Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Irresponsible advertising

A young girl probably 6-7 years in a class room feels she's not pretty because the kid sitting next to her is more focused on his book. She voices her concern "am I not pretty?" . Her dad tip toes into the classroom and takes her for a ride in his new Maruti DZire car . Everyone in the vicinity looks at them . And the girl feels thrilled "everyone is looking at me . Am I so pretty ?"  . This is the TV ad for Maruti DZire . The point of this ad escapes me entirely . If your child has self-esteem issues you can fix them (at least temporarily ) by buying this car ? Is this some new segment identified by Maruti-Suzuki and their ad agency ? I suppose one should feel glad that this advertiser and their ad agency is not in the business of health care . They may feel tempted to project nail polish as part of the solution to treat a back injury .

Advertisers often seek to project/insinuate some deficiency in the consumer and offer their product/service as the solution . Projecting self esteem issues in a child especially over physical appearance is irresponsible . And projecting the car as part of the solution is incomprehensible.

Yours truly is incensed enough by the ad to write to Maruti-Suzuki . Strangely the ' Contact Us' section in the Maruti Suzuki website does not have an email id to which a message can be sent ! 19 offices are listed with their address and telephone number . Not a single email id.  This is as strange as the ad :) I'll have to send them a letter + call . 

Pl write to Maruti-Suzuki to share your views and concerns on such advertisements . And to any company that authorizes such irresponsible advertisements . We have created and inhabit a world where consumerism is the new epidemic . It's tough even for adults to retain perspective in a world that constantly thrusting overt and subliminal messages to buy , buy and buy . The sum total of the individual is reduced to the physical aspect alone . You can never be slim enough , stylish enough , beautiful enough , suave enough , smart enough , rich enough...unless you buy the product / service the advertiser is offering . A clear line needs to be drawn at least on irresponsible projection of children in advertisements. 


Mitesh Asher said...

consumerism has become a social evil...ads like these contaminates young minds....

Mitesh Asher said...

it's amazing they don't have a single e-mail id for complaints!!

Arvind said...

I had exactly the same reaction to this add. Good you have voiced it.

Savitha Rao said...

The experience with Maruti-Suzuki when I called their head office was quite interesting . The phone was answered by the operator in 3-4 rings and she connected me to someone in Marketing . That individual gave me the email id of the Brand Manager. Who promptly replied in a few hours of receiving the email.

I do believe that they make great cars (am a satisfied user myself ). It was nice to see the speed with which the call and feedback was handled (in a lot of companies esp banks that's a challenge ).

Apparently their idea for this ad was to say that the car helps fulfill your desires . They had not looked at the ad from this perspective.

One does hope that future ads will be sensitive to such aspects.