Myntra’s Ads And Their Taboo Storylines

An unmarried woman raising her child by herself. Gay women in a live-in relationship. A woman drinking alone at a bar, fending off a lecherous man who refuses to take a hint. It seems like Myntra and Anouk have decided to court controversy. In a series of new “ads” uploaded on YouTube, they’ve made issues that our society frowns upon their core storylines.

At first glance, their gay women-centric video, The Visit, seems like a bold step towards standing up as an ally. It has all the right elements. Two women casually living their lives together, going about their daily routine. Playful banter that feels like they’ve been doing this for a while. Endearing moments that hint at a relationship deeper than co-habiting friends. And most importantly, a non-judgmental and pro-queer storytelling perspective. It tells us that just because you’re queer doesn’t mean you can’t have a life that’s as normal as what straight people have.

But what’s irksome about this entire “ad” is summed up by one of the viewers in the comments section: What? Where’s the brand connect? Oh wait, ‘being talked about’ is the new strategy. And to top it off, we have the description for the video: Her Beautiful blue kurta is not the only thing that will take your breath away. Watch the video to know more.

Yes. This is bold. No doubt about that. Kudos to Myntra and Anouk for deciding to do this. But choosing a taboo topic and making it look all arty doesn’t mean anything if you don’t commit to your story. The dialogues, acting and direction, to put it succinctly, need work. While the attempt is there, whatever the motivation maybe behind it, it doesn’t have believability. And it lacks that thing which makes a story hit home; it lacks heart.

Lastly, and this is a personal irritant, if you want to piggyback on a social cause to build your brand image, you bloody well make sure you’re not overtly peddling your products on any of the platform you’re pushing out your communication on. You’re taking a stand and telling people what your company or brand is all about. If you’re picking a side to pledge your loyalty to, don’t do it because you want to sell more of your beautiful blue kurta. Don’t do it because you want to trend on Twitter for a day or two. Do it because you care, and do it well.

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Lady Jughead lives and writes in the city she loves and hates, Bombay. Without meaning to and harbouring mixed feelings about it (You’ll see the irony in just a bit), she’s forever wandering in the murkiness that exists between straight and gay, clear and clueless, butch and femme, cute and hot, and genius and insane. All of which leave her with a question that often occupies a significant portion of her cognitive capacity – is she Just Perfect or is she falling fast into the deep chasm of obscurity called Just Average?
Lady Jughead

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