This ad was produced in the year 2010 by Vaseline, and it was targeted toward male consumers in India. It is an advertisement for the Vaseline Men UV Whitening Body Lotion, one of many skin-lightening or “fairness” creams in the Indian consumer product market. The ad also offers men a chance to test out a new Facebook application in which they could digitally alter a photo of themselves to show how a lightened look would appear. The ad was the site of significant controversy in the United States and in India, as described in this article from CNN.com.
What is your initial reaction to the concept of “fairness creams”? Are you surprised it is marketed toward males? Why or why not?
Is this a product that you think would be sold in the United States?
To what do you attribute the popularity of fairness creams in India? Conduct research into the cultural dynamics of the practice. What are the roles of history and Indian mythology? Of British colonial rule? Of contemporary popular media? Other factors?