Samsung Technical School, which is part of Samsung’s CSR wing, just released an ad. It is full of folksy music and what my colleague calls fake-rural scenes, and depicts the real-life story of a girl who had to overcome pressure from her family to join Samsung Technical School and become an electrician.
The ad sees her father disappointed when she’s born because she’s not a boy, and then referring to her ever since as a boy and keeps calling her beta. Her uncles refuse to let her study because the women of that family aren’t supposed to live far away and travel with men, so her father disobeys his elder brother and sends her off anyway, saying that boys are always supposed to get what they want (excuse?). The ends after she fixes the lights in her home during a shaadi: her uncle tells her dad that he was right, he has three sons, to which her father finally wakes up and says no, he has two sons and a pyaari beti.
Well, at least it does a few things differently from an ad with a similar message, by Aamir Khan and Star Plus that was released in February 2017. Aamir Khan’s star power and face monopolised that ad, but Samsung’s features regular men and women who don’t hijack the message or conversation. Samsung’s ad also actually featured the women everyone is so anxious to save: Aamir Khan’s ‘Nayi Soch’ ad featured the women in question for seven seconds and never mentioned their names, while this ad from Samsung sees Seema fixing lights and generators, riding the bus and flying kites.
While I’m personally always a bit wary when I see the name of a giant multinational company claiming to care about the dreams of women, as Samsung does on their Youtube page, this ad is at least a step away from Aamir Khan’s attempt that was just a total#epicfail.