Kalyan priests, saints and advisors from Tamil Nadu,

Kalyan Jewellers branched out in 1993 opening a store in
India(specifically in Thrissur a district in the state of Kerala).The ancestors
of the management hail from a background of priests, saints and advisors from
Tamil Nadu, India. The decision to start an enterprise came from a thought to
creating employment opportunity for as many Indians as possible as well as
making India a self-sufficient country. Kalyan Jewellers have broadened its
domain from jewellery to textiles and now to real-estates.It initially started
as a textile company. T.S Kalyanaraman, Chairman & MD Kalyan Jewellers says
that business should be pleasure, not pressure. 
And he lives his belief. Aishwarya Rai Bachan is the brand ambassador
for Kalyan jewellers for the Indian market as well as overseas.Talking about
Aishwarya Rai, she was crowned Miss World in the year 1994 and till date is
believed to be one of those Miss World who has had left behind the biggest
impact by the means of her humanitarian works.She has been appointed as the
first goodwill ambassador of “Smile Train”(an international
organisation that provides cleft lip and palette surgery for children in
need).She is still cited as the most beautiful woman in the world.She is also one
of the most leading and established contemporary of Bollywood(Indian Hindi
language cinemas).

 

 

The advertisement that was released by Kalyan jewellers on
2015 featuring Aishwarya Rai Bachan wearing a stunning regal dress reclining
under the tradition Egyptian parasol which is held over her by a black
emaciated slave boy. The background colour is white and blue. Blue is a calming
colour that shows creativity and high intelligence. It is a colour that denotes
faithfulness, strength, wisdom and trust. Blue colour meaning is also known to
have a calming effect on the psyche. Blue is the colour of the sky and the sea
and is often used to represent these images. The colour white is often
associated with being pure, fresh and good. The colour of a fresh snow gives an
idea of a peaceful and pure winter. The color white is often used as background
on many websites, as it is easy to read black or dark text on it.During the
wedding, Christian brides wear white as the sign of their purity, simplicity
and naiveness. The raised eyebrows on Aishwarya’s face helps to inject an
element of surprise among the viewers.The expression of the boy shows as he is
concerned about the queen’s wellbeing which is portrayed by the model in this
advertisement. The model is sitting with pride wearing a heavy embroidered
dress and is covered with jewellery and the way she is sitting conveys that the
lady belongs to the high-class level of the society.The background portrays a
simple and elegant culture but having a more close view into the picture we
realise that it clearly shows a dominance of the high class over the low class.Looking
closer into the clothing and jewellery of the model we can understand that the certain
type of jewellery that she wears is the one that the ancient Mughal queens used
to wear to show their pride and flaunt their beauty and there is a high
embroidery work on the dress of the model which again points out to the fashion
followed by the Mughal queens who then believed that high embroidery was
another way of flaunting a woman’s beauty.When we closely look at the dressing
of the slave boy we can see he is wearing the ornaments that resembles to the
one worn by slaves earlier and looking into his cloth we can see a simple cloth
around his waist that resembles to schenti which was worn by the laborer’s and
the working class in the ancient time. This advertisement was published in the
print copies of one of the top most leading daily. The advertisement created a
huge outburst among the customers of Kalyan jewelers as well as the fans of
Aishwarya Rai Bachan.The main intention of the creative team of Kalyan jewelers
was to present royalty, aristocracy, timeless beauty and elegance but what got
conveyed to the audience was that the advertisement was encouraging not only
child slavery but also racism which were two important topics that shook the
country. This advertisement didn’t even go well with the social workers as well
as the keyboard warriors. It even seemed like the brand was endorsing slavery
by the dark-skinned towards the fair skinned. Many social activists started
writing letters to the actor stating the wrong meaning that got conveyed and
how important it was to give an assurance to the people that the advertisement
wouldn’t be used anymore for the brand endorsement. One of the letters written
by feminist activists stated that they felt that actor unknowingly promoted an
advertisement by regressively portraying a child to sell the product. Many
people derived a much wrong meaning stating that the very fair model (Aishwarya
Rai) and the dark slave boy cannot just be mere coincidence. The advertisement
even encouraged servitude as the boy is shown holding a parasol over the head
of the actress as portrayed in the image. Since Aishwarya is known worldwide
for the humanitarian works done for children with disabilities, reliefs
provided to many people affected by natural calamity as well as supporting HIV
and AIDS affected people. Something like this was least expected to come from
her side. It looked as if the actress was endorsing the concept of child labor
as well as racism. Later Aishwarya Rai’s press team issued a statement, stating
that the original image was modified by the creative and she never shot for the
ad with an idea of the outcome.

Kalyan jewelers released a statement on Facebook stating “With
regard to the item Open letter to Aishwarya Rai Bachan: This ad you figure in
is insidiously racist, the creative was intended to present the royalty,
timeless beauty and elegance. However, if we have inadvertently hurt the
sentiments of any individual or organization, we deeply regret the same. We
have started the process of withdrawing this creative from our campaign”. Later
on they withdrew the advertisement and it was not used at any platform for
further promotion of the brand. The publicist of Aishwarya further stated that “At
the onset, we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation
of the perception of the advertisement. Here above an attachment of the shot
taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout  of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the
creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint
that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professional
working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again”.