* A look at how new ads reach out to people by being totally stupid
Chennai, Oct 4: Thanks to the recent India-Australia one-day series, we at Crank’s News watched a lot of cricket.
Sorry, correction: We apologise for the incorrect previous sentence. What we did was, we attempted to watch cricket, but what we did was: followed a lot of advertisements.
And by boy, some of the advertisements were decidedly worse than, well, Hilton Cartwright’s batting in the series. To be below Cartwright in this series takes some doing — he scored a sum total of two runs in two matches.
The thing about some modern-day advertisements is when you watch them you cannot be sure which product is being advertised.
Also, almost all ads seem to have the same script: Happy families. Seriously, that’s all to them.
They are a happy family because: They drink some aerated drink. They have LCD TV. They have insurance cover. They have a credit card. They drive around in a car. They shop online. They have children who surreptitiously study science and maths on mobile apps. Their houses have the paint that — why not? — purifies the air.
Actually, they are a happy family because they don’t have to watch the ads they are featured in.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, we were to write a report on the India-Australia one-day series. Since we didn’t get to catch much, in its place, we present here a report on some of the ads that shone with their sterling stupidity.
(As ever, we will refrain from mentioning the brand names, out of basic journalistic integrity that you don’t give publicity to corporates free. If they had paid us, we would have put them on the headline.)
We begin with the ad for a brand of paint. We remember this ad because it had Deepika Padukone. She wears what looks like surgical mask everywhere. It is for pollution, you see. Quite understandable. Many of us wear such a cover. But wait, she sports the mask indoors. At parties. At the gym. You know why? Well, a voice-over helpfully explains: “…the air inside our homes can be five times more polluted than the air outside.” This is certainly true — we have WHO findings to prove this — when you are stuck in a room with Arnab Goswami. Otherwise, it seems just fear-mongering.
Luckily, Deepika finds a way to beat the air pollution inside rooms. She chooses the paint that comes with advanced nuclear war-heads that shoot down the pollutants. Okay, not exactly. But the ad has some similar science gibberish: “The paint has ‘Activated Carbon Technology’ that helps purify the air.”
I am already looking forward to next generation of paints that use Iridium Infested Compounds that probably stop global warming.
Another ad that caught our attention was the one for a soap that has ayurvedic ingredients. Everyone is into this Ayurveda bandwagon. We seriously expect some car manufacturer to come up with a model that has ayurvedic carburetor or some such.
Anyway this ad says, when we travel outside we are exposed to pollution even if we have our body parts covered. And to enforce this point, they show Tamannah. And her cleavage. They fleetingly show smoke-guzzling vehicles super-imposed on her cleavage. Dudes, what were you smoking?
(Remind us to put Tamannah’s cleavage in the headline, which is the only we can get someone to read this.)
Then we move on to the commercial for a body spray. Body spray perfume ads have only one script. The entire industry has signed a pact not to make any ad outside of this script: You fizz it over your body, the opposite sex will want to have carnal relationship right at the foyer itself.
In real life, never ever has this technique worked. But ad-makers keep sticking to this formula. Because as the ad guru Ogilvy said, ‘the consumer is not a moron. You have to make him one’.
In this ad, a chap named ‘Kunal’ becomes a lady-killer thanks to his perfume. He girlfriend’s dad keeps ‘smelling’ him out everywhere. Yes, his girl-friend’s father is a Dobberman Pinscher.
And we round off this ad review with the commercial for an e-commerce giant’s shopping offer. The commercial has a man talking to his sister over what looks like a Skype call, while in the background he sees workers removing a fridge. She says she just sold it off in an exchange offer. They keep continuing the joyful conversation.
This is utter tosh. And totally far from reality. When you buy stuff online, you cannot be on phone with your brother, because you will be on phone, giving directions to the courier person constantly. The courier person will keep asking for the nearest landmark.
This kind of exchange will not be off the mark:
Courier guy: Madam, your address says that 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue. Can you tell me which is the nearest landmark? I have a parcel to deliver from Russia to your husband.
Melania: Well, these days the thing closest to the White House is Kremlin. Will it help?