Monday, May 30, 2005

Two silly TV ads I’ve recently seen...

(...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.

17 comments:

  1. I like Tetly Tea's Gabbar wala ad. It's witty, it's funny .. good break from non-sense programs :) And the humor helps in remembering the product! What else do you expect?!"Wahi safedi, wahi jhaag, jab kam daam mein mile to koi woh kyun le, yeh na le?"

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  2. hmmm but don't you think Bad ads, effectively do the job, the same as good ads? i mean, even if the ad was silly, you still remember strong glass don't you? and it made such an impact that you actually blogged about it. so job well done me thinks.

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  3. The image of Rahul Dravid that you conjured up has scarred me permanently ! Good thing Ganguly, on current form, did not equate his facing upto fast bowlers with condom usage---people would lose all faith in its efficacy !

    Since no one seems to want Akhtar in the team, maybe bowling to old ladies is all that he can do for some time now.

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  4. The best ad i ve seen in recent times in the tata indica ad!!!
    with a person getting punched for each of his lie and when he goes gaga over indica nothing happens.. a not-so-nice narration doing no justice to ad. But thats coz i want everybody to SEE and enjoy the ad.

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  5. The Zohra Segal-Shoaib Akhtar ad - apart from everything else you've mentioned - is also fun because it makes no sense whatsoever

    (a) it says Shoaib isn't fast, (b) if we do accept SA is fast, and the glass is brilliant, it makes no sense for ZS to say "oh, very fast" afterwards.

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  6. Well, I liked the Stronglass advert.

    While, thematically, the advert is typical of the industry (ref: The huffing and puffing japanese, and the cleaning lady in restaurant adverts), I found the execution entertaining. Particularly the Arre, Darta hain?. It does keeps one guessing about what will happen next, and I'm sure the recall of the advert will be pretty good. It also exhibits, to some extent, the effectiveness of the glass as well as its clarity.

    Where it fails, for me, is that it fails to advertise the name of the company, though it does succeed in advertising the product.

    Each to his own, I guess. :)

    Btw, have you seen the PP Jewellers advert on NDTV? The advert is in hindi, except for a couple of words in one line that goes: "chehere pe wry smile PP. Totally out of place. Heh.

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  7. Oh dear, I should've known there would be hyper-sensitive advertisment-lovers reacting to this. Apologies, all! Shoaib is great, Zohra is wonderful, Mac Mohan is awesome, and Dravid clad only in a condom would still frustrate the crap out of those Aussies!

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  8. heheheh.. the comments are even funnier than the post.. good ad.. bad ad.. the point is still driven home.. u do manage to recall the product..!

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  9. Hey dude you missed the ad.Its about very clear glass and not strong glass.

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  10. Thanks PK. That wasn't very clear :) But then they should have called it Clearglass. Bad brand naming.

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  11. im sorry but you guys sound really stupid. Its called Strong Glass because evidently its main strength lies in it being strong. I have to ask you a simple question...were you born as a fifty year old grumpy man....did you ever play with the children from your locality.....did you ever break any windows .....? i thought the ad did its job...the 'arre darta he' part was silly but the ad made sense. It had context.....you just slow.

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  12. before you start being the pompus ass ....it was a typo....."your just slow"

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  13. mr. anonymous, *you're* still orthographically-challenged!!

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  14. I rarely praise people, and less so a blog. But I read only one of your blogposts, and liked it rarely. Your line of thought is appreciable.

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  15. I rarely praise people, and less so a blog (I'm a mean person). But I read only one of your blogposts, and really liked it. Your line of thought is appreciable.

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  16. Hi .nice blog.I am HR of a well-developing concern.I need to post jobs .can anybody suggest best way..
    thank you............

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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