My apologies at the outset to the great masters of creativity in Indian advertising. What I'm referring to is some of the TV commercials which have been raiding the idiot (here I go again) box lately, which, if I may be boastful a little, make even me, a deseemoron - a village idiot, feel a trifle superior. Sample this:-
The immaculately dressed young man dashes towards the lift and enters it in time to the closing of doors. He settles himself by the back wall of the cabin, amid many occupants, all suitably impressive looking. He coolly withdraws his cell phone and flicks it open. Now with confidence and an air of superiority writ large on his face, he instructs his driver, in a voice loud enough for everybody to hear, "driver, CAAAAR leke aao". And sure enough, everybody looks up to him admiringly. Now we cut to a car, which seemingly is really loooong, pulling in in a portico. And now a voice over proclaiming that they give extra length in their super luxury CAAAAR.
Hey, hey, folks; what's it?
Do you really think a sophisticated man, who apparently has already 'arrived', will behave so outrageously; in such a 'show off' manner? Only the nouveau-riche behave like this. The 'real affluent' person will behave subtly; for one he'll discreetly mumble his instruction to his driver in the cell phone, so that the others don't hear and secondly, he'll never and never, broadcast his instruction so offensively loudly in a public place, about summoning his CAAAAR. And Mr. Advertiser, have you done any survey as to how many people remember the brand of the car you are promoting after this awful commercial, especially amongst your target audience, the sophisticated ones with high net worth, who ordinarily have refined sensibilities.
But this is not all:
This small swish car arrives in front of a modern high rise residential block, at night. The 'lover boy' bloke, apparently the boy friend, gazes into the eyes of the female driver - a truly sensuous woman, with a deep, dreamy and soulful look - with she reciprocating in suitable measure, before getting down, crossing the lobby and boarding the lift which promptly goes up. Now also promptly, she presses the lever next to the dash board and lo and behold, the boot opens up to reveal another generous sized boy jumping out and swiftly taking the seat where the earlier gentleman was seated. Now their faces beaming with 'sheer delight', they drive off.
Did you get the message?
Whether one got the message about the spaciousness of the boot of the car or not, one message I certainly got. That in addition to being utterly distasteful, how demeaning you can get to a 'modern' woman; and then you perhaps expect her to buy your car. And which car I pray, because once again, at least I did not get the make of the car because of your stupidly offensive stance, Mr creative genius.
And talking about being offensive; this one takes the cake:
This former Indian superstar (but why am I being so coy about it?), okay okay Mr. Anil Kapoor is addressing me, I mean the average viewer in a reflective mood. He tells me that when he decided to become an actor, his father told him plainly that he wont be able to extend him any help, but then he offered him this extremely pricy and exclusive pen saying, "This is what I can give you".
Then Mr. Anil Kapoor goes on to say, "then one day Sonam (his daughter) told me..."
Cut to, Sonam entering the room and saying trifle meekishly:
"Dad, I have decided to become an actor."
Cut to, a long searching look on Mr. Kapoor's face in close up. Then, even a tighter close up of Sonam followed by his face, with him saying:
"Okay, don't expect anything from me..."
A shocked face of Sonam. No words.
"But, I can offer you this," and he extends the same pricy, pedigree pen to her, which she enthusiastically takes with her eyes smiling full on. And then, then we are told that the rest is history.
But what is this God dammit? Even you Mr. Kapoor with a Hollywood twang to your accent, did not object to this atrocious, demeaning, condescending and offensive commercial towards many a great souls of India who could not even afford a new book and who acquired education under a street lamp after slogging all day as a child worker to achieve unbelievable level of high distinction in life.
No chance now for an Abdul Kalam to become a great scientist and the President of the Republic of India! Well, at least the advertiser and the creative team who conceived this foolish ad seem to think so.
Shall I go on sirs...?