What can you learn from an advertisement?

What can you learn about a culture from the advertisements it produces? So much. Not every ad is meant to attract every person, of course, or represent the realities of daily life for all, but advertisements can offer a peek into at least one segment of a society. What makes a product attractive, and who is the ad seeking to attract? How is the consumer expected to use the product? Etc.

The YouTube ads I get here are sometimes in English but more often in Hindi or Arabic (this OMO ad in Hindi is strangely mesmerizing - I let it run every. single. time). The other day, I saw an ad that really caught my attention - it's for DAC cleaning products, and it's presented in an amateur-ish story (episode) format. The story surrounds a groom meeting his prospective bride, and the dealings between the two mothers.

I find this DAC series of commercials fascinating. The language, the peek at a cultural ritual (arranged marriage meetings) that is almost completely off-limits to me as a foreigner, the fact that this is an advertisement for a cleaning product meant to be used by one's maid, not one's self. There is so much here about how women here run their households, and the expectations they have of household helpers.

Again, I don't claim that this is a perfect representation of how life is for khalijis, but it definitely smacks of truth for at least certain elements of society here, and at the very least would be a good discussion starting point for topics such as social norms regarding housework, childcare, friendship, and marriage negotiations in the Gulf.

For ease of reference:

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3 part 1
Episode 3 part 2

I can't wait for the thrilling conclusion!


Shooting stars