Updated 14 Apr, 2020

“Tum kerti hi kya ho” (What do you even do?)

"Roti gol bana leti ho?" (Can you make round roti?)

Would you agree if we said our society carries a pretty standard set of ideas on how men and women are expected to behave, groom, present and dress themselves?

Same is the case of how brands tell us advertising stories.

We feel most of these stories seek support from social constructs that tend to limit women's potential to their households, particularly the kitchen.

We recently came across Shan foods' latest TVC that overtly condemned gender roles, and we're here to discuss few of our key observations about the story.

Let's go:

1. The TVC does not overtly show a hyperfeminine woman swooning over kitchen duties

This one's definitely a first for us.

In a fresh attempt to reverse the traditional cycle of women selling products targeted towards women buyers, this story opens with a man standing in the heart of the kitchen with the woman stepping in later.

2. The male character cooks, lays the table and even leads the woman to the food

For the most part, there's no woman doing the dishes, laying the food, tidying up the table cloth etc.

This one is a welcome break from the run-of-the-mill stories that clutter our screens on a daily basis.

3. The daughter's guilt is pretty relatable

We'd have to admit, being desi women we feel the guilt of not being able to help with household chores is real, especially because we've been conditioned to always feel like we are meant to be the torch bearers of all household duties.

4. The man of the story doesn't just parrot what he's been told by society

Unlike most dads we've seen on TV, this one doesn't just tell the daughter to get home early so she's able to take over all operations of the household.

Instead he reminisces her mother's words and says, 'khana pakana sirf tumhara kaam nahi hai' (it's not just your duty to cook).

Watch full story here:

Where does the brand connect to the storyline?

In a bid to empower women, Shan Foods has launched their 'recipe mixes' that aim to simplify the lives of women who perform kitchen duties and seek traditional, authentic taste.

While in general the product is targeted towards women who don't want to compromise on taste, we feel it can help empower everyone at home by helping them fix meals for themselves as well as the household within minutes.

In short, we feel the campaign is premised on the idea of acknowledging and celebrating a woman's capabilities beyond the role of a cook.

Why are such advances in advertising absolutely essential?

Repeat after us: belittling a woman's contribution to the society is so not 2020, belittling anybody's contribution to society is not 2020.

Today's world is done compartmentalising genders and their public and private roles. We're done taking lessons on the way we're expected to dress, think, speak and present ourselves.

And if brands are bent to make some space in our heads and hearts, they've got to understand and acknowledge this idea.

This content is produced in paid partnership with Shan Foods.


Parvez Apr 14, 2020 12:04pm
This is by far the most effective add I've seen recently on TV ..... the father-daughter chemistry is absolutely superb.... the expressions that convey everything are just superb...and the lesson conveyed is done subtly and effectively ..... and I am not going to apologize for being over effusive.
Alarmed Apr 14, 2020 01:43pm
WHat the heck they are trying to achieve?
Iqbal Zaman Apr 14, 2020 01:44pm
BB Apr 14, 2020 05:55pm
@Alarmed ADvertising Shan masala with emotional touch ;)
fatima Apr 14, 2020 06:49pm
@Alarmed trying to show how we asian women have handicapped our sons by not teaching them an essential life skill Cooking for oneself (as explained to me by a very nice french colleague)
Taseer Apr 14, 2020 07:32pm
@Alarmed be ready to help each other and never dare to think any1 is superhuman even for a fraction of second. Prepare to be genuine, caring and helpful. No matter who you are with. Life becomes easy and blessing would be showered upon.
Ehsan Apr 14, 2020 07:49pm
Shan is such a popular brand world over wonder it hasn’t been able to make it on the shelves of mainstream grocery stores in US as a Pakistani brand product whereas there are now some middle eastern products that are available.
shabut Apr 14, 2020 07:52pm
Why do we take cooking food for ourselves a burden? On top of that making it a man vs. woman issue is even absurd.
Shahid Apr 14, 2020 09:13pm
Simply beautiful theme.
Adeel Anwer Apr 14, 2020 09:59pm
The only SO 2020 thing is covid19. and i guess u dont want that.
Abhi Non Done Apr 14, 2020 10:04pm
@Alarmed Agreed
Safir Ahmad Siddiqui Apr 15, 2020 06:20am
But if an old father is left to do cooking and fixing the table it is unacceptable..The family seems to be a well to do one.So a helper a cook and a servant could take on the job specially when the daughter is a working girl.What the producer and their sponsor want to depict and convey is incomprehensible.Some bright idea from any quarter?
Ashraf Apr 15, 2020 06:42am
Our society works better than any I have seen in the West ( after living in USA for 50 years) because both genders are aware of what is expected from each. Please don't confuse us with this nonsense.
Sandeep Vadera Apr 15, 2020 08:46am
Excellent and very decent advertisement
Farooq Apr 15, 2020 10:13am
Amazing!!! Good job done to all the team members who participated in creating this wonderful add.
Mahbub Murshed Apr 15, 2020 02:45pm
In our Muslim families, no financial contribution is expected from our womenfolk since traditionally its the men who need to earn and provide for his family. And he is condemned if he doesn't /unable to do so. Even working women are not expected to share 50% of the earnings along with their husbands and I don't think they do. So in a society where majority of women are homemakers and men are the breadwinner, men and women are expected to play their parts. Whats to be condemned in these expectations?
Fairguy Apr 15, 2020 03:39pm
@Alarmed Cooking just one day is not called help. Furthermore, men don't realize what a relaxing and pleasant experience Cooking is which only gets doubled-up when you serve it to others especially to the loved ones and they like it. Also, Men and Women cooking together as a team is so fun and joyful sport that can't be described.
Fairguy Apr 15, 2020 03:45pm
@Parvez The lesson should have been conveyed to Husband not father who too looks like he never cooked while his wife was extant.
Asfand Apr 15, 2020 04:44pm
What an ad, made me cry
Syed A. Mateen Apr 15, 2020 05:38pm
Shan Foods Masala's have made women to less concentrate on the ratio and proportion of any food items that used to be cooked by such females who use to work only in the house as 'home makers'. With the passage of time women started earning higher degrees due to economic compulsions and growing inflation in every aspect of life they started doing jobs which have considerably decreased the financial constrains on the working husbands. Despite being equally a helping hand financially in the family the working women can't ignore their basic responsibilities such as health of children, their education and proper brought up in the society. Upto a great extent Shan Foods is helping a lot of working women in preparing dishes quickly in the kitchen with the help of Shan Foods Masala's. The need of the hour is that young males members should start taking classes to atleast become half chef in case if the husband is required to cook the food in the kitchen after coming back home from his job.
imranwajid Apr 15, 2020 11:08pm
A good chemistry of father and daughter but mother message not good