View Tanishq’s Refreshing New Jewellery Commercial
The festival of Diwali is usually when Indians manically buy gold for the wedding season that starts in November. This is also the time newspapers and TV channels are inundated with jewellery adverts celebrating the stereotype of the Indian bride – willowy, fair-skinned and blushing in anticipation of a long and happy marriage. However jewellery brand Tanishq’s new commercial, which shows a woman donning bridal baubles before proceeding to circumambulate a fire with the groom, blasts this stereotype on two counts.
This is not the bride’s first marriage. She has a daughter, who joyfully joins the couple in their pheras and asks whether she can start calling her mother’s new husband “daddy”. The ad seems to hint at the modern family and the idea that marriage, for various reasons, need not last a lifetime. And unlike the milky complexioned models usually seen in similar ads, the woman in the Tanishq commercial is played by brown-skinned model and actress Priyanka Bose. Swapan Seth, CEO of ad agency Equus, writes in First Post that the ad is “historic” as it shows the “absolutely stunning new Indian woman”. Tanishq does deserve points for eschewing regressive representations of Indian women. But it isn’t exactly the liberal brand it makes itself out to be, as one Twitter user pointed out: “Remember, remember. Tanishq makes liberal looking ads and karva chauth apps in the same month. Don’t be swayed, don’t forget.” Earlier this month, the brand launched an app that helps women perform karva chauth, widely considered a deeply patriarchal practice. The north Indian tradition involves wives praying their husbands will have long lives by fasting from morning until night when they spot the rising moon through a sieve.