Friday, November 27, 2009

Maddening ads

Lifebuoy soap claims to have the power to counter the swine flu pandemic. It doesn’t state that explicitly but leaves enough audio-visual cues to get most people to think so. I’m NOT trying to undermine the importance of washing hands with a disinfectant soap to prevent swine flu, but to loudly claim that it’ll give you 100% protection against the swine flu virus can be misinterpreted. I’m sure Lifebuoy has the capability to incapacitate or remove the H1N1 from its area of application in a certain way for a certain period of time, but this can lead people to wrongly think that swine flu can be stopped by using Lifebuoy alone. True, one should not forget that an infected person’s hands are likely contaminated by the virus and whatever this person touches becomes a source of infection for others. Therefore you should wash your hands and try not to frequently touch your face without thoroughly washing your hands first. But unless you read between the lines, statements like “SWINE FLU SE DARNE KA NAHIN, LADNE KA (you shouldn’t fear swine-flu, you should fight it)” can make common people rather careless to other ways of contracting the infection. Of course once the virus enters your body, you will have no option but to fight it, for it will fight back to turn your body into breeding grounds for its posterity. Swine flu, like any other flu is an airborne infection. If an infected person sneezes in your proximity, the virus directly enters your lungs via microscopic droplets in the air as you breathe, washing your hands with Lifebuoy isn’t gonna help. Once that happens, maybe washing your mouth, trachea, bronchus, bronchioles and alveoli thoroughly with lifebuoy might help but let me tell you that that would be impossible without killing you first…or in the process. I feel that the ad should be more vocal about this fact. It is the way these people highlight one fact and downplay other, equally important ones, from the whole story that gets me worried. Please inform yourself more about this disease.
Another ad I do not like: Idea cellular. 26/11/08 the day terror knocked straight at the Gateway of India and entered The Taj Hotel. We were all shocked and in disbelief as the events unfurled. We are all still emotional about it. One year hence, Abhishek Bacchan appears on the T.V. screen with a serious face and requests the viewers to pick up their idea cellular phones and go crazy making calls on 26/11 (today). He informs us that the money thus generated will be given away to the police (in lieu of the sacrifices they made on 26/11/09…I do not remember if it’s hinted at or explicitly stated in the advertisement). I wish this ad were a little more informative. The ad neither tells whether the money would go to the families of the policemen who died or were injured in the incidence or to Mumbai police or to some other police force. I’m especially restive because recently it was in the news that some of the police officers did not report to duty when called in the emergency situation of 26/11. Are these people gonna get a share of the collections as well? I request someone to tell Abhishek Bacchan (whoever can), that the next time he brings a somber face on the screen to conjure up our emotions in the name of national integration, generated out of a crisis situation, to please request the people, who pay him crores for an advertisement, to give us (the viewers) a lucid insight into what they’re requesting us to do and who does it help and in what way?
These ads either contain only hints to something that the common’s psyche automatically builds on in presumption (which might be incorrect) or hide important facts from the complete story; both are unfair practices. I think I’m gonna try and find out how to use the RTI, I’m sick of so many things happening around me. Call me cynical if you must.
Only last week I received a forwarded mail giving incomplete details of some woman claiming to be in a financial crisis after her husband suffered total paralyses. It gave no details of the city, no details of the place the husband worked. The mail said the woman had two kids whereas the picture showed three. I couldn’t help but raise my skeptical eyebrow at this. I mailed to all the people that were on this mail’s mailing list about this doubt of mine. As I was typing this email, I googled the name of this lady in another window…lo and behold…the name was found in the list of hoax mails. Every time the mail was forwarded, it added a few paise in the account of the conman, who devised this great plan. People just ignored it and said, “it doesn’t matter to me for it doesn’t cost me money and hardly takes time to forward it to a 100 people”. Why would you help a thug to even earn one paisa? Why would you even spend one second of your time to do that? How bloody careless and lost are you? It’s surely good to be kind and benevolent but is it not good to also be attentive and vigilant? How long are we gonna be a bunch of idiots, fooled by every Tom, Dick and Harry who plays on the strings of our emotions?
SORRY I DIGRESSED, I’ll get back to the mad world of ads. There’s one genre that conquers the rest (in my opinion i.e.); comedy. I love comedy, at times sarcastic (though I feel it is best avoided), goofy, slapstick, witty, any kind of comedy. When I hear the bingo mad angles song playing on TV, I stop all other activity and watch the ad. The pretty girl and the lovesick boy gesturing to each other from their balconies with the melodious song playing in the background, it all makes me happy. The mischievous flying kiss of the girl that is slyly and skillfully captured into the shirt pocket by the boy is a treat to watch. The expressions of the girl hence say something’s gone terribly wrong, and the first time I saw the ad, I was sure it would be another girl but wait, the next shot captures the boy’s shirt pocket on fire. He hastily slaps it out. Then the girl looks at the packet in her hand…and the music goes BOINGGG!!! The reason of the fire is ascribed to the fiery hot flavor of the mad angles that were transmitted to the boy’s shirt via the flying kiss. The next part, which is mostly omitted from the shorter version of the ad, shows that the two meeting with the hot mad-angles still in the girl’s hands. This rightfully (obviously) alarms the boy and he lowers his welder-helmet that he’s wearing, to cover his face and hence protect is from the fires in the girl’s mouth. WOW! I’d suggest that the boy eats the hot mad-angles too and they both can thus get cosy; fire beats fire.
We talked about two kinds of transmissions, swine-flu and fire. I’d go with the fire transmission. If I were you, I’d go to the CDC website and read more about swine flu to learn how to protect myself rather than trust a bunch of currency-note hungry businessmen, trying to mislead me in the smallest way in connivance with the ad-psychologist they call “dream merchants”. I’d call them nightmare salesmen. Call me cynical…ah! A cynic that loves comedy!


Ashish said...

Advertisements thrive on exaggeration. They not only sell the product but also lifestyle: "Your life is worthless unless you wash your hair with this shampoo, or use this model of a mobile phone." Perhaps there should be a mechanism where the viewers have the power to let the ad compnaies know what they truly feel about their ads.
Lastly, only the "cynics" can afford to have a good laugh at comedies!

Anonymous said...


is there anything u like!!!get a life duh!!!

jesse said...

Duh!! no Dude/Dudess!! Duh!! you're right dude, I'm choosy. So are you one of those "duh dudes" that accepts and loves everything that comes your way?? Now c'mon, that would be acting like a desperate middle aged spinster.
You're laconic dude! you've reavealed a lot about yourself in just 10 words and it took me more than a 1000 to just say that I'm cynical :)
Duh!!...Duh!! Duh... As a matter of fact, I do have a life and a good one Duh!! ;) ...Duh!! ...and duh dude, it seems like you missed the last 356 words of the post; they're about something I do like..duh!! Bye Dude Duh Duh!!

Wanna-be yankee crap! One hot dude you are!!

Anonymous said...

ur depressed man ....

jesse said...

u r depressing man ....