Showing posts with label Advertisements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advertisements. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

*Creative Visualization!

Any news is Good News! Atleast when it comes to advertisements. 

An average Indian is bombarded with atleast 5 different fairness cream ads, 2 different two-wheeler advts, 3 different soft-drink advts, 3 instant-food advts, 2 new car advts, and 3 jewelry advts during prime time. 

Many of these advts are mediocre and would've never seen the light of day if we had stricter legislature. B
ut hey! This is India. The land of free speech and suppressed libidos.
Take a dekho at my list of the most atrocious 20 seconds in Indian television here... 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Creative Visualization: Parte siete [257/365]

Creative advertisements are a little like male orgasm.
You know you just need the right stimuli to get one. And before you know, you have no control over what happens next.
All you can do is wait, hope and pray that you dont end up with a dud.

Advertisements that spoof are not new. We've had Sprite mock Thumbs Up and quite successfully at that. There's something cute about spoofs. It assumes that you've already seen the 'original' and will sometimes won't make sense if you haven't. Internationally, Apple has spoofed MS and Nike, Adidas. Spoofs can be tricky too. They can misfire badly and create goodwill for the competitor instead of getting business for themselves. As Indian audiences mature our ad-men are testing the waters and the past week, I've seen two nicely done spoofs.

One for a certain brand of mobile phones and the other for a new series on television.

Samsung appears to have seemingly bottomless wallets for their ad campaigns. Some of their campaigns have been really tasteful. However, the recent 'Kya aapke pass nahi he, uncle?' ads are silly. Why would you want to sell smartphones that cost tens of thousands of rupees to college going kids who will need their parents to buy it for them? I can understand how they are trying to allure to a different demographics but can't we have an ad where we are not mocking other demographics?
About time Micromax came out with an advert that spoofed Samsung's. While Samsung extolled the features of the features of its operating system, Micromax's ad show how Samsung phones fail as an device. Though this ad will not dent the fortunes of its worthy opponent, Samsung will need to come up with better devices and more innovative ways to sell 
its phones and not the operating systems they work on.


The second spoof in this post is of an advertisement for a new hospital drama series that debuted on Star World- Grey's Anatomy. So what if our hospitals are drab and overcrowded. We still get to see how an intern in an American hospital learns to cope with work, love and life's disappointments. Great!
While Star World's ad blitzkrieg made sure you would've never missed Meredith Grey, Comedy Central released an advert that spoofed the series with an ad of it's own series - Scrubs. Remarkable well done!

Everytime I see an ad being spoofed, I secretly hope that there is a spoof of the spoof.

Laugh it Off!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Creative Visualization: Sexta parte [234/365]

After a lengthy hiatus, I return to pass judgement on some of the advertisements on TV.

With the Oly just behind us, one advt that I simply loved for its 'heart' value was the P&G advert 'To their moms, they'll always be Kids'. With a brilliant background score and the sheer emotions it wells up inside of you this ad is at the top of my list this post. What an incredible way to portray an irrefutable truth!

Citi on its bicentennial year released an advt that was both rousing and endearing. Some really neat montages, a good tune, great narration and the advt makes you want to rush to open a new account at the nearest Citibank atm.

But off all the ads, the latest Nokia advt for its colorful accessories take the cake. Nicely trimmed with an original composition, it was compelling and fun at the same time. At the end of the ad, I wanted to rush to buy one of the Bluetooth thingies for my android.

And when we talk about endearing, the Dairy Milk advts are cute and very personal. You may not get the storylines the first time, but you'll surely get it the next time you watch. Its just a chocolate bar but the thought that goes behind each of the advt makes you attach a special recall feeling the next time you see one at your friendly neighborhood grocer/pharmacy.

The Vodafone delights advts are really thoughtful. I especially loved the one where the sweet ol' man make a aircraft out of scrap for his young friend for his birthday. While most networks do send a card to their subscribers on their birthdays, Vodafone probably is the only one that goes the extra mile and toots its horn.

While there has been a lot of thought and creativity going into ads, a few of them made me cringe. The latest advt promoting how you need to build a new house around your precious
Kohler bath fittings is disgusting. I can almost guess the creator of this advt watched Mr&Mrs
Smith the night before he created this disaster. There are so many things disturbing about this advt that I won't even torture myself penning it down.

With the sheer number of Bollywood actors doing advts now, I fear the time is not too far away when advertisers and ad-film makers won't have any true blue models to choose from.
I would also like to pay tribute to some ads that read my mind and disappeared- Most SRK and Ash ads (not that anyone's complaining), ad of a certain jewelry brand and Idea 3G (they could've capitalized on the Great Indian Outage).

All said, our fetish with fair skin flourishes. Thank you, Piggy chops.


Until next time, its adieus


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Creative Visualization: La Cinquième Partie [129/365]

Television commercials are getting increasingly sexist.
While gender roles have reversed over the past several years, our corporate minds seem intent on reminding us that the man is supposed to attract all the hot women around and the women are supposed to cook breakfast and be the sole caregiver and care-taker for her husband and kids.

Forgive me for ranting but I think we need to stand up and kick the shit out of those advts.
Perhaps the most annoying series of ads are the ones for male deos. Argh!
I never used an Axe and probably will never use one ever. I mean, c'mon, are we supposed to believe that applying a coat of the deo is supposed to magically beam all the hot women to his living room?
And what if he already has a girl in the bed?
Are they all going to fight over him? 
Or is he going to say, 'Relax ladies, there is enough of me to go around'?

As outrageous as the ads are, I think many of these ads are very effective on a subconscious level. For experts that say violence on telly affects the mental and social makeup of young impressionable and the not so young teens in a way that drug abuse does, I would like to know how ads that show how men are supposed to 'have' the girl are damaging our future citizens.

Can our children overlook the stereotypes and actually appreciate these ads for their creativity? I doubt.
Case in point: An ad for a famous jewelry brand shows how two wives and their husbands (probably friends, neighbors and coworkers) shopping for jewelry. The husbands are shown waiting for their wives to finish shopping for expensive diamonds. While the wives are taking their time choosing the diamond of their desire, the husbands are discussing ways to overcome their impending financial doom. The humor in the conversation is not something that can be funny by any stretch of your funny bone. Infact, it is outrageous the men are actually discussing how their wives are pushing them to ruin. This is not true. The educated women of today are not folks who go out and ruin their family wealth.
I think the women of today are strong, career women who have an identity for themselves. They have their own bank balances and know how to save and buy things that they want. They are not the women or wives that the ad tries to promote. Today's women are not dependent on their husband's wallets and definitely not ones who will want to spend more than what the husband earns.
But ofcourse, the women in the ad were dependent on the men to pay for their diamonds. And surely, atleast one of the women expressed anguish at having spend so much. Surely, she doesn't ask him for his opinion while buying. And surely, her name is not Shirley. The wives are just one of those odd examples of women who think for themselves and not to be taken as a shining example of the modern bharati naari, who is well educated, career oriented lady capable of balancing both work and family with panache. That said, not all men are typical partners who squeal on their wives/girlfriends when they pay for jewelry. I know men who are caring, understanding and magnanimous. Men who are practical and excellent husbands at the same time.

Perhaps this is how the world will always be. While we talk of women's liberation, freedom of expression and the equality, the battle of the sexes will always be one-sided.

Recommended Read:
Creative Visualization: Part 1


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Creative Visualization - la Troisième Partie [73/365]

Poetic License. The fine line that divides the truly exquisite from the despicably crass.
While some commercials in the past have pushed the envelope, many have have stretched imagination beyond fantasy.

One of the smoothest commercials on tv and my personal favorite is the extremely slick Axis Bank advt.
I would rate this advt as one of the more creative among all the advts the bank has had over the past and has a good flow about it. Has a certain panache and a vibe about it.
My Rating: 9



Vodafone has always been very creative with their advts. While they hit the right chords with the ZooZoo, and the absolutely adorable pug, the advts on TV now are threading a thin line. Vodafone, in a series of advts show how a two young teenagers get to meet each other, going through to a phase where they cant get enough of each other.
While some of these advts have rankled the child welfare activists. The supporters, on the other hand think the advts are really cute and adorable.
Now, I think the first advt where they meet are a stretch of imagination but really cute. The second one, where the girl cycles past the boy's home to grab his attention, is edgy. We know the cute young kids are falling in love with each other but the third advt where the pug barks at a man who could not even hurt a fly just so that the two can enjoy a private moment with eachother is positively disturbing. Talk about pushing the envelope here. The ad agency has crossed the threshold with such a risque advt.
My Rating: 5



Another advt that is bordering on being disturbing is that of Aditya Birla's Idea cellular service's latest grouse for using it's 3G service. But really?! However gruesome the crime and thoughtless the perpetrator, are we supposed to inflict mob justice? For some reason I find Idea's idea of trial by media a sheer mockery of the judicial system. I'm surprised no one has signed a petition to ban it yet.
My Rating: 5

One of the most creative Idea! advts ever. Looks like it was just a flash in the pan.


And while we are talking about banning advertisements, it is about time we pull the mask off the Vendanta's 'Creating Happiness'.
One of those instances where huge corporations based offshore go about plundering the natural resources of a country, make an advt extolling its virtues and philanthropy. Bravo, Well done! Now, sign the petition here.
My Rating: 2



Happy Watching, everybody!

Recommended Read:
Part Numero Uno


What the hell do the Ratings mean:
0-4  : Not worth your presence in the same zip code as the TV
5-6  : Err... the advt is pretty, but I hate the concept/product
7-10: 'Drop-the-dishes, stop-the-sex, jaw-dropping, that-is-incredible' 15 seconds of TV


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Creative Visualization - Part Deux [23/365]

Read Numero Uno

It is said when a couple stays with each other for a very long time, they begin to resemble each other. Theorem proved right when my girl friend also begins to watch the television commercials just as keenly. And the surprising part is that we both exchange looks to either approve or disapprove. Said simply, our tastes are so similar.

Controversial but true, you can tell a lot about the culture of a country or a region by the porn that it produces and by the commercials that come on tv.

Our obsession with the fair skin continues.
Prime time ads seem to reinforce our collective suspicion that we are not fair enough. Really?
Some of our most beautiful celebrities are dusky. What's even more surprising is how many layers of the epidermis all the fairness creams are penetrating to give us the glow. But that's not enough for us now. We now need our fairness creams to do seven things together. All in just seven days. Now, do you want fries with that?

Talking about seven days, Big Momma Ash is back with a bang. Oh no, she's not doing any movies (thankfully!) but more of the ads by that french hair dye company. One of the ads even had her spilling out her ample cleavage while lying down.
And as if she wasn't such a disaster already, her hubby has gotten into the act too. Now I agree some of his ads for the cellular service provider are cute, I personally think he should retire from all forms of media until he learns to perform as well as his dad.

But not all ads are as bad. We have ads selling that new brand of potato chips, soups, biscuits and coffee.
Some of the ads were thoughtful and cute, but most of them showed a lot of creativity. Especially the ad where the coffee bean starts crying. While I am not a fan of dark chocolates, I think the idea of an aspiring coffee bean getting depressed when he gets 'rejected' is simply cute.
How about the ad for that online retailer where the incredible discounts for products and services online seem to win over even the Indian grim reaper. What works for me is how innovative and fresh the idea for the advt is. While the concept of etailing itself might be old wine in new bottle, I think the wit of the aptly named 'yamdude' is perfect.
While the creators of yamdude got it right, ads for another etailer with kids conversing in grown-up voice-overs was only half as witty.
Full marks for creativity, though.

While we can be exasperated about the plunging quality of movies being churned out, we can contend with the fact that our Bollywood actors (and their leading ladies) are still raking in the big moolah with the multi million rupee product endorsements.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

*Creative Visualization

We all love those disclaimers, don't we? I sure do. 
Tucked away into the tiniest corner of that advt that promotes recklessness, ravishing beauty, flawlessly strong hair and healthy food, you will find the words *Creative Visualization.

I love advertisements!
They are entertaining. I am perhaps one of those few alive that love watching an TV advt with rapt attention. My acquaintances are amused to see me watch commercials with the attentiveness of a Market Analyst.

To all the rest, a commercial break is a time to take a leak, set the table, do your dishes, take out the trash and all those things you could finish in a couple of minutes. But to me, its more than just a 'comfort break'.
I love these commercials because they keep getting creative. To think of how creative some anonymous, hugely talented yet under-paid, over-worked artists worked to create a 10 second 'movie' that should salivate you so much that you make a mental note in your 'Things to Buy' list to buy their product/service.

There are the good ones and there are ones that I actually change channels or mute as soon as they start.
When did dusky/tanned skin go out of fashion? 
Living through a movie with the dozens of commercials that promise you to win your husbands back and banish blemishes and spots is the visual equivalent of  passing through a public urinal in India. You know its going to hit you no matter what. 
Our fetish with having a pale skin is so powerful that corporations and the Adman, abuse their creative licenses when it comes to commercials marketing Whitening products. 
Want to get fair, or "white in 7 days' or in time to win a movie award, well look no further, get that over priced, small sized pack.
Or is your husband or that random Security guy/Artist not paying you any attention, well, you must not have used that 'Whitening cream that gives you the glow in your face'. Ahh!! Now that feels good. I got my husband back, got that Security guy to notice me and that Artist drew the color of my skin right and a diamond ring. Nevermind if the Artist didn't get the color of my hair right, I'll just try that hair dye that "covers all my greys"

Which brings me to ask.. 

'Why is all the fuss with covering your greys?'
'Since when did greying become disgraceful?'
Ads that have Aishwarya Rai, one of the most over-paid, excessively hyped and sub par actresses on this planet, deserve a special mention. Did you ever catch Pink Panther 2? She is awful. I would be shell shocked if she ever got another meaty role in an Hollywood movie. 
Bollywood is the only film industry that can stand/sit a disaster like Aishwarya. The only ad that I've ever liked is the one where she pledged to donate her eyes. Hype or not. I liked the sincerity in the ad. But now-a-years, she is a mission to save the world from hair damage. Argh!! And to make matters worse, some of her ads have the worst synced voice-overs.

Now, if Aishwarya was not powerful enough to rid the world of its greying sisters, then we have that upset sister complaining to her 'didi', that 'Rohan' (who we can safely assume is her Boyfriend) is going to dump her. Concerned 'didi' gets her the 'answer' to all her problems. Not only did the flirtatious behan get Rohan back, she got an entire army of men to call her!! 
'Mental note to myself: Never date a girl who thinks with her hair'

Which reminds me of a lady who I worked with. She used to straighten her hair and splurge on the most expensive hair treatments. The result, she lost all her hair in under a decade. While most of the women might not be alive to face the ignominy of seeing their bald scalp, is it too much to expect common sense?
Maybe you are not smart and healthy (enough), but wonder no more. We have almost all known catagories of food products that promise you to keep you healthy enough to run down a thief,  a champion at school (it does not matter if you a college dropout though) and smart, witty and fit. There. All you need is a glass, a bowl or a bottle of our product.

And if you are already having all that, but your IQ matches the number of greys in your hair, then you must get that DTH service, for that is the missing link. 

Our Colonial Obsession is a universal secret. 
Why are we so uncomfortable being dusky or just good in academics or letting your greys stay grey?
I am no expert on any of these products and what they can do to us and our world in the long run, but where does all those empty bottles and packaging go? Its certainly not vanishing off into thin air. They end up in landfills that aren't growing any larger. And I'm pretty sure, those plastics will live longer than any one of us. 

Want skin so smooth that you will never be able to sit cross legged in a mini skirt? 
Get them that cream, Ladies. 
Want the babes?
Get that deo, dude. My fav series of deo ads is the popular brand that have men who have used the deo, netting not one, but tons of women (and men, in rare occasions) to drool over him. Lucky Bastard.

Why?! We even have commercials that want us to live longer. But have you ever noticed how all the old people in them have grey hair and are wrinkled? Interesting! 

We do get to see some true masterpieces, like the 'Jaago Re' campaign, the 'Save the Tiger' campaign, the particular campaign that showed in glaring reality how we discriminate when it comes to social status (I'm referring to the campaign where people respond to a lady who looks well to do when she falls down and how people turn a blind eye when an old man, obviously writhing in pain) and a few more. 

So we have commercials that sell everything that we would ever need in our every waking second. 
But how realistic are they? 
What are they doing to our society and more importantly to our psyche? Commercials that show that you need to live recklessly for that bottle of cola, that you will need to be fair and drop dead gorgeous with absolutely no wrinkle (that you might as well have an expressionless face), that you will need to be pale skinned to be able to win that promotion, that you will need to use that deo to melt the hot chick into your arms, that you will need to exact revenge for not allowing your spouse to watch that serial.. and the list can be endless. 
We, true to our culture love to espouse women centric values, but in 8 out of 10 ads, you see that women are portrayed to be objects that lesser to men. We see women being shown as a being who stays at home, cooks and is otherwise a sati savithri and the men doing things adventurous and living it up.

In 20 years from now, none of us will remember who endorsed what, but what kind of a legacy are we leaving our future generations?
On rare occasions when I watch a VCR Cassette (yeah, I still have a VCR!!) I get to see the ads that were created then. Boy! Were they amateurish? But they still had a lot of sincerity and were not outlandish and garishly stupid.
Over the years, poetic license has been reinvented much like some of the ads that we see.

In a society that promotes consumerism, if only we had a disclaimer that warned us: 'Do not try this at home'
You can catch TV grabs of my favorite (and most hated) commercials here.


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