Fairever: reversing every rule of the courting game

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | December 12, 2006
In an ad for Fairever, Orchard Advertising has reversed the roles men and women play while checking each other out in a typical arranged marriage setting

If the & #BANNER1 & # Fairever fantasy plays out, then men will be doing the laundry and cooking soon, while their women play golf. In an ad that marks a shift in its creativity, fairness cream Fairever has tried a different route to give women the same sense of empowerment that all fairness cream brands do. Except that this TVC doesn't show the woman win a job/promotion/approval.

The ad, created by Orchard Advertising, shows a confident girl with her parents, on her way to meet her prospective bridegroom. The trio is given a warm reception by the groom's family. The groom's father eagerly beckons his son, who, in turn, comes into the hall with a tray full of tea and refreshments. His friends encourage him to go on. He then serves the girl tea. Sipping the tea, she glances appreciatively at the boy.

A confident girl flanked by her parents, on her way to meet the groom and his family.

They are greeted warmly by the guy's father.

On his father's instructions, the guy comes and serves tea to the girl.

He also displays his skills at music.

Furthermore, he shows off his dancing abilities, as the girl and her family look on.

The girl finally agrees on marrying the guy, thanks to her 'Fairever' confidence.
The fellow doesn't stop at that - he goes on to display his singing and dancing skills in front of the girl and her family. The voiceover says that this is bound to happen when a girl looks so beautiful after using Fairever. At the end of the ad, the girl agrees to marry the boy, much to everyone's relief.

"Not being able to get married, not being attractive, being rejected when an opportunity arises are typical problems illustrated in a fairness cream ad," says Thomas Xavier, national creative director, Orchard Advertising. So, Orchard tried the role reversal technique in the backdrop of a typical arranged marriage setting.

According to Xavier, the woman is still inspected much like a laboratory specimen in an arranged marriage situation, mainly in small towns and rural areas. She resents being at the receiving end of the decision making process, having little or no say in the choice of her marriage partner. Further, her abilities and talents are discussed openly. "So, in a way, we have tried to empower her by playing out her fantasy," Xavier says. In this ad, the woman gets to judge the guy, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

However, this concept is not necessarily new. 'Swayamvars', the traditional Indian courting concept, was practised centuries ago in India. Under this ritual, various men showed off their skills and prowess to impress the girl, and she got to choose her partner. "We derived a certain kind of confidence from the 'swayamvar' concept," says Xavier. "At least, our fantasy play-out isn't outright unrealistic, and bears resemblance to a kind of woman empowering ritual that existed so long ago."

But why harp on the romantic angle to bring out the message? "That's because romance and approval of the opposite sex are what drive sales in the fairness category," says Xavier.

Ramesh Viswanathan, V-P, marketing, CavinKare, says candidly that Fairever's positioning was becoming alarmingly similar to that of other brands - one that appeals to modern, aspiring women. "So, we had to have a different rendition to take our concept to the next level," he explains.

According to CavinKare executives, Fairever's current market share is about 8 per cent. Over the next six months, this figure is expected to touch 10 per cent because of this communication.

For the record, complaints about social discrimination in fairness cream advertisements have gone down significantly over the past two years, as revealed by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). "This is because the makers of these creams are beginning to realise that discriminatory ads show them in a bad light," says ASCI's secretariat. "Further, advertisers have taken due note that such complaints are upheld. So, they are trying alternate means of getting their message across."

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