In today’s time, feminism has not remained a genuine commitment to gender equality. The idea of empowerment has become commodified through marketing campaigns, overshadowing the true essence of the concept. This piece explores the nuanced landscape of feminist advertising by dissecting empowering advertisements and exposing the questionable motives behind them.

This is a world still often designed to please men. Even though significant progress has been made, the existence of unconscious, underlying misogyny is undeniable and has been passed down through generations. And against the backdrop of this misogyny, the world of marketing often comes into focus. As a strong cultural force, the industry shows and strengthens stereotypes about women. When companies use feminist ideas to make money, it highlights a gap between their empowering words and what they actually do, making it an important area to talk about where unfair gender beliefs are concerned.

The battle cries of feminism, which were meant to break glass ceilings, now break sales records. At its core, feminism embodies an expansive belief in advocating for the dignity and empowerment of all genders. However, that belief gets lost when it’s used for profit. While feminists aim for freedom and equality in opportunities, sometimes this concept is exploited and used for personal gain, diluting the true essence of the movement. It’s important to see through these false claims used by the capitalist market and advocate for genuine progress.

When a company advertises its products as “women-friendly,” it may sound uplifting and true to the spirit of feminism. However, when the same company doesn’t align their policies and ideas with the ‘feminist’ image they try to exhibit to the world, that is plain exploitation. They will assure you that all colours are beautiful, but they will implicitly encourage you to buy their skin-lightening products to make you even more attractive. They will claim to reject racism, yet they will never cast anyone who is not ‘conventionally attractive’, aka ‘light skin and slim waists, to play the lead. They proclaim that women are more than just sex symbols but equate bigger breasts with more audience attention. And amidst all this hypocrisy, they’ll continue to emphasise their adoration for each individual, no matter the shape, size, or color.

AXE, a men’s fragrance brand, produced infuriating commercials about multiple “picture-perfect” women fawning over a single man for the purpose of endorsing their “masculine-smelling” deodorant. It clearly reinforced the idea that a woman is only good to enhance a man’s image and for nothing more meaningful. On the other hand, Dove sold shampoo bottles shaped like different body types to instill body positivity in women. Although this campaign appeared to have positive intentions, it was not perceived in the same way. Had it not been public knowledge that both these brands share the same parent company, Unilever, it would have worked out more favourably for the brands involved.

The intersectionality of feminism is often overlooked in these marketing strategies. Companies often exploit the idea of intersectionality to reinforce stereotypes and uphold traditional gender norms. They use factors like race, class, and gender to target specific groups with tailored ads, which can deepen existing inequalities and reinforce societal norms. This approach ultimately maintains the status quo and contributes to marginalisation and inequality.

While some argue that even surface-level activism raises awareness, the bar must be set higher. Big corporations that treat feminism as a brand or a tool for profit should be held accountable. It is not merely a question of contradiction in opinions or brand strategies; it is a matter of blatant hypocrisy, which, in turn, makes it exploitative. Intersectionality demands a more nuanced approach that acknowledges the diverse experiences of women across race, class, and other intersecting identities.

Trigger Warning: Instances of sexual harassment in the upcoming paragraph.

Take the case of ‘Thinx’, a company that set out to break the stigma surrounding menstruation by taking an innovative approach to period products. While they too seemed to be genuinely committed to feminist ideals, their workplace practices told the world otherwise. Miki Agarwal, the CEO of ‘Thinx’, faced severe criticism and legal action from her own employees, accusing her of engaging in unethical conduct, making inappropriate sexual advances, and unfairly dismissing staff members. According to a detailed complaint filed with the City of New York Commission on Human Rights, Miki Agarwal touched an employee’s breasts and asked her to expose them, talked about her own sexual exploits in business meetings, frequently changed clothes in front of her employees, and multiple other incidents that resulted in uncomfortable working conditions. These allegations shed light on a troubling reality within the company, revealing a stark contrast between its public image and internal practices. A poignant example of the pervasive hypocrisy that infiltrates the corporate world, especially in the industries claiming to champion feminist principles.

Even in companies that are supposedly termed modern or liberal, TV ads still cling to old-fashioned ideas. They often use only male voiceovers, which make men sound more important. And when they show women, it’s usually doing housework, like they’re stuck in the past. Even though some companies try to change this, many stick to the old ways because they think it works. So, ads on TV keep pushing these outdated ideas, making it harder to break free from old stereotypes.

In this world of marketing, men are applauded and celebrated when all we are given is a mirror. Distorted. We are forced to see ourselves through the eyes of society. The unspoken reality is that companies aim for male empowerment while perpetuating traditional gender norms for female consumers in order to sell, and what’s worse is that it seems to work just fine.

We’ve been given the short end of the stick since the dawn of humanity. It cannot be denied that we have come a long way, but the question remains: is our progress real or just a better disguise for the old biases against women?

As we deal with the complexities of feminism today, it’s important to acknowledge the steps forward while staying aware of the quieter forms of gender inequality. As long as this capitalism-driven world continues to prioritise profit over principles, the tagline of feminism remains at risk of becoming just that—a mere tagline.

Read also: How to Know Your Reporting is Good 101

Featured Image Credits: medium magazine.nl

Lakshita Arora

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Internship is devil’s own word. It materialises during first year, solidifies in your second year, and makes you question your whole existence in the third year. In short, it is the experience you get, which makes you decide that you don’t want to do a particular kind of work if you don’t enjoy it, or you want to do it for the rest of your life because it was fun.

While interning there are several woes that a person faces which are not only downright exploitative, but also back-breaking in the amount of work and energy one has to put into it, while getting the bare minimum in return. So, an internship should not be done for the sake of doing something, you need to evaluate your interests, choices and the nature of the work before taking any decision.

The worst kind of internships are those which pay the bare minimum and stress you out so much that instead of learning anything, you feel completely drained out and exhausted. The best thing to do if you are feeling completely worn out and low is to skip it instead of holding onto it and ruining your whole summer.

The tragedy of internship situation here is that there is no fair renumeration for the work and time you put into it. Instead of learning about the organisation, you learn that the corporate world is maybe not for you.

“I joined a company, they promised me a certain amount by the end of the month. Even though some days I was unable to cope with the work pressure, they still promised to pay me the whole amount but in the end,  they backed out of the deal and didn’t even pay me the half of it.” Says a student from Kamala Nehru College.

Don’t get me started on the unnecessary promotional work that they make you do, which is not even in your job description. To all the freshers starting out, there are lot of attractive pseudo-internship offers that are nothing but companies making you do elaborate promotional work. If you are into marketing, carefully choose the company that you want to  work for. It should be authentic and legit. Your time should be valued, taken seriously and directed at things you enjoy doing.

Another student elaborates, “The work they make you do is sometimes completely opposite to what you were supposed to do. They will assign you menial chores and make you do work like filling excel sheets and documents due to which your confidence really takes a blow. At the end of the day, you don’t even feel like you have done anything productive.”

The situation is not that bleak. If you find your calling and right atmosphere, you will grow in the field that you love, while doing the work that nurtures your skills and puts them to right use. Don’t get dejected when one internship crumbles and falls apart. It just means that it wasn’t meant for you, look for another.

Feature Image Credit: Fastweb

Antriksha Pathania
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In August 2017, Prakriti Sharma along with her teammates Raghav Shadija, and Ankita Grewal were declared as the Asia-Pacific Regional winners of GOMC (Google Online Marketing Challenge) – a renowned and coveted competition on a worldwide scale. They were felicitated at the Google Offices, in an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore. We had a quick chat with Prakriti, where she told us the nitty-gritties of competition and her learning experience out of it.

Q1. What are you doing currently?

I graduated from Maitreyi College with a B. Sc in Physical Sciences. I was offered a job through college placements but I resigned within two months. In the meantime, I did freelance projects for clients of different levels in varied domains. I was also offered jobs from CVent, OYO, and other startups, but they didn’t pan out because I felt that I should not rush into another job and be patient. Later, I was offered a job at Gartner for the role of a Marketing Analytics Specialist, which I readily took. Being a fresher, this is the best opportunity I can get.

Q2. How did you come to know about this competition? How did you go about it, whilst managing college?

I got to know about this competition through regular Google surfing. I decided that I wanted to take part in this as I was interested in marketing, despite being a student from the science background. The competition was about Google Adwords, and understandably, it was necessary for us to study extensively. Since I’m very active on LinkedIn, I contacted the previous global winners of the competition and sought advice on how to choose clients and what kind of a business the client should be engaged in. Soon, we developed a strategy according to the finalised client, but because of this, we had to miss internals and classes, something which I was habituated to by then. (laughs)

After submitting a pre-campaign report with the background of the company, we were supposed to run a 21-day campaign on a limited budget. Since the semester exams were coming close, we had to manage exams alongside the campaign. Following an amazing experience of 3 weeks, we had to compile all results in a post-campaign report. It involved mentioning our strategy, weekly reports, results, how much were we able to fulfill, and our learning component out of the competition.

Q3. What was your learning experience from this competition?

I worked with people whom I had never known, and this opportunity was the biggest I’ve ever gotten. Since the platform was Google Adwords, we could not have gotten hands-on experience on it otherwise. We had to work and collaborate with clients and stay within a budget constraint.

It was an amazing experience where I put theory into practical use as I could point out the many loopholes in AdWords by the end of this competition. At the end of the first week’s campaign, we couldn’t fulfill our targets. But, we searched and devised our own optimization tricks and tiny things we would not have noticed otherwise, to get the results to vary drastically. Like this, we discovered many tricks and we finally achieved the desired result by the end, which exceeded our estimations by a huge margin. I’m now able to implement this concept and make sure of the loopholes in my freelancing projects.

Additionally, I’ve learned Facebook PPC and LinkedIn advertising as well, and now I’m involved in company branding. I realised my love for marketing because I tried my hand in so many related activities in my first year in college. Even in my job interviews, I was mainly asked about my role in the competition and the interviewers judged my resourcefulness and interpersonal skills, the campaign problems and how I overcome them.

Q4. How did DU help you in this experience?

In DU, I definitely got a lot of exposure in varied activities. I participated in an umpteen number of competitions and grew personally through every opportunity. If you are active, some teachers do support you in the process. I got to represent my college in a Himalayan conclave in the 2nd year,  that was funded by DU. I also founded a society called Vaigyanik in college to bring all the projects of science students under one umbrella. Many teachers questioned and resisted, but there were many at the same time who helped me and supported me despite my absence in classes. This number of opportunities is certainly not available in other universities.

Q5. Do you have any piece of advice for freshers?

Google has scrapped this competition, but AdWords digital training and video courses and certifications are currently available on the GOMC website for free. Many such online marketing and case study competitions keep happening, for which you have to surf on your own, as such provisions are not provided by DU. I would advise students to go for as many startup events, corporate conferences, and case study competitions as possible. It helps immensely if a student is active on LinkedIn and is able to network and connect, as it helps in personal branding and profile building. Summer schools are also a good option, provided the budget is sufficiently available for that. Subscribing to newsletters and websites can assist one’s search for international events and competitions on a global scale. It only helps if students keep an eye out for as many opportunities as possible.

Q6. How was your experience at the Google Office, Singapore?

We were invited to stay at Singapore for a week’s time in January, where we were felicitated with google merchandise and official recognition as the regional winners of GOMC. After the presentation round of our campaign reports and journey as a team, we were acquainted with the Google office and given umpteen office tours. Sessions were held, and we interacted with Google employees who had been working with Google for the past few years. Soon after that, we began with the much-awaited Singapore tour. All in all, It was a brilliant experience to be a part of.


Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur

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Interview by Vijeata Balani

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The Marketing Cell of Aryabhatta College in association with Innolabz organised EXULT’17, a fun-filled fest on 26th and 27th of October, 2017.
The first day was filled with enthusiasm and energy. A day full of exhilarating games, soothing music to delicious food and drinks! There was a soul to it. A soul that was vibrant, contagious and exuberant. The college was beautifully decorated by the team members from the entry itself and was a perfect example of eye candy! The minute one set foot inside the premises of college, one could feel the vibrancy. Outside the building, various mini-games were set up and stage and tents were put up on the football playground. It set the mood for the celebrations. The tone of decorations was very festive.
Various mini-games from drizzle throw to human tic tac toe were held and various students and teachers loved to be part of it. With each game, the winner was awarded various prizes like coupons of various outlets to cash-backs. Various other games like Impractical Jokers, Scavenger Hunts were also organised. The games were mind-boggling, adventurous and were filled with dares and thrill. The participants were from various colleges and were divided into teams and competed vigorously and were given a fixed amount of time to complete their tasks. The winners were awarded with various cash prizes and in kind.
Foodgasm a food game was also held. It was a game filled with fun for the foodies that were present out there. Participants had to eat the most in order to win followed by the tagline ‘eat till you last’.
B-quizophilia: a business quiz curated entirely by Innolabz was also organised in the college premises which experienced tremendous participation from various Colleges of Delhi-NCR.
The tents put up were occupied by various food stalls selling delicious food and drinks. From Dosa to Pasta to Waffles everything was finger licking delicious. The drinks did their job right on that hot sunny day!
The first day slowly came to an end as the sun started to set. The day was undoubtedly a success and did not fail to bring a smile on everyone’s face.
 Riding on the tremendous success of the Day 1 of Exult’17, the Marketing Cell of Aryabhatta College kicked off the Final Day events with enormous zeal and motivation. The first event of the day was #StartAb, in collaboration with Josh Talks and Facebook.  The team warm-heartedly received Mr. Bhavishya Wadhaman, founder of 98FIT.com as the first speaker of the day. 98FIT.com, unlike other online fitness trainers that aims for a healthy living without sacrificing on the available food choices, employing the use of Artificial Intelligence. It is an up and coming start-up and the brainchild of Mr. Bhavishya. He stayed on for over 2 hours as students listened keenly, and was more than happy to answer every single question after the engaging session. Later, we had Mrs. Arunima Shekhar on the stage from Tell-a-Tale, telling us delightful stories of experiences and life.
#StartAB ended with a Facebook presentation video on how it has been positively helping change lives all over the globe and its new plans for developing countries.
As fully expected, Josh Talks ended on a high note.  It was followed by an interactive workshop on Entrepreneurship by InnoLabz which received a great response. The last item on the list, an ‘Open-Mic Standup Comedy’ session began in the next 30 minutes. A lineup of 9 participants from various colleges, some of which being Motilal Nehru College, Ram Lal Anand College, Aryabhatta College and Sri Venkateswara College eagerly expected to wait for their turn. It was a session jam-packed with humor and hilarious jokes, with everyone enjoying every minute of it and actively participating as the audience. Aryabhatta College and the Marketing Cell are extremely proud to have hosted one of the first of such event in the South Campus of the University. We all hope to have a bigger and better version for the next year.
With prizes for the Top 2 winners given out and Exult’17 finally drew to an end. The members and the teachers were proud in the culmination of an immensely successful event all over the university, thanks to every dedicated member of the team.

Challenging the marketeer in each participant and incorporating the exhilaration of bidding, MarkUs, the Marketing Society of Hansraj College organized  ‘Brand Slaughter’ and ‘Bidwiser’ , the two unique competitions, on the 6th of October 2016.
After scrutinising hundreds of applications, a total of 12 teams were shortlisted for the final round of Brand Slaughter. On the other hand, 10 teams made it to the final round of Bidwiser. The ball was set rolling amidst a lot of nervous excitement, and the MarkUs’ first event for the session began!

Many brands such as KFC, shaadi.com, Endura mass were slaughtered in the first round of Brand slaughter. In the second round, the teams gave their unique presentations and marketed totally non-marketable products such as Patanjali cigarettes, MRF slippery tyres etc.! The other teams were required to invest in the presenting team’s product and the product with the highest investment won!

On the other hand, in Bidwiser, with prices being shouted, bids getting higher by every second and the hammer being struck, the room was tingling with exuberance. The teams went through several rounds, pitching for brands, taglines and brand ambassadors. Finally, they were given a fun yet challenging task of putting together all they managed to buy, and present it as an advertisement to woo everyone for their brand.

Both the competitions concluded with jubilation all around, and a deep sense of satisfaction with the largely successful event.

Images and Content by Marketing Society of Hans Raj College

Mercatus, The Marketing Society of Jesus and Mary College (JMC) organised their annual fund-raising event ‘The Amusement Day 2.0’ on September 29th, 2016. The event was based on the theme ‘Back to Childhood’. It was attended by around a thousand students from various colleges across Delhi.

Everything, from decorations to mini games revolved around the theme. The event consisted of games like Food Hunt, Dare to Play, Tug of War, Twister among others. Alongside, there were various food and drink, junk, hair braiding, styling stalls and photo booth. The chief attraction of the day was the ‘Food Hunt’ competition, which witnessed participation from over 200 students.  All the events involved a certain kind of twist.

Elaborating on the unique idea of the event, the President of Mercatus said, “It all started as a vague idea of raising funds through a small scale source. Eventually, there was a realization that the actual ‘fun’ factor is missing in almost all conventional department or society level festivals. Students do miss school, we can’t deny that! There a lot of competitions in store for everyone. So why not keep a day where they actually feel like a child again? It’s our second successful year now.

On being asked about the event, Shreya Malik, a first year student of Ramjas College said, “The very idea of this event was fascinating. The atmosphere here is quite lively. It’s making me feel that I’ve got a good break for a while. I actually feel nostalgic

Dr. Nandhi, the convener emphasized on the need of such events. She said that such light, fun events give a much needed break to the students. The society now plans to organize its Annual Marketing Convention – Zion in the near future.

Image Credits: Mehek Dhawan and Surabhi Khare from Jesus and Mary College.

Lovleen Kaur

[email protected]

Mercatus, Marketing club of Jesus and Mary College organized its Annual Marketing Convention on February 29th. The fest was attended by around one thousand students from various colleges across Delhi NCR. This one day fest hosted six marketing oriented sundry events, namely The Hawk MUN, The Amazing Race, The Battle of Brands, Paradoxical Ad Mad, Fued of Fairs and Marketing Maestro.

The Hawk MUN, which was based on the marketing concepts of renowned companies was won by Himanshi Arora (JMC). Shivank (Maharaja Agrasen College) and Mansee Arora (JMC) won the second and third prize, respectively. The First Prize of the Amazing Race, a clue based treasure hunt was won by the team from Mata Sundri College, consisting of Namita Budhiraja, Ina Mongia, Anjali Pahuja and Simran Kaur. The next event in line was Battle of Brands, which was based on the concept of gaining votes and displaying the marketing strategies for impractical products. It was won by Sarthak Suri (Ram Lal Anand College) and Madhav Kapoor (Tecnia Institute of Advanced Studies). The second prize was bagged by Munish Nanda and Apar Yadav (SGND Khalsa College). The conventional Ad-Mad Competition was combined with a twist in Paradoxical, where Dhruv Kumar,Raju Kumar and Khushvinder (Faculty of Arts) won the first prize while Akshat Chauhan, Ankur Goyal and Shashank Rawat (Shaheed Bhagat Singh College) won the second prize. Feud of Fairs, an amalgamation of Ad -Mad and Treasure Hunt was won by Sumit Saurav (Maharaja Agrasen College), Ketan Mehta (Satyawati College) and Ashok Soni (Satyawati College). Its second prize was won by Yash Jain and Rahul Khera (Ramanujun College). The first and second prize for Marketing Maestro, the Marketing Mock Stock competition was won by Nipun Kalra (Ram Lal Anand College) and Vipasa Sood(JMC) and Eishita Mehta, Amantia Dsouza and Vedika Jajodia (JMC). The best delegation was awarded to College Of Vocational Studies and Satyawati College.

Apart from the formal events, the fest also hosted various informal events like ‘Dare to Play’ and ‘Double your Money’. Food and Accessory stalls were also the chief attractions of this event. According to the Convenor, Dr Mani Nandhi, ‘ The fest has expanded its wings and become bigger and better this year. I hope to see more such successful events by Mercatus in future’.

Feature image credits: Vibhana Kanwar for DU Beat.

Mercatus, Marketing Club of Jesus and Mary College organised an inter-college event called Amusement Day. The event,which was based on the theme “Back to childhood,” witnessed participation from over 800 college students from across Delhi. The maximum participation was from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

The event consisted of games like Tug of war, Treasure Hunt, Lucky Seven, Dare to Play, Spin the wheel, Aim the ring and Hopscotch. A variety of food and drink stalls along with photo booth, hair braiding, chalking and styling stalls were the chief attraction of the day. The event was divided into two slots and went on for 6 hours. The other activity that gained attention was the lucky draw and the creative stall of the startup ‘Kkrimoda’ managed by Jesus and Mary College student Kritika Jain. The innovative game of doubling the money invited maximum participation in the event.

When asked about the best part of the event, Sakshi, a student from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce said, “The theme was the most catchy thing. It lured me to come and take part in this mini fest. Everything here, ranging from the decorations to the fun games, has actually filled me with a sense of nostalgia.” According to Harsh, a treasure hunt participant, “This is the third time I am visiting JMC for this game, and it never fails to meet my expectations. The arrangements are up to the mark and the atmosphere is extremely vibrant and welcoming.”

The event was also visited by the faculty members. According to the convener Dr Mani Nandhi,such ideas of encouraging cooperation among the society members with engaging activities should frequently be adopted.


Picture Credits : Preeti Sridhar from JMC

Lovleen Kaur

[email protected]

Gargi College has come up with its Marketing Society named ‘Make Your Mark’, which founded by the Faculty Panel – Ms. Chitra, and Prof. Sheila Dubey and student founders – Navtej Marwaha and Vidushi Bhalla, III year BBE students.

Studying Marketing as a core subject in their final year of graduation, Navtej and Vidushi realized that Marketing is not something that can be studied as a subject for a semester or two, its application can be as “minute as spelling of a name or the color of a logo”. They believe that a person having expertise in marketing management is someone who has a nag for convincing, has a streak of creativity and is an avid leader. To search for such persons and nurture them is the basic motive of this initiative.

“In next six months, we are going to pass out of college and it dawned on us that we couldn’t be this selfish; taking so much from college and having given back so less in return. Thus we had this idea of our Marketing Society with diversity and equal opportunity as its main USP”, says Vidushi. And they don’t wish to stop at it; they look forward to expanding it to the whole of Delhi University to give to students more than what they’ve learnt themselves.

The board members will include the two founding members, three stream-heads and five members per stream (Commerce, Science and Arts). Following a stringent procedure of selection -a 3-round process – they’ll make sure that they havea perfect team. The first round is a written round, judging candidates on common sense, creativity, communication and convincing power while the second and third are the personal interview rounds judging on psychometric grounds.

The main focus of this society in the coming days will be working divided on the three parallels – Ad Week, Case Study Week and Market-o-logy Week. After two such rounds, there will be inter-departmental competitions. One of the distinct features of this society is that it has fixed number of seats in the committee, for all streams and is 24*7 open for assistance even for the non-members.

Navtej says, “We realized that the key to gain expertise and to add to one’s skills is to share the knowledge with others. The most productive addition is the one of synergy, with the motive to help peers, gaining insights into the marketing world and contribute to each other’s skills”.

Image Credit: www.du.ac.in