Shreyas Kulkarni

The age of the superwoman must go, says Tanishq

A new ad from the jewellery company for Women's Day wants society to empathise with and not celebrate the woman who has to do it all.

Women may not get what they wish, but they must get everything done regardless of whether they wish to or not. Society demands they become the superwoman; one who has everything under her control.

If only the recipient had agreed to such a high honour.

Jewellery company Tanishq’s new commercial aims to serve as a kryptonite to this praise. “I’m also human,” utters the protagonist to the voice-over bordering on toxic positivity after a series of clips show her winning at home, work, and social life.

What is interesting is the fact that the idea for this commercial was not conjured in a boardroom meeting or a video call but at a shoot for another Tanishq commercial.

“Tanasha, Binaifer and I were on set and we started chatting and stumbled upon this insight,” reveals Gaurav Midha, group manager, The Titan Company which owns Tanishq.

Binaifer Dulani, Talented’s founding member and creative, wrote the script for this commercial which was shot in a day and the production process took about 10 days. “The brand space around progressive womanhood is something we all have internalised,” she remarks giving a nod to the Tanishq's forward-looking work over the years.

Such is the belief in these films that Tanishq does not promote them heavily. The life of these films, as per Tanasha Amlani, Tanishq’s digital brand manager, comes from people who connect with them and share the films' links with others.

Amlani reveals “all of these digital films would maybe have been promoted for under Rs 10 lakh, everything else is the job of the story itself.”

What is noteworthy in the new 128-second Women’s Day spot is the subtle placement of the brand’s jewellery and how certain scenes like the superwoman shooing the voiceover on being interrupted while listening to an elderly lady show how the pressures of this role has enveloped her.

“We are here to tell a story, and the jewellery must be incidental in this…” quips Kopal Naithani on her experience of working on Tanishq films. She is the director of Superfly Films and helmed the jewellery company’s Women’s Day spot.

At the start and the end of this ad, we see the superwoman lift and put down her phone on the bedside table respectively. A common presence in both scenes is jewellery on the table.  

The age of the superwoman must go, says Tanishq

“A lot of women before they go to sleep remove their jewellery and keep it on the bedside. That is how we showed the jewellery as opposed to she opens a box and there is a shot of the jewellery,” explains Naithani.

Speaking of ‘The Interview’ ad for Mother’s Day in 2022, she says they had a shot of the hands of the protagonist – jewellery is visible here – “because whatever confidence she displayed while talking, the nervousness was in her hands and we took that opportunity.”

One has come to expect such ads from Tanishq. Such are the standards the company has set that PG Aditya, Talented’s co-founder calls it the “Meryl Streep of advertising” and whenever its ad releases, “the first comment is not a good ad by Tanishq, it is yet another good ad by Tanishq.”

Such high praise and yet one cannot help but wonder if someone ever told the company to focus on what it sells – jewellery than such stories.

“Yes, we are a jewellery company. But we are a woman's brand,” states Amlani. She says we are here talking for the woman, with the woman, the conversations she wants to have and some conversations we want her to have.

Amlani is confident that the conversations in her brand’s spots take “centre stage” and jewellery should go the backseat and inconspicuously make the moment sweeter. “I don't think we look at these films the same way we do the others representing jewellery.”

Tanishq, Talented, and Superfly Films have worked in tandem since the company released the first version of 'Marriage Conversations' back in November 2021. Dulani and PG Aditya credit this once-in-a-blue-moon relationship that has led to the creation of such stellar work.

And speaking of noteworthy work, Midha, when asked about the pressures of Tanishq’s advertising legacy affecting new work was clear that it does not affect them. “We're a brand that has always stayed in touch with reality… We are continuing the good work that has been done on the brand already,” he says.

Writer Alan Moore, behind works like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, wanted readers to critique the superheroes and question their motives. We ended up idolising them. Maybe it is time to take a step back and celebrate humanity over extraordinary abilities society wants someone to embrace.  

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