The Changing M–‘AD’ World

The world of advertising is the most dynamic and ever changing field. Advertising holds a direct proportionate relation with society. Society and societal changes affects the outlook of advertisers to a great extent. Since advertising is the communication link between the seller and the consumer, it is very essential to project the right information to the right target audience so as to influence and persuade the consumer.


In deciding the target audience, there are some stereotypes that the advertisers cannot thwart off. They have maintained a status quo in portraying stereotypes. So fair is always lovely and to be a superwoman, you not only have to be good at your job but also cook the perfect family meal at the end of the day’s work. Being a patriarchal society, the working woman culture is yet to be welcomed. In most of the Indian households it is still the man who is the decision maker. The petite housewife is just there to accompany him and is the object of display.


However things have changed if not drastically then to a great extent, especially with the advent of the new millennium. Over the past five decades, significant changes have occurred in gender roles and in gender-based divisions of labour. Perhaps the most notable of these changes are the dramatic influx of women into the workforce and the progress women have made at entering professions and filling positions once held almost exclusively by men. This has changed people’s attitude and perceptions. With changing people’s perceptions not only images of women but also images of men have changed. Things are constantly changing in every field from work to home to shopping to parenting and what not.


With the advent of globalization accompanied with the influx of westernized ideas, the traditional role of men and women are being reversed. Result is evident in the form of the “new age men and women’ who are not apprehensive regarding their choices in life. This new brand of men and women is the latest target of both the advertisers as well as the sellers. Thus products are being designed for them and the ads are also prepared exclusively for them. With more and more women opting to go for higher education, the workforce of women in the corporate as well as in the service sector is on the rise. As a result of which an increasing amount of women are becoming economically independent reducing the income disparities that used to exist between men and women


Not only in the work front, role reversal has also occurred in the home front. Women’s roles, however, are not the only ones that have been shifting in today’s society. Studies have shown that as women are integrating into the workplace, the role of men is slowly fading from that as the “provider”. Coming into existence are the new “family men” – men who are more present at the birth and in the lives of their children. Since the role as “provider” is changing for many men in, they are taking on some new domestic roles. Parenting has taken a new direction with new age mommies and daddy’s coming into existence more and more. One significant change is the expectation that men will be present during the birth of their children, which at one time was not as common. In today’s society, men are spending a larger amount of time with their children than ten years ago.


This change in the roles of men and women is felt in a much higher degree among the young new age boys and girls. These bunch of young, ambitious, enthusiastic and vivacious boys and girls are raving a storm with their egalitarian ideas. With money in their pockets, they are the biggest target audience in the world of advertising. They are impulsive and compulsive buyers which makes them a very treasured section of audience. Thus with the change in the stereotypical image of men and women, advertising archetypes are also changed paving way to new strategies and new brand images.


Madhuparna Das

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