Stereotyping: This just doesn’t smell right!

Way back in the mid 1800’s, stereotype was used as a noun that meant “image perpetuated without change”. Possible fallouts of it included justification of ill-founded prejudices or ignorance and the unwillingness to rethink one’s attitudes and behavior towards stereotyped groups.


Well into the 21st Century, nothing much has changed and the best exemplification of it is articulated in many of the TV commercials that we see for deodorants these days. Most of us would have an axe or two grind with many of the brands that showcase the Alpha male strutting his stuff only to see the Beta female fall spray I mean prey. Its very difficult to make any sense(olfactory or otherwise) out of it. Do a quick dipstick(or should it be deo stick?) on these unsuspecting women and men and you will have protest rallies that would put the Occupy Wall Street one to shame.

What is it that makes these brands(many of them looked after by seasoned marketing & advertising gurus) heap layer after layer of communication that glorifies a non existing stereotype(of either gender) right from Denver to Park Avenue, geography notwithstanding? Isn’t it all very foggy? And just done on pure impulse? Or do we grudgingly reconcile to ‘The more things change, the more they remain the same ‘ syndrome?

A lot of hot air, most of it carbon unneutral. And you begin to sense that s(t)inking feeling! And despite claims by some that it won’t let you down, it is difficult not to feel otherwise. Its time to give the audience their due. Time to wake up and smell the …coffee. Till that time, the axe will continue to grind!