Mumbai: Jewellery retailer Tanishq has come up with a commercial for Diwali that moves away from the stereotype of blushing, fair-skinned brides and introduces the concept of remarriage—possibly for the first time in Indian advertising.
The ad, shot by filmmaker Gauri Shinde of English Vinglish fame, showcases a dusky bride—theatre actor Priyanka Bose, looking at herself in the mirror as she readies herself for the wedding.
A little girl runs up to her and chatters away. They walk towards the mandap together. The little girl settles down between her grandparents to watch the wedding unfold, but soon wants to participate in the pheras with the bride and groom.
On being shushed into silence, the little girl sits back disappointed. On seeing this, the groom calls out to the girl and carries her through the pheras. The ad ends with the little girl asking the groom if she can call him Daddy.
The ad, created by Lowe Lintas India, has received much praise on social media. Member of Parliament and industrialist Naveen Jindal, for instance, tweeted: “A dusky bride with a daughter in an ad? Well done @TanishqJewelry for breaking stereotypes with grace & power."
It’s also received a fair share of brickbats from users who blamed the makers for ripping off an old ad from Femina magazine, which had a similar thread and shows a young woman walk her mother to the mandap. And some users alleged double standards. Tanishq recently launched a Karva Chauth app, which helped users with a “detailed compilation of traditional rituals that new couples away from home can use for the festival" among other things, according to a statement from the brand.
To be sure, the agency was mindful of the fact that the ad could ruffle some feathers. “Lots of conversations happened (with the client). But it finally came through," said Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas, explaining that he wasn’t really worried about the audience.
“This is the thinking that most progressive people have. They may not be going through the same thing in their life, but the ad makes a bold, progressive, statement and people like to be associated with brands that make such statements."
He added that the agency was conscious of the way the ad was shot to ensure that it did not come across too strongly. From the casting of the actors “it had to look like a marriage of equals, not something that was done out of pity", to the execution of the ad, to ensure that it looked like a small, cosy wedding. “We didn’t want it to look like we were trying to make a point," said Iyer.