Why did Kiran get that promotion? Ask Titan Raga...

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Published : March 08, 2016
'Change the way you look at a woman's success', is Titan Raga's message to the world this Women's Day. The digital ad film is titled #BreakTheBias.

Titan Raga's new ad is out. Interesting. And, somewhat unusual. Why?

For starters, the watch doesn't figure anywhere.

The ad focusses upon the issues women face at the work place. It's a topical subject, yes. But, this one's been treated somewhat differently. In this particular ad, there's Kiran, a fresher in the company, whose name is up for promotion, recommended by her male boss. Her boss is so impressed with her 'professional' competence that he's with her all day, their professional association stretching much beyond the regular working hours, sometimes even in the evenings to discuss presentations.

Going by the description of a senior colleague, the members on the board of directors are somewhat curious, even amused at all the fuss created about Kiran and want to know who she is. And voila! In walks Kiran! Hey, he's a young man, not a woman!

Surprised? Even shocked, perhaps? Wasn't it assumed that Kiran is a woman who gets recommended for promotion by her male boss for reasons which may not be entirely professional?

Sirish Chandrashekhar

Tithi Ghosh

In an official press note, while sharing his views on the film, Sirish Chandrashekhar, head of marketing, Titan Watches, says, "Titan Raga has always been at the forefront of challenging stereotypes. A woman's success at the workplace is still viewed with prejudice, based on her personality and appearance. With this film, we encourage men and women alike, to break the mould of perception and pave the way for women to be recognised for who they really are and applaud their terrific contributions."

Talking about the issue being highlighted in this ad, Tithi Ghosh, senior vice-president and head of advertising, Ogilvy India (South), tells afaqs, "We were exploring the theme of gender inequality. We knew that the viewing audience would mostly be women or people in the work space. We wanted to keep it sharp and focussed. While exploring the space of feminism and gender inequality, issues that women generally face were being discussed and this was something that came up. Working women face sets of questions about work life balance that men in similar roles and with the same responsibilities do not face."

According to Ghosh, when it comes to working women and men, women have to be more cautious about the way they act and appear than men because their actions can invite prejudice. "This was the theme and the brief given," says Ghosh.

Prabhakar Mundkur

Speaking about his reaction after looking at the ad, Prabhakar Mundkur, chief mentor, Percept H, says, "I loved the Titan ad. It had suspense. It had the audience thinking the obvious and then the revelation. I thought it was executed stylishly and in good taste. It does make the point about how our minds are prejudiced about women. There was a ring of reality about the ad."

Interestingly, Myntra Anouk had come up with its digital film featuring Radhika Apte last year. The ad showed the difficulty Apte faces professionally during her pregnancy when she's not given her due despite the hard work she put in.

When asked to compare both ads, Mundkur says, "The Myntra ad was more direct. Although it championed the cause of pregnant women, the story was more obvious unlike the Titan ad. But, both ads have done a great job of fighting prejudice against women in the workplace," he adds.

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