‘Happily married’ sounds almost like an oxymoron, but when it is appended with men, it becomes more than a figure of speech. “Happily Married Men”, a concept that comes across as a funny take on wives, has been used generously in many comedy shows. But, it needs to be done with tact or else it looks sexist. It may be funny on the surface but is essentially just another detrimental thought process that does more harm to your brain and the society at large than it makes you laugh.
So when a brand attempts to employ the ‘Happily Married Men’ concept to its commercial, it has to be a very measured one. Else don’t do it, or better still don’t make a song and dance about it.
I was in for a shock when I came across this commercial by jewellery retailer, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), called ‘Happily Married Men – Official Music Video’. The 2.34 minute long music video has three husbands rapping away their secret to being happily married.
The wives are depicted stereotypically as control freaks who are mean, materialistic, heartless, conditional women who are only happy with their husbands after being taken shopping, shown movies, and getting most of their work done. The ad then suggests an easier way to ‘keep her happy’ by buying her gifts from the TBZ Solitaire Collection.
Watch it to believe it:
The ad displays the hashtag #KeepHerHappy at the end, however, it doesn’t convey the next course of action with the hashtag to the viewer. The video description provides a link to the brand’s Solitaire Collection.
Uploaded on the 25th of July, it has garnered close to 126K views with 94 likes and 11 dislikes while I write this. The comments below are not very encouraging on a majority.
I scouted for #KeepHerHappy on Twitter and found some buzz. The TBZ Twitter handle has been busy propagating the educational commercial using the hashtag. The TBZ Facebook and Twitter pages have been extensively sharing the jewellery from the said Collection, while sharing the music video and valuable tips to #KeepherHappy.
— TBZ – The Original (@TBZ1864) July 7, 2014
While the ad looked hilarious to film maker Kunal Kohli, I think it has made the brand look hilarious.
— kunal kohli (@kunalkohli) July 28, 2014
Why it does not work for TBZ?
Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri is a trusted jewellery brand established 150 years ago in 1864. The brand evokes a sense of awe among women and now among men too, with its men’s jewellery segment started a few years ago. For a brand of this stature, the new rap music video campaign comes across as a complete misfit. Assuming that the choice of rap music is to be ‘in’ with the times and appeal to younger husbands, the portrayal of wives is way backward.
The concept of ‘Happily married men’ does more damage to the brand reputation, than push husbands to check out the new collection. Portraying wives as materialistic partners is not only too regressive but also places the brand voice at risk – ‘Husbands need to buy TBZ collection jewellery if they want an easier way to be loved and cared by their wives!’
In the times when brands are taking up women empowerment and equality issues, TBZ is saying “A wife’s love can be easily bought with solitaires’. On the other hand, jewellery retail brand Tanishq had created quite a stir with its commercial featuring the second marriage of a dusky mother last year. The ad found itself in fourth place in AdWeek’s list of ‘7 Most Inspiring ad campaigns for women in 2013’.
TBZ loses out on not creating a loving association between spouses, but rather sending the wrong signals and creating the wrong occasions for jewellery buying. What are your thoughts? Am I going overboard?