Advertisements – the covert weapon in the stealth war against men and boys

Do we ever wonder how the TV programs that we keep on seeing for the purpose of entertainment, function financially? Who funds for the content that is generated, the actors, the designers, the technicians, the staff, the crew and all the extravaganza that one sees on the TV?

If you are thinking that the paltry sum that you pay at the end of the month as your cable TV or dish subscription charges, then you need a serious reality check. Because the cost of running TV programs is in the range of tens of thousands of millions of rupees which it is impossible to be covered by the subscription charges.
Then, the question arises, as to who bears the financial brunt and why would someone do so? Why would someone provide entertainment for free to millions and millions of people and that too for so many decades? What are “they” gaining out of it?

When I say, “they”, it refers to the group of people responsible for running the TV programs. So, the questions that arise are,
Who are “they”?
What are “they” gaining?
Do “they” have any covert agenda behind all this?
If so, what?
What are the pros and cons of the said covert agenda, if any?

We will try to answer all the above questions, but before that let’s understand the source of money behind all this.
The source of money is advertisements. The advertisements of various products, brands and the various promotional campaigns that we see, are the backbone of the finances of the TV programs that we see.
So, how does that work? The product or the company that wants to place its advertisement must pay for the slot and these payments are astronomical. In a popular program like a famous TV series or a cricket match or much-awaited awards show, the slots can range from Rs. 2 million to 10 million for 20 seconds. That’s not all, if any product wants its advertisement campaign to be effective, it should book multiple slots and the budget of such a campaign can run into tens of thousands of millions.

Suffice it to mention here that merely talking about the product won’t suffice as the companies paying such astronomical sums for advertisements, would actually want those products to be sold, so that people, can move out of their homes and buy the products.

The most effective way to do so, is to make the advertisement appeal emotionally to the audience and in doing so, many a time, a lot of covert and hidden messages are passed which sneak into the subconscious of the masses and it shifts the perception of the mass, even before the masses realizing it.

Let me take an example and talk about it to be more precise about what I am hinting at. These days, an ad is doing rounds on Indian television wherein a young mother who has two children – elder daughter and younger son – is shown preparing herself to wash clothes. At that instant, the small boy child mockingly tells his elder sister to focus so that she can learn the washing of clothes. So, the mother calls up the small boy and pretends as if she is unable to open the lid of the fabric conditioner, and asks the little boy, who must be of 5 years of age, to help her open it. After he does so, she asks him to pour a few drops in the bucket and in the process, tells him that it is not only for his elder sister, he too should learn to wash clothes. The ad is of Comfort Fabric Conditioner.

Now, what is the problem with this ad? And the answer is, that there are multiple problems. Let me list down first the few wrong assumptions that ad has made:
That doing household chores is a woman’s duty.
That men and boys don’t do it.
Household chores are just washing clothes, rest all stuff like fixing broken things, electric repairs, and many other dangerous stuff takes care of itself.
Washing clothes, if done by women are derogatory, if done by men, are progressive.
By teaching boys to wash clothes, gender equality can be achieved.
First of all, what business has the company preaching “social lectures” in its advertisements? Advertisements are meant to talk about how the product in question can help one solve a particular problem or be of help instead of becoming carriers of agents of perceived social change. And if so, then the change should be complete and non-discriminatory. Only telling that boys should equip themselves with knowledge of household chores (which they should as it makes them self-dependent) and not telling girls to aspire to become financially independent is gender biased and the worst part is that this gender bias is being practiced on kids.

There is one more such ad that needs mention. It’s the ad by Lloyd Washing machine. That ad is so wrought with male bashing and sarcastic remarks on men, that I feel whoever, conceptualized, approved and made the ad are sick to the core and wreak of male hatred and misandry. In that ad, a couple is shown shopping for a washing machine. The husband is shown as telling the salesperson that washing clothes is her department so he should explain it to her and then the wife goes on to mock the husband by asking the salesperson to show a washing machine that makes it so easy to wash clothes that even “sir” (referring sarcastically to her husband) can use it easily.
Llyod Washing Machine Ad
Now, what are the problems with this ad?
Why don’t we see ads where it is shown that earning money for the household is not just a man’s job and women should also shoulder the burden?
Can you imagine an ad where the husband mocks the wife bordering on humiliation and there is no backlash?
Why is it so important that men share the household chores when women aren’t sharing the burden of earning for the family?
Why men are constantly reminded that a few household chores like cooking food, washing clothes is such an arduous task that women are being oppressed with it and how does it become progressive if the man is encouraged to do the same?
When women aren’t really being forced to earn money for the family while men are being forced to do household chores, how are we achieving gender equality in even the nearest of sense?

So, while we are at the ads, let’s also talk about the Goodnight ad wherein once again, a 5 year old boy is shown to be “protecting” his baby sister from mosquitoes by switching on Goodnight mosquito repellant. And, he is glorified while doing it. So, what are the problems with this ad?
Inculcating the protector syndrome in a small boy from a young age of 5 is self-damaging to his developing psyche. It makes him feel less worthy of himself if he’s not risking his life for the sake of others.
It also tells him that, as he is the protector, he is to shut down regarding his own feelings and later, in life, when he turns out to be less expressive as a man, he is chided then too for that.
Why do we need to design ads that talk less about the product qualities and its usage and more about who should use that product and for whom? Goodnight Mosquito Repellant Ad

So far, we just saw three examples of ads which are currently running on television in millions and millions of homes and apart from telling people about the products, these ads are silently passing down the message of male bashing and male disposability.
Now, one counter argument can be that most people don’t watch ads. But that’s just a perception. The reality is, people do watch ads. If not all, quite a few of them. And the reason for that is, when ads are squeezed in extremely engrossing programs like a cricket match (which a sizeable population watches) or an awards show or a very good movie, many people just sit through the ads as they don’t want to miss their favorite program. Moreover, most TV channels these days are synced up. So, you’ll see almost all channels showing ads concurrently, so one way or the other, it is made sure the ads are delivered to the audience.
Pertinently, as the ads are delivered constantly, they are far more efficient in building the public perception more vicariously than anything else.
And now, that we have spoken about how advertisements are used as the covert weapon in the stealth war against men and boys, we will now talk about the questions raised at the beginning of the article one by one.

Who are “they”?

The business tycoons, in general, but more like a hierarchy which goes up and narrows down to a slender group of Jewish bankers, famously known as the Rothschild family that not only controls the Central Bank of America, but also the major financial and economic policies of the world at large. They have also been referred to as the “Financial Dinosaurs” in my previous article “Feminists do not work for women, they work against men, why?”

What are “they” gaining?

Control over the human civilization through divide and conquer, as we shall see in further answers.

Do “they” have any covert agenda behind all this?

Yes, as we shall see in further answers.

If so, what?

Absolute power and the ability along with the means and mechanism to control people’s lives by constantly influencing the discourse, the public perception and the way the masses feel about their lives. It’s an information warfare out there which transgresses national borders, races and ethnicities and in this war, discourse and public perception is the platform and to shift the same, advertisements are one of the very efficient means to do it. As their primary objective is to create branding and increase sales, the delivery of the “message” becomes easy and thus, the covert weapon in the stealth war against men and boys. If you want to know, why this war against men and boys, read my previous article – “Feminists do not work for women, they work against men, why so?”

What are the pros and cons of the said covert agenda, if any?

The obvious and the myopic pro is for the economy which gets boosted because these advertisements not only create a craving for a life that’s highly materialistic but by their covert messages, drive a wedge in the inter-gender equations leading to strained relations between men and women. As a result, relationships become more fragile, marriages break more often leading to high stress and increased consumerism. The disadvantage, of course, is an unhealthy society where paranoia becomes the norm and trust, the exception, thus leading to a world with unending war which keeps the pockets of the financial dinosaurs warm.

 – Virag Dhulia, Filmmaker, Writer, Entrepreneur. Author of famous novel ‘Chess without a Queen’

Also, read –

Feminists Do Not Work For Women, They Work Against Men – Why?



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