Last Sunday (14 July), while watching the final day of the first test match of Ashes 2013 and expecting Ashton Agar to do an encore of his first innings performance. Eventually, that did not happen. But, something else caught my attention; it was Nithya Menen, she appeared in a commercial in between the overs (I'm not an avid channel-surfer and do not really get annoyed by the 'commercial breaks'). The first time I just rubbed my eyes (figuratively) and confirmed that it was her and she was appearing in an ad for Tanishq.
The most striking thing about this campaign is the fact that it takes the notion that women should dress and look sober in the workplace to the point of being unattractive head on, it underscores the fact that if you are confident about your work it does not really matter if your glamour quotient is a notch higher. This attitudinal shift may be the result of the anger, furore and debate that ensued after the unfortunate Nirbhaya Case last year.
Here we have a young girl Megha (Nithya) immersed in her work, her boss comes to check on her and says a few appreciative words before Megha's (maybe the first) big presentation. But, as a parting shot she advises Megha to remove her hanging earrings as they would distract the clients. The boss herself has dressed simply in plain blue saree and white blouse without any adornment to speak of leave any makeup. She may have thought her protege needed some understanding in workday dress code.
The masterstroke comes when Megha utters ‘Don’t worry. The presentation looks even better than me’ as a reply to her boss' questioning look as to why her advise went unheeded.
There is a marked improvement in the approach if we compare this ad with the series of ads that came initially targeting the working women:
This spot also does away with the usual format of man buying/gifting jewellery, as shown here: