Have you watched this ad for Dabur Honey? I’m not sure how old it is because I don’t watch much TV beyond Masterchef Australia and DVR’ed episodes of Sex and the City (I know. I know). So, anyway, I saw this ad for the first time a few days ago and got me really worked up. The Hero just rolled his eyes and thought I’m being extreme. In case you’ve missed this ad, here it is. Detailed analysis follows.
The first thing that threw me off is the “Husbands jab jealous hote hain to kitne cute lagte hain na?” line. How is jealously cute? It’s a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. Why on earth would you be happy if someone you love is feeling threatened or insecure?
Why is the man so worried by how good his wife is looking? Why does he need to adjust his wife’s mangalsutra the way one would adjust a dog collar and presumably for the same reasons? Is he marking his territory? If so, for whose benefit? Is it for those who might be leering at his wife to remind them that his wife is “spoken for”? Or is it to remind his wife that she’s married and to not react to any attention she’s getting? Doesn’t he trust her?
If it’s not the wife but the general public who needs a symbol that a good looking woman is married, what does this say about the state of society and its attitude towards women? Does it mean it’s fair game for anyone to lech or at an unmarried woman or harass her with unwanted attention? Does a woman need a mangalsutra and by extension a man to keep her safe? If it’s a husband’s duty to “protect” his wife, shouldn’t that sense of duty arise from a positive emotion like love or attachment rather than a negative one like jealousy? Just changing the look on the man’s face might have changed the entire feel of this ad.
Ads that show men pawing wives who’ve transformed their looks by using Champak Lal’s Fairness Formula (TM) are bad enough. But promoting jealous husbands as a good thing? Ugh, Dabur! Just not done. Please borrow Vicco’s young at heart Dadaji.