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Voltas Beko's new dishwashers are #TestedByRealMoms. We wish it had been #TestedByRealDads, too.

Voltas Beko is receiving flak on Twitter for taking a sexist angle in its latest ad

Voltas Beko's new dishwashers are #TestedByRealMoms. We wish it had been #TestedByRealDads, too.
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  • Launched yesterday, Voltas Beko is receiving flak on Twitter for taking a sexist angle in their ad.
  • Conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson, on first viewing the ad looks like it's trying to be inclusive. However, you soon realise the idea, and even the hashtag behind the campaign is hardly inclusive.
At a time when a few brands in India like Ariel, Nike and Puma have started talking about sexism in our industry and lives and how brands have played an active role in constructing stereotypical gender roles, Voltas Beko's latest ad seems like a step backwards.

Titled ‘Word of Moms,’ Voltas’ ad for its dishwashers has caught experts’ attention on Twitter. It is being dissed for propagating a sexist ideology, outrightly categorising male and female chores, and abiding by the socially constructed gender roles.

Faye D’souza, Journalist and Entrepreneur, took to Twitter to ask a very important question. “Men don’t need dishwashers?”

The conversation snow-balled and more experts weighed in with their opinion.

In a statement released for the media to clarify the intent behind brand's latest ad, Voltas Beko Spokesperson said, “As a brand, Voltas Beko has always celebrated the spirit of womanhood in all our campaigns. Likewise in this advertisement, we captured a fun, casual conversation between four independent and spirited friends who got together over a video call during the lockdown. One of the characters in the video refers to how the family has been managing household chores, with her husband taking over the responsibility of washing dishes. This is when the protagonist of the film recommends a dishwasher. Our products have been developed to create convenience and comfort for all our customers, and are gender agnostic."

On first viewing, it seems like they have tried to make the advertisement inclusive. They have added a character that says, “My husband is doing the dishes right now.” Then you realise this is hardly inclusion. It wasn’t very difficult to find a man instead who could get on the call and speak about sharing the load.

Voltas Beko’s ad sells ease of use. The description reads, “The ad encourages adoption of new technology to save time spent on chores during this pandemic.” It establishes that all you need to do is put the button on, dump the dirty dishes in and let it be -- a task even a 15-year-old can do. They could have easily targetted single mothers, single fathers, bachelors, gay dads or gay mothers. Or boys like Ariel did in its last ad titled ‘What are we teaching our sons.’

The advertisement ends with women dissing men, trying really hard to make their narrative and product look ‘modern.’ Sorry to break your bubble, modern women don’t just get together on a call to bash men.

Over the years, dishwashing soaps, detergents and toilet cleaners have used female celebrities or women protagonists as mothers or homemakers. This regressive belief has been passed on for generations trying to establish that women are responsible to keep their homes neat, do the laundry and clean their toilets.

It was only last week that Karthik Srinivasan, Communications Strategy Consultant, brought to our notice that Scotch-Brite's (dish scrubber) brand logo, created in early 90’s, and came from a deep-rooted patriarchal mindset. The logo had a woman with a bindi. However, the brand was quick to respond and said that they will launch a new logo a few months down the line.

We wish to see the same corrective behaviour from Voltas Beko for its regressive ad.

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