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Monday, March 28, 2005

IN BAD COMPANY

The advertising fraternity has hardly been anything other than remiss in their head-in-the-clouds demeanour while selling their souls to peddle baubles to buildings. Have never witnessed a single one of them owning up to a poorly conceived, shoddily panned , ill-executed and tawdrily-shot spot. The less one brings in the supposed raison d’etre of representing the nation’s pulse the better.

Saw a few adverts that pandered to something that I thought had long gone away from the Indian psyche—serfdom, class distinctions and “prestige”. And some others which refuse to live down the “dream” of escaping to the wastelands of Idaho, or wherever, where there’ll be rain clouds of fecundity and happiness.

One ad showed a postman, or some such luminary, refusing to hand in his delivery to the “man of the house”.
Because in his opinion, the “master” of the house did not look like an important person ( Of course the spot plays up the resplendence of the paint quality on the wall to whose exalted quality the humble garb of the resident does not match up ). This is followed by a series of service providers all unwilling to “do the needful” as they do not accept that the house owner’s habiliment is good enough to command their respect.

Another has a security engineer who expostulates on the pecking order of the guests who enter the hotel where he is at the helm of affairs, to his crony. He insouciantly waves in Government officials, doctors, captains of the industry, architects but when someone who “does something with Computers “ enters in a Worthington-esque car, he prods his soporific stooge and both salute smartly. And that is the “brand proposition” of the advertised four-wheeler.
(Ed—Whiff of your own bias here—am not certain YOU have been able to figure out what most folks do “with computers” !)

There is another where a middle-aged gent rides an idyllic bicycle on an autumnal landscape, luxuriously ruminating on what life would have been had he been able to live it on his own terms. He speaks uxoriously of a holiday with his wife, some dream for his son, and then, his earnest desire to have his daughter study abroad.

The least offensive is that of another financial major in which a tetchy wife is suitably impressed with her husband’s assiduity and perspicacity because they find a bank which matches the bloke’s late hours. I e they find a back which works into the wee hours—I e 8 pm.

The first two unashamedly cater to our “Indianness” that prizes gloss, sheen, size (sic !) , grandeur above all other parameters. I cannot but gnash my teeth helplessly at the third—its cancerous import is ominous and calamitous. The fourth’s ostrich-in-the-sand comportment is only an honest representation of how it operates in real life.
C;mon Abby Baby !

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