(...even though I hardly watch TV these days)
One, this new spot featuring the venerable Zohra Sehgal (what is she now, 95?) and the disrespectable Shoaib Akhtar, an ad where (like in so many others) it’s impossible to figure out the product being advertised until the brand name is actually thrown into your face. Ms Sehgal challenges Shoaib to bowl at her, he sneers patronisingly, she asks him if he’s afraid, he starts his run up, bowls/chucks the ball, and it ricochets off a glass wall just in front of her. Voila, the ad was for Stronglass, a cleverly named brand of strong glass.
Principal objection: the irrelevance of the concept to the product. It might as well have turned out to be a condom ad (no wait, that’s Rahul Dravid, in an earnest promotion that equates facing fast bowlers with protecting yourself from AIDS. But I love the Dravid ad because of the delightfully inappropriate vision it conjures up of the Wall facing up to McGrath, Gillespie etc wearing only a prophylactic. Excellent.)
Secondary objection: even though the Shoaib-Zohra ad ends on a happy-happy note, it’s difficult to erase the mental image of the dear old lady getting her head knocked clean off. Or messy off. Too morbid even for my liking.
Two, the lemon tea (?) ad, one of the countless take-offs on Sholay, which has "Arre o Samba" Mac Mohan (still sitting on a high rock and looking not very different from 30 years ago) finally facing up to the mean Gabbar, and all because he’s been emboldened by a sip of the tea.
Principal objection: the last image in the ad before the final product shot is that of the incensed Gabbar-lookalike pointing his gun at this new, impudent Samba. Now I’m no ad-man but isn’t it self-defeating to tell your customers, you’ll be shot dead shortly after your first taste of our tea?
More observations to follow, though it’ll depend on how much TV I watch. Meanwhile, Duck of Destiny quacks some nice things here about ad people, like "Their faces are so warm." Good duck.