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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

( C ) ADS !

Standing proud in the foggy firmament of Indian advertising are two “tech” worthies who’ve had me frothing at the mouth. I have always presumed that mass media is meant to cater to the lowest common denominator of human comprehension—some hit the netherworld without batting an eyelid. In the bargain, most end up as smarmy inducements and peddle easy access to coveted things—the audience suspends belief and credulity momentarily. So other than convenience and novelty, most ads don’t say very much and what they say, they say badly. Anyway, I digress…

The first ad is that of an IT behemoth, seen as a pachyderm in its responsiveness but blessed with colossal reach and bench strength and until recently my pick among the other software majors who blink, bluff or blunder their way to “success”. The media byte unabashedly proclaims that joining the giant will ensure that an employee gets to go abroad very soon—at least boarding a flight that is destined for Heathrow, de Gaulle. JFK etc. The point is punctuated by a very poor simulation of an airline announcer in pathetic parodies of European accents, imploring the said employees to board. And that’s the message in its entirety, pretty much !

The second is of hitherto unheard IT company ( it has a numeral in its name ) that has a fresh-cheeked college geek who is peremptorily handled with impunity by an accented wraith of a salesman till the time the former discloses the fact that he works with this firm, after which the salesman becomes overbearingly obsequious and invites the shopper to look at far more expensive merchandise. Irritatingly , though that is not the cause of my ire, situations in both ads depict the salesman in flagitious intonations representing the worst forms of stereotyping known in India.

While I will not gainsay the childlike simplicity of approach in both ads, I find them insidious, vile, revolting and tasteless. One didn’t expect the IT major to stoop to these depths to attract “talent”. The assumptions made are many, baseless but directed at an impressionable majority who might yet cling to the greener pastures theory ( which of course, equines and bovines should unwaveringly follow ) .

The second is where all claims to quality of work, learning, job satisfaction and other prehistoric homilies are gaily jettisoned and a dil se tug at the heartstrings by an unequivocal reference to the moolah is made. The ad goes on to assure that one will get rich very very quickly…

But maybe the ads only mirror the employment proposition that the companies themselves want to make. And maybe what I consider poor execution is actually brilliant , with just my view diametrically opposite theirs.

It’s a much deeper problem then. Hmmm…

Stop Press: Rowling has killed off that poor ol’ donkey Eeyore











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