One of the latest ads by Taxi aggregator app Ola has been slammed on social media for being sexist. The ad shows a guy who goes shopping with his girlfriend. His girlfriend is seen stopping at every shop buying shoes, clothes, accessories etc. The girl can be seen coaxing the boyfriend into buying her stuff by calling him ‘baby’ in a loving way. As the ad ends, the guy turns to the camera and says, “Meri girlfriend chalti hai Rs. 525 per km, but Ola Micro chalti hai sirf Rs. 6 per km (My girlfriend costs Rs 525 per km but Ola Micro costs just Rs 6 per km)”
The video titled “Too expensive to take girlfriend out on a date?” was uploaded on Ola Cab’s official YouTube channel earlier this week. The cab hailing app faced major backlash on social media after the video was uploaded. Viewers thought the ad was sexist in nature and the portrayal of women in general was distasteful.
Over the years, commercialisation and growing consumerism have ensured that the quality of content has lowered with companies relying on some of the most crass and shallow methods to promote their products like body shaming, promoting racism, objectification of women and sexualisation of ads.
Interestingly, a whole lot of women use the Ola app when in need of a cab. What is to be seen is whether some of them would think twice before accessing the app the next time they need a cab. The ad feeds off a stereotype that women behave in such a manner when with their partners.
Ola has responded with the tweet:
We understand one of our TVCs has ended up hurting some sentiments. We’ve pulled it down. However, #OlaMicro continues to run at Rs.6/km.
— Ola (@Olacabs) April 23, 2016
Watch the video of the ad uploaded on their YouTube channel and decide for yourself: