In the quest to differentiate, brands are getting so preoccupied with their promotional strategy that they are losing sight of what their customers truly value. This can’t be more evident than in holiday shopping season advertisements. Newspapers, social media, and practically every medium out there transform into a battle zone for eyeballs and wallet share.
LG recently launched their Diwali 2016 campaign in India, it is called ‘Khushiyon Ka Upgrade’. When translated, it reads ‘Happiness Upgrade’. Before you read further, I recommend you take a look at this advertisement.
Can money really buy happiness? Let alone happiness, if you go by this campaign, you have to believe that buying ‘home appliances’ can buy you happiness and a place in your wife’s heart!
We are in 2016 when women earn more than men in many Indian households. We are in 2016 when wives longer have to be younger than their spouse. We are in 2016 when wives don’t have to come back from office to cook, sweep & mop. We are in 2016 when many Indian men like to take care of their children & share household work. We are in 2016 when there are more Indian men competing in Master Chef Kitchen than women! We are in 2016 when the husband loses his keys to the bedroom if he buys anything but what his wife picks.
Yet, LG felt it was right to portray women in a bigoted & jingoistic manner. The mother-in-law ‘upgrades’ her as a daughter from a ‘mere’ daughter-in-law; the husband ‘upgrades’ her from a ‘mere’ wife to life. Thank goodness, the daughter was so excited about the storage bin that she decided to retain her just as a mother. But wait, why didn’t they treat her as a daughter & life partner so long? So long, that her kid is almost ten now! Well, they didn’t have an LG fridge, washing machine & TV you see.
Research shows giving money away makes people a lot happier than lavishing it on themselves. And when they do spend money on themselves, people are a lot happier when they use it for experiences like travel than for material goods (source: The Journal of Positive Psychology, The Wall Street Journal)
The advertisement was supposed to excite me and influence me to buy something new. But all I did was to fume. I showed it to every woman in my team and they were exasperated. Who was this ad developed for? Men from the yesteryear who decided what was good enough for their wife? Women who thought it was their karma to serve in their kitchens?
Happiness Upgrade doesn’t have to be just with ‘things’. Marketing doesn’t have to be so thoughtless. What do you think? Do you think I am just being senile & exaggerating? Women, would you ever pick brands that belittle your role at home? Love to hear your views!