The men’s clothing store Jack and Jones has a new mantra. “Don’t hold back” it shouts out, urging everyone (no wait, its customer base is men) to live fearlessly and follow their instincts. Apparently the way to do this is to do a Ranveer Singh: the face of the campaign is shown slinging a female colleague over his shoulder in a new ad, with the tagline “Don’t Hold Back – Take Your Work Home”. He’s also rapping abysmally in a promo videofor the campaign, but that’s another story.
Who knows what was going through the creators’ heads (maybe they wanted to be included in one of these listicles decades from now) but the ad has got backlash for its open sexism. Another disturbing ad that calls on men to follow their instincts is being applauded everywhere though.
The new UN Women Pakistan ad begins with faint drumming sounds and women’s voices moaning “Beat me”, which continues until successful women (the singer Misha Shafi and the mountaineer Samina Baig are some of the celebrities featured in the ad) ask men to beat them at activities they excel in. If you thought it couldn’t get more unimaginative, an impressively feeble bit of wordplay at the end has a woman announce that she is in fact, “UNbeatable”.
The UN might be labouring under the delusion that was making an immensely powerful statement for its campaign to end gender violence, and certainly it has sent people on social media into paroxysms of delight about its (incredibly banal) use of double meanings and the genius “twist” at the end. But if the ad, which is part of, really wanted to shatter stereotypes it could have avoided the undertones of masochism and the call on famous women to prove their achievements. Surely the UN by now should have registered that there are ways to spread a message about the importance of fighting gender violence without challenging men to inane competitions.http://theladiesfinger.com/newsexistads/