After a while…

The thing on television that young kids enjoy the most is ads. Probably because of frequency of changes in them, it has attracted the attention of young and old alike. Despite the hectic schedule almost everyone takes a second or two appreciate a good ad or shout at an annoying one. The range of emoting one goes through is almost comparable to frustrated Microsoft Windows user, an avid racer watching F1 (may be a bit of an exaggeration) or a potato couch watching Seinfeld. Having spent almost three months at home, and having watched trucks of ads on television, I guess I am qualified enough to comment on them.

Beyond doubt, among the ad recently shot, my favourite one is Richard Gere’s visa ad, the one with letting birds free for good luck. The beauty of the ad is that it appeals to every one, be it a teenager or a senior man, be it rural folk or urban. In my opinion, it has a perfect stage setting to imply the acceptance of visa card in every nook and corner of the country and also the ‘visa power’. Recently, I tasted the ‘Indian’ pizza at pizza hut. Being hell bent on always the “cool” veggie supreme or extravaganza, Indian pizza was hardly a choice before. The very moment I tasted the Indian panner pizza, I sensed something Indian in it. It brought me a content smile on my face. It was the taste of spicy masala. This ad gave me the same feeling. Call it superstitious, the ad has its traditional roots and it also pleases PETA (I certainly do support their cause). Some of my friends called this ad meaningless, my reply is: I appreciate creativity more. It is the key.

When it comes to the battle of best slogans or punch lines, it is visa’s strong competitor, master card which bags the honour. “There are some things which money can’t buy, for every thing else there’s master card.” This carefully worded slogan and equally carefully directed ad gets your mind off the material world and yet sells ‘a money card’. ‘Five generations in one photograph, priceless’. Both visa and MasterCard ads build a strong connection to human emotion. Well, if you are selling a debt trap, you better be good at that.

Staying in rivalries, a biggest hit back ad is definitely Pepsi’s “grow-up” tonic. Thumps up’s hideous campaign of Pepsi being kid choice certainly didn’t see this coming. Though Pepsi took a lot of time, the reply was a tight slap on face of Thumbs Up. One of the Coca Cola’s directors called Pepsi’s ad assault distasteful asking them what they are trying to prove. People in glass house… If you remember it was sprite which blatantly ridiculed every ad, it was thumbs up which stared the war… why was he throwing stones? Talking about creativity, the ads of sort drink change more frequently than any other ad. Good, bad or ugly, it is a necessity when you are trying to sell fertilizer to 15-20 year olds.

Going back in time, the best insurance ever sold is easily ‘jin chackcha jin’ of ICICI bank. The tune is recognized by absolutely everybody who’s anybody. Same goes without saying for AR Rehman’s airtel tune and Britannia’s ‘ting ting tiding’. How many of you remember captain cook’s ad back in 1992-94? The one with a woman in 30s comparing captain cook’s salt to ordinary salt. The ad was nothing exceptional; it was made funny by the actress herself with some unforgettable hilarious expressions. That ad didn’t need any pinch of salt. Ads like fevi quick’s take on a tam fisherman cling to the memory forever. There are two Maruti Esteem’s ads which I particularly loved. I don’t know why many of us don’t remember these ads. The one was with father driving the esteem with son’s pathetic marks card and yet feeling relaxed. The other one was about games owner and drivers play to get behind the wheel. The owner wins the battle by letting the driver pick the pen he had intently dropped. It takes a little time to make a lasting impression on mind. It was scientifically found that music can rekindle old feeling and bring back the good old days. Old ads make me nostalgic too.

Naughty ad of Tata Indica, boxing glove, belongs to “you can watch it once” category. Anything more is a catastrophe to my peace of mind. The most annoying of all is Nokia’s wide screen phone ad. I don’t know what model it is, I switch channel as soon as the cacophony begins. They are kind of ads which make you not wanna buy their products anymore.

Thought Hutch’s dog ad was brilliant, it ended up selling the dog more than the Hutch connection. Whatever the stats, creativity always counts. If you have seen the latest ICICI bank ad, it is indeed worth a laugh. It’s about wife complaining about husband’s ‘working late’ habit. When she finds out ICICI banks are open till 8 in the night, she comments, “I thought you were the only one working late.” Point taken, “ICICI employees work late. Little did they wonder that it will keep people off from working for ICICI bank. Sometimes ads spill out a different meaning than what it is intended to.

This was my three month commercial break. Unfortunately I wasn’t paid for this. If anyone has any other ad in mind, do comment.

2 Replies to “After a while…”

  1. Hmmm nice little treatise on contemporary TV ads.

    I must admit I didn’t read it fully, but looks like you’ve spent a good deal of your time doing exactly what the maketers wanted you to do.

    Hooray for mainstream commercialism.

    “Money can’t buy happiness. But it sure lets your enjoy the misery.”

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