Great wealth and a large middle class have been created by the economic progress of the past 30 years. The foundation for the consumerist ideology has been laid by it.
The social class divide has grown because of this progress. Middle-class life is more visible in the presence of domestic help than anywhere else. Domestic help needs better treatment and their human dignity is respected because of the growing political consciousness of the working class.
There is a challenge when faced with social class divides. Marketing deals with class divides as a problem of affordability. The solution to the problem is to offer products and services at low prices.
For Rs 10/-, you can think of a phone refill and a hair removal product. Marketing's answer to access and affordability is to segment the market. The category can be accessed by every consumer at a price point that they can afford, and at a luxury end of the market.
Brand communication raises questions of portrayal and representation as it addresses the social class divide. Questions are raised about the brand's ideology and vantage point. How should the brand deal with the question of social class and class divides if they want to be seen as progressive?
When it comes to the question of domestic help and how they are shown in advertising, this is also true. How should a brand that sells household cleaning products show domestic help? Is it better for them to mirror reality and show it as it is or is it better for consumers to adopt more progressive behaviors?
Some examples of what a brand is portraying in their communication.
There is a detergent called Ghadi.
In Indian popular culture, domestic help is seen as solely responsible for the upkeep of households. The idea that it is the job of domestic help to do all the housework is problematic because it reinforces the idea that family members don't do anything. Domestic help and the family they work for hold all the power when it comes to making decisions.
Ghadi Detergent's campaign is moving away from the stereotype. It encourages people to treat their domestic help with respect and to recognize the importance of every task. A young boy is shown with a callous attitude towards his house help. His mother decided to teach him a lesson by making him clean the house because the house help was on leave. He learns to appreciate the contribution the domestic help makes to the household and even pays him to celebrate the festivities.
Women's Day is an initiative by Prega News.
PregaNews launched its Women's Day campaign, #YourSecond Home, to highlight the importance of domestic helpers.
A woman scolds her domestic help, asking her not to do the work that she has been doing for a long time in her house. The house help's job is in danger. She invites another domestic worker to do the work in her place. The woman was fired but we know she was just trying to reduce the workload of her domestic help as she is pregnant. The element of surprise works well here, as the campaign makes the audience think that the employer is unnecessarily tough, but in the end, we realize that she is just being caring towards her like a family member.
The campaign wants to show an idealised version of how domestic helpers should be treated. It tells us that employers should empathise with their domestic workers and give them benefits like maternity leave, or reduce their workload during their pregnancies, just like the organised sector does. Prega News is tied into the narrative of the ad.
The driver of the dairy milk.
A boss drives his driver to his child's school so that he can attend a parent-teacher meeting. The content is only 45 seconds long. The dynamics of the employee and employer are immediately understood by us. His boss goes out of his way to help him when he needs it.
The film shows how a small gesture of kindness can change someone's life. The integration of the brand of Cadbury Dairy Milk is seamless, as it plays on the idea of being sweet and associated with chocolate.
Oswal has refined soyabean oil.
The Oswal Refined Soyabean oil's campaign shows the relationship between the wife and her employee in a positive way. The wife is accommodating as she knows that she works well and efficiently, even though the husband is upset that the domestic help always leaves early. One day, when the wife is out of the city, the maid bakes a cake for the husband and stays late at night to celebrate his birthday so that he doesn't feel alone on his special day.
Domestic help is more than just the staff of the house, but also a part of the family, and employers should be accommodating to their requirements according to the film.
The brand takes a backseat while the ad has a nice recall value. The story of Oswal isn't built around refined soybean oil. A small mention in the narrative would have aided the brand integration.
There is more together on Facebook.
The depiction of support staff in Facebook's campaign is very touching. The seven-minute content initiative is almost a mini- short film. It shows how the main character, Pooja, starts hiring people in large numbers to provide them with gainful employment in order to fulfill her altruistic intentions.
She is in a state of crisis when she can't afford to pay her bills. When the hired staff of her sweet shop use the power of social media to narrate the story of her altruistic actions, which end up attracting customers to the shop, she will be able to pay her bills.
The makers of this content decided to tell the story of a Sikh woman and her business. The Sikh family was chosen as the driver of the narrative because they are seen as altruistic people in the larger consciousness. One of the services that the Punjabi culture is considered to be is.
The story of the film is very sweet, but one must remember that this is the same company that recently fired its employees. The current actions seem incongruous with the current content.
The brands seem to take the high power distance between employers and domestic help for granted as a given in Indian society. They don't show the possibility of a different future for domestic help, in which they can be more assertive in their dealings with their employers.
The staff can ask for the right tools and complete their work in their own vehicle. Employers can still be compassionate and kind and treat their domestic help with a humane and caring attitude if they have high power distance.
Conclusions and actions are taken.
Negative stereotypes, biases, and prejudices should not be perpetuated by brands.
In order to build a more equitable and just society, brands can use branded content to promote understanding of the lives and struggles of domestic help.