Ad Nut
May 24, 2016

'Dark duckling' strikes blow against 'fairness' as a standard of beauty

From India: 'Be fair to your loved ones', for Banjara's by India/2

'Dark duckling' strikes blow against 'fairness' as a standard of beauty

Ad Nut is tremendously heartened to see this ad from India, where obsession with fair skin is portrayed as antiquated and unhealthy, and the tagline at the end reads 'Gorgeous skin, in any color'.  

It's quite smart that this campaign, which used the hashtag #proudofmycolor and drew a lot of interaction, puts the focus on family elders who may harbour now-outdated attitudes about skin colour. Doing so not only clues these older folks in that they need to catch up to the times, but provides young people with a role model for speaking out.

As the brand points out in its release about the campaign, there's a lot of cultural baggage around this issue:

Indian’s obsession with fairer skin dates back to immigrants, conquerors and rulers from the west with fairer skin lauding it over the `local’ or native Indians which later got defined into a caste system where dalits or 'untouchables' often had much darker skin than the upper castes. The innate implication is that if you have fair skin, you are somewhat superior to others around you. Most of the well-known FMCG companies are encashing upon this paranoia which is deep-rooted in our culture. Such advertisements encourage the notion that a fair girl is the definition of a beautiful girl, and that this skin color would ensure that she goes through a hassle free marriage and fulfill her every dream.

Given that background, it's wonderful to note that things are changing enough that at least one brand now believes that an anti-'fairness' positioning makes good business sense. Well done, Banjara's and India/2, and Ad Nut hopes to see more brands following this example.


Client team: Ramesh Vishwanathan, Aparna Lakshmi, Arvind Jha, Manish Sinha, Prabahakar S, Krishna Mohan R
Agency: INDIA/2
Creative: INDIA/2
Account Management: INDIA/2
Planning: INDIA/2
Production: INDIA/2


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