Indian Commercials : Hit Or Miss

At one time I felt that we had some really good concepts for commercials. Those are less & less the case these days. Some of the ads, especially for fairness creams & other cosmetics, are basically Bollywood films in 30-60 seconds without the fights! It goes something like this : we get the father taking his daughter, pasted with some ointment to make her look darker than she really is in real life, dressed in full head to toe Indian saree going to an MNC company with pooja material and stuff. At the reception of the huge glass walled MNC company, daughter is rebuked for her ideas and in a snide remarks the heavily makeup laden women make fun of her appearance and dark skin! Daughter is ashamed and left in tears runs home. Dad walks in to his ancient pooja room with bells ringing around him, pulls up an age old recipe for a cream that will make his daughter look radiantly fair – which is also the same as our fairness cream company got the same recipe – makes a paste and gives it to his daughter!

A now bright & fair daughter (either her natural colour or enhanced with makeup and/or digitally) walks in to the MNC in a smart outfit, breezy air about her, smiling stupidly for no apparent reason. The same women who rebuked her now stand in awe, mouth agape and startled. Daughter aces some interview with the MNC company and is chosen to be it’s face in some ads. Moral of the story : fucked if I can find one! Really? That’s something that you want to believe go ahead. And people buy into this big time. Fairness Creams are a huge business in India.

You also have the laughing for no reason, mouth open to show shiny teeth if it is a toothpaste ad, sickly kid speaking nonsensical ads, dance & laughter ads, the absolutely-no-context-to-the-product ads, the trying too hard to be cool ads, the speaking English like an idiot ad and really dumb ads that try hard to get to their catchphrase ads (I’m looking at you Idea Mobile), the really annoying musical shit ads (Airtel) and the silent ads. I think I like silent ads, atleast it won’t offend or annoy you with loud ads.

And then you can get some fun ads like the Nestle Kitkat ad with the singing & talking squirrels. The song choice, funny voice and the plot just make it absolutely fun to watch. But that is just one of a few exceptions.

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