First published on CNN
Recently Asian Paints has brought a shameful ad to show their knowledge and supremacy in the painting industry. This campaign is named #HusbandAreUseless to show that Indian husbands are useless because they can’t decide their home decor solution. There are many ads showing private moments in a couple’s life where the wife plans for home decor and suggests various shades for their walls whereas the husband does not show any interest in that discussion. Most often the husband is either busy in his own work or shows interest in something else. The conclusion of the ad is “Husbands are Useless”.
There is no doubt that Asian Paints is the most revered painting brand in India. This company has given consistent growth to its stakeholders in past several years. The board consists of many luminaries and business gurus who have shaped Indian Industries for decades. However, this kind of sexist ad shaming a section of the population for their lack of knowledge in certain matters shows poorly on the company.
As a part of this campaign, the company has also designed FB games where they are asking people questions about exact shades of colors like Lilac, Sandal Wood, Phirozi, Pista, Aquamarine etc. Based on the answers given to these questions the result shows whether one is awesome or utterly useless. I played the game and even though this game concluded that “I am awesome”, but I felt nothing can be more shameful than these kinds of games to figure out one’s utility quotient. The company which is dealing with colors for decades is supposed to have better understanding and knowledge about paints but that does not mean people who do not have the same knowledge are all useless. People dealing with another kind of businesses will surely have better knowledge in their own area of operation and that is well understood by everyone. However, a company like Asian Paints boasting about their knowledge brings in utter shame to the whole country and Indian industries as well.
It is a well-known fact that women are better than men in terms of perceiving colors. Similarly, women may have other good qualities as scientists have shown men and women use different parts of their brains or a combination thereof in different matters. That is how we develop different qualities in us. That is the reason men and women are complementary to each other and not competitors. However, this ad shows men in the extremely poor light as it tries to portray men as useless simply based on one parameter. This is highly shameful especially as it comes from one of India’s respected brands.
Besides being a highly misandric ad this also undermines Indian women, too. This shows that Indian women are so shameless that they don’t mind calling their own husbands as useless openly as this ad shows women concluding with the words “Husbands Are Useless Yaar”. I am not refuting the claim that some women may take pleasure in terming their own husbands as useless because of only one parameter when they themselves may be terrible in multiple other areas but showing that openly through ad only bring shame for India and her deteriorating family values. Indirectly this ad also instigates Indian women to come out openly to term their husbands as “Useless” simply based on one parameter. This is nothing but trying to break Indian families one more time by a corporate house simply for their own narrow gains.
When men from all walks of life protested this ad and asked the company to pull down the ad, company’s responses have been even more shameful. The company in its defense said things like –
Their replies like “the ad is a humorous take on husband’s contribution to home decor” shows that Indian men do not contribute to home decor whereas, in reality, it is the men who pay for everything that is needed. They hire best consultants, best interior designers (within their budget and sometimes exceeding their budget too) to give it the best look possible. More often than not women too take consultation from the painting experts or painters. It is also to be noted that all painters in India are men and we don’t find any female painters here. This shows that the ad is highly misleading for the international audience too.
The company’s viewpoint that “No husbands were hurt or rendered “useless” in making of this ad” shows that company is treating men as usable commodities which are highly objectionable, too. So far we have seen women protesting women being shown as usable commodities in commercials but today this company brings in a new concept of treating men as commodities. We understand the shameful strategy of product companies that they want to make everyone a commodity to sell their own product.
Also, the company saying that “we assure you that the campaign has been designed in good humor” shows their terrible taste of humor which is not expected from a company like Asian Paints. They think calling husbands as useless is fun when in reality it is misandry and shows a hateful taste of the company. This brings in hatred for the same people (men) who not only brings maximum profit to the company in various ways like buying their products, buying consultancy from them, working for them but also by managing the same company. The company thus created a campaign to show that husbands are useless in terms of home decor solution but forgot that their own Board of Directors consist only of all husbands who according to them are all useless. These useless husbands (on the BOD of Asian Paints) who cannot decide the home decor solution for their own homes (the company itself says so) dares to provide consultancy for home decor solution to other citizen’s homes and everyone understand how dangerous proposition is that.
These #HusbandsAreUseless –
Do you believe…
they can give you expert advice on your home decor?
In a nutshell, this ad shows a poor taste of the company and sheer lack of brain in company’s marketing team as this ad completely exposes the company to people. This brings down its respect to a great extent to both men and women as it portrays Indian families in a bad light and shows its women bitching about their own husbands. This campaign does not bring in humor at all but brings in a sense of rage in a shareholder like me. This shows desperation on the part of the company to prove its supremacy on something that was not needed at all. In fact by trying to show that, this company has opened the floodgates of criticism, shareholder and patron dissatisfaction and churn out of customers. No customer would like to be termed as useless by the same product company that they endorse. As a shareholder of a sizable chunk of shares in the company that does not bring in comfort to me at all.
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