Domino’s Pizza India released a Mother’s Day ad titled “Maa Nahin Bhoolti” around May this year. The ad shows a son leaving his mother at an old age home because he is unable to take care of her. The mother misses her son and keeps asking the caretaker whether he has called or not. She earns a little bit of money by stitching a few garments and orders her son’s favourite Domino’s pizza. Upon receiving the pizza, the son comes back to the old age home with his family (wife and daughter) and spends time with his mother. Domino’s wants to show that a mother does not forget anything even if you do not care for her.
When I first saw the ad, my reaction was – what a sad ad!
And it is sad for all the wrong reasons.
A Mother’s Day ad which starts off with a son sending his mother away to an old age home is already uncomfortable. And please don’t tell me this is a harsh reality of life because the whole ad, in fact, undermines this very real issue that exists in our society. In an attempt to show a mother’s unconditional love and care, the ad disrespects her outright. It just neglects the painful experience caused to the mother by her irresponsible son. And you’re telling me a pizza from Domino’s brought him back?
It’s like watching an ad where a poor kid is begging on the streets while a rich family passes by in an expensive car and offers a pack of pizza to the kid to celebrate Children’s day. It is just inappropriate!
First of all, the son showed no remorse or guilt while leaving his mother at the old age home. On one hand, the ad wants to say that a mother does not forget her children but on the other hand, it is rationalizing selfish behaviour with ridiculous reasons. The son mentions that both his wife and him are working and so there is no one to take care of his mother. Both are working individuals yet they cannot afford a caretaker at home with their combined income? They have a teenage daughter. So, who takes care of the daughter when they are out working? Is this what they are teaching her? The ad is clearly a result of lazy writing. Old age homes are a growing problem in our society and the film deals with this issue insensitively. It just rides on emotional manipulation and dilutes a serious issue.
In the end, the commercial does not even show the son apologizing to his mother. It does not even show us whether he brings her back home or are they all enjoying pizzas at the old folks home? And what is this ad exactly trying to say? Be thankful to your mother because she will still care for you even if you behave like the world’s biggest douchebag? The makers of this ad misrepresent the spirit of being a mother and what her unconditional love means. Couldn’t the brand pick a better way to commemorate motherhood or Mother’s Day? The commercial also does nothing for Domino’s, as a brand. You can easily replace Domino’s with Mcdonald’s or Coca-Cola or even Pizza Hut.
At the end of the day, it really does not make a difference what the product is when the plot is so cringeworthy.