Google

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ad-vocate

If there was one thing i dearly missed in my soujourn in manipal, it was the television. One month of domesticated life however has convinced me otherwise. I somehow lack the patience to sit and watch anything on television. Just when it starts to interest me there is a commercial break. And what irks me even more is the quality of ads that are aired. Here are a couple of ads that i believe should not be aired. It could be hazardous to the advertising industry ! These ads could possibly drive away some prospective ad film directors or copywriters to other more lucrative careers or let young creative impressionable minds overlook advertising as a satisfying career.
Firstly theres this undergarments ad that features a physically challenged kid who decides to participate in a race competing with other kids. Once the race starts the kid loses his crutches and falls down. The helpless kid summons daddy dearest. I'd imagined some comic book hero who appears wearing his underwear on the outside. After all, it is an undergarments ad. But hey! who is this? is it a man? is it superman...no its Salman khan! And the buck "or shall i say black buck" does'nt stop here. For some godforsaken reason he rips his shirt off, picks up the kid and starts running,eventually diving at the finish line a-la-rhodes and emerging the winner. humm! the mere fact that i cannot recall the name of the brand seems to defeat the purpose of making the ad.besides i have committed it to mind for its preposterity. Are these ad makers underestimating the intelligence of its consumers?
there is another brand which features ads which are high on pot. one of these harpic type brands which needs to exhibit a pot-pourri of toilets that do not use the product. and suddenly a salesman from the company turns harry potter and uses this magic potion which turns the toilet sparkling white! tasteless to say the least!
now there used to be these itch guard ads which were very disgusting. these ad makers seem to have come of age by shedding the " an itch in time saves nine" paradigm. these guys literally started from scratch and what materialised is an ad thats very subtle but effective. the harpic ad makers better take a good look lest their ads are flushed out of television!

9 comments:

MISSquoted** said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MISSquoted** said...

ooooooooh but how could you forget the fairness creams advertisements? The ones where the very opportunity of landing yourself a rich, dashing, young earthling thing of the male kind is wholly contingent on the colour of your skin!
Gah!
Although India still remains much ahead in terms of quality of advertisements produced. And I am sure we can remember plenty that catch the eye, ensnare the memory and basically serve the purpose.

Sudhir pai said...

Personally i thought the "fair and lovely" ad is hardly an advertisement of the virtues of the product itself, as much as it is a bad advertisement of peoples obsession for a fair complexion. Yea true, times have changed, many of us may feel very strongly about the subject of discrimination on the basis of ones colour. many of us are brave enough to voice it in public and write about it in the press or on blogs. But objectively speaking, it only has a cascading effect on the sales of the FMCG. Yes, this is a fact. out of all the skin care products that are sold in india,60% of the share is taken by fairness creams. HLL is simply thriving on the bad publicity and public criticism it gets for the ads. people may hate those ads, but they'll never forget the name "fair and lovely". Strictly speaking,in terms of market dynamics and the sales the ads have generated, the ads have been successful in all "fairness".I suspect its a risk the brand managers took, and as long as fair and lovely remains a "power brand", HLL wont be complaining about the quality of their ads.

Sudhir pai said...

now for some "dark" humour! i thought their male version would be called " Unfair and lovely". Afterall its meant for the "unfairer" sex!
smirk!

Sandeep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandeep said...

In all fairness, the perceptions of this whole "lovely" concept have been something handed down from ages...Not sumthing perpetrated on the hapless junta by HLL..
I dont know if the stuff really works, but if it did, it's probably reducing some hapless bride's dowry in some godforsaken village with 10% literacy...

Disclaimer:
The author's current interests in life are very far removed from the social messages conveyed by the ad industry and the above comment is not a crystallisation of a life long contemplation :)
However the author does strongly share Pai's disgruntlement with the toilet cleaners' ad agency.

Sudhir pai said...

He he! Could'nt really make out which side of the arguement you are on, but the disclaimer was really funny! he he!
but on a serious note, the HLL guys launched the campaign on a subtle note, but have been more aggresive in the 2000's, and i cant forget the one ad featuring srikanth which in very poor taste. But those ads, which are universally accepted as discriminatory have created an impact. I guess the blunt message worked on all the hapless brides in the rural market, and yes, they accounted for a bulk of the sales...
so while a few of us vehemently opposed those ads, there were others who have bought it( both the claims made and product itself)
well we would'nt know if the product worked, after all we do not belong to the target consumer group.[:)]

Anonymous said...

Pai.. Lets not forget any of these ads lest their memories "prick" us sometime!! :-)

Sudhir pai said...

he he!!