Bharat Matrimony, one of India’s leading online matrimonial services, has found itself in hot water after its recent Holi-themed advertisement sparked backlash from viewers. The ad, which was meant to promote the company’s matchmaking services, has been accused of promoting regressive and sexist attitudes towards women.
In the ad, a young woman is seen walking through a Holi celebration, as men splash colors on her and make suggestive remarks. The woman then takes refuge in a nearby temple, where she is approached by a man who offers to protect her from the lewd behavior of the other men. The man is then revealed to be a potential match found through Bharat Matrimony’s services, and the ad concludes with the message that finding the right partner can protect women from harassment.
The ad has been criticized on social media for perpetuating harmful stereotypes about women and for suggesting that they need a man to protect them from harassment. Many have also taken issue with the ad’s use of Holi, a festival of colors that is meant to celebrate joy and unity, as a backdrop for such a message.
In response to the backlash, Bharat Matrimony has issued a statement apologizing for any offense caused by the ad. The company stated that the ad was intended to promote the message of finding the right partner and that it was not meant to perpetuate any harmful stereotypes.
The statement also noted that Bharat Matrimony will be taking steps to ensure that its future advertisements are more sensitive to issues of gender and diversity.
The backlash against Bharat Matrimony’s ad is just the latest example of how brands can find themselves in hot water when attempting to use cultural events to promote their products. In recent years, there have been numerous instances of companies facing criticism for using festivals such as Holi, Diwali, and Eid as a marketing ploy.
As India continues to grapple with issues of gender inequality and violence against women, it is important that brands are more mindful of the messages they promote in their advertisements. While the intent behind Bharat Matrimony’s ad may have been positive, the execution has clearly missed the mark, and it serves as a reminder that companies must be more careful in the messages they promote to the public.