactly do they put in their shampoo??

Eli said...

only a man could think up something so stupid

Kseniya said...

lol.x

Romeika said...

"But trivialising us and basically saying girls are unreliable workers if their hair's a little wonky?" I'm with you on boycotting their products.

dress for the image said...

that ad sounds awful! i hate it when they do that kind of crap..i am going to boycott.
x

Seraphine said...

I see the humor, but it does a dis-service to women everywhere. Nobody should be negatively stereotyped like that. It does not leave a positive image of their product.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I've been really behind on answering comments lately, so I just want to say- thanks, everyone. I wasn't sure whether I'd come off as a ranty witch, but truthfully, nothing about the ad was funny (unless someone wishes to give it the camp treatment in ten years' time). I've looked for a video link to the ad but there doesn't seem to be one online so you're all spared the sight of the ad- which is repugnant..

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

so wrong, what is wrong with society?

Perakath said...

Oh come on, would men get annoyed at an ad that played to stereotypes and labelled them as, say, porn-obsessed? Or sex-obsessed?

*braces himself for the deluge*

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this one, and as I stated, I do let lots of random stupid ads just slip, but I happen to strongly dislike this one for the reasons stated in the post. So 'oh, come on' is really not a statement that'll convince me that whatever this ad is about, is ok. And I really don't think that you, as a guy, are in any position to be telling me what I, being female, should or shouldn't find offensive.

I wouldn't try to tell anyone else what to think, and you're free to think the ad is ok. I'm not questioning that: however, it doesn't change my opinion of the ad itself, which is that it is stupid and insults the intelligence of half the population (and if they took the stats off their Gang of Girls or whatever it is website, maybe the question needs to be asked: would any real-life working girls/women actually spend their time on a site like that? No, methinks).

indi said...

i hear you loud and clear blue floppy hat and im doing my i agree with you nod. but i think worse still are the pond age miracle ads. also the latest deepika padukone fiama di villis ad which reveals the secret of her 'youthful' skin, errm maybe it's because she is 22?

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Those Ponds ads are ridiculous all right, but those fiama whatever ads sound even more stupid- being 22 and not having spent several years on drugs/booze/fags will mean your skin is pretty obviously 'youthful'! By that logic, anyone over the age of 20 is 'aging'. Pah.

Elisabeth said...

God, I hate ridiculous adverts.

I'd like to see the scientific research beahind that claim...!

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