Saturday, 11 April 2015

Lame Indian ads that'll keep airing even after you're long gone!

Advertising on Indian television has come a long way. From the feature and glamour based ads of the 80's when even a little too much of color and contrast in an ad montage was enough to bedazzle the audiences, to cult ad campaigns like the one with Vodafone Zoozoos which literally redefined the role ads are to play. However, amid this transformation of ads now being made with the more sensible and shrewd viewers in mind, there are some advertisers and some brands that continue to remain oblivious to the change and stay incorrigible with absolutely sordid and scruffy advertising. While some of these are types or categories where one product handed the baton to the other, there are in fact a few brands too which retained the essential element; the element of muck! So here are such ad types which are going to keep us haunting till eternity, it seems. 

The glory in eating pan masala 

And I'll never understand why something as decrepit as pan masala could be linked with so much of luxury and grandeur. Pan masala ads elucidate how something as trivial as being a connoisseur of pan masala can automatically make you the owner of a large boulevard, with a large white picket fence with a white clad chauffeur opening the door of your limo, awaiting the entry of the "Achiever who eats pan masala". 

Starting with the oldest one where the absence of Pan Parag on the wedding menu became a bone in the neck for a gamy to go through. Give me a break fellas!

Ah! And while Shammi Kapoor was a sensation of his own times, the Pan Masala brands grew more ambitious and started roping in the 'in' actors. 

And when they found the palace and the luscious lifestyle a little too mainstream, they went on with large alleys and the vibe of achievement and optimism. And that too on foreign land! I mean how in the world are you supposed to take Pan masala there, and two, how would you continue staying rich after paying the fines for spitting on the roads and painting them red all the time? 

And yeah, now pan masala brands also celebrate silver jubilees and that too in style. And ostensibly, their offering is so full of elusive and priceless saffron that it simply sways in the air like anything. What a life! Maybe it's this thug life that inspires people to go chew pan masala at the first place.

The masculinity in cement

Okay, we get it that cement is the most essential ingredient that goes into making a burly and resistant building. And it's a well understood fact as well. But one, cement being a commodity, doesn't have many things on which ads can be made and should be made. And two, why on earth do the ads always end up with a large brawny animated character, either causing destruction stopped by the strength in the cement, or worse, protecting the building because the cement was used in its construction. 

And yeah, they also rope in a random foreigner guy to assert the fact that the cement is good. No wait, not just good. It's the best! 

The curious case of MDH wale uncle ji

Okay, someone once told me that this MDH wale uncle is a really great and accomplished man and he literally spurred innovation in the packaged spices market long before anyone could even envisage the same. So I do have respect for the man and whatever he did but why on earth does he have to feature in each and every one of his ads when he has all the money in the world to have any model he'll like to have. And almost always, the ads, instead of promulgating any benefits of his packaged spices, end up with him puffing his chest in conceit for having achieved so much. And yeah, he's looked the same for two decades at least, so I guess he'll look the same even after I turn senile and die eventually. I just hope my progeny's progeny would see a different class of MDH ads though. 

The vicco vajradanti jingle

Maintaining a legacy is one thing but becoming so obsessed as to let go of it is another. The original Vicco vajradanti ad jingle was a cult as per what I'm told by my parents. It was considered a really cool way for a product to promote itself specifically on electronic media, because the same jingle ran on radio and in the tv ad. And The TV ad supposedly stayed on air for longer than the models in the ad were going to live. 


Now after realizing that their returns on this ad were about to reach infinity, Vicco came up with a similar kind of an ad where Vicco vajradanti was going to be the very difference between strong and ailing teeth. I was literally shocked to see that a new ad finally came out but my surprise turned sore when I once again heard the same archaic jingle at the end. Why god, why? Have all the good jingle composers disappeared ever since the original ad was shot? 

So, this was one collection of all those ads I found queer. While the original concept of most of these ads might have become a bellwether in their own times and epoch, they surely need to change now. Just in case you have some other quirky or recondite ones to add to this list, do suggest and we'll put another post on them. And yeah, we love Indian ads! This was just potpourri of the ones that seem too quaint now. But the better ones on any given day more than compensate for these squalid ones. So stay calm and keep watching ads! 

I am joining in on all the Pepsi IPL action in my own style with the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity at BlogAdda.

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