POSITIONING OF WOMEN IN ADVERTISEMENTS: ECONOMICS OF TRANSFORMATION
Keywords:Positioning of Women, Stereotypical Advertisements, Women Stereotypes, Economic and Financial Factors
In Indian society, across the regions women are changing, becoming confident, decisive, taking a lead and consequently Indian advertisements have also changed the way of positioning women and their issues. Where in 1984, the female protagonist of Surf advertisement, famously remembered as Lalita Ji, was projected as dedicated housewife, in 90’s the advertisement of Nirma Washing Powder also projected the female characters as housewives washing clothes or Sangeeta Bijlani as displaying her beautiful and clean dresses as a beauty icon, in 2011, same Nirma Washing Powder showed an ambulance advertisement in which the female characters push the ambulance out of mud in front of the uncomfortable people standing around the ambulance. The tagline used was same as used in 90’s ‘Hema, Rekha, Jaya aur Sushma, sabki pasand nirma’ but where the previous one just depicted women in the stereotyped roles of housewives and beauty symbols, latter one depicted them as confident, self-reliant, and decisive women with leadership quality. This is in contrary to much research on gender in the media which blames advertisements for showing women stereotypes. This compels to examine the factors behind new positioning of women and their issues in today’s advertisement which could be social, financial, and ideological and so on. However most significant and reasonable of all these factors seems to be financial factors keeping in mind the increasing number of employed women who are free to spend their money and thus proving to be strong prospective consumers. This paper tries to explore and examine all such financial factors behind positioning women and their issues in modern day advertisements.
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