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Sunday, February 25, 2007

MEDIA WATCH-2 

Have held on to an earlier belief that advertisements in many ways reflect the spirit of the times, zeitgeist etc. and encapsulate most of what's going on in the nation as succintly as can be within thirty or so seconds.
Which is possibly the reason why the advertisement that featured the voice-over of the ubiquitous tele-caller was refreshing - and although the product pitch was for a mere newpaper, I felt no other firm had actually thought of the person at the other end, let alone his/her feelings, emotions.
And which is probably why a recent ad from a prominent suiting manufacturer really irks.
On the surface nothing much wrong with the narrative--a young photogenic couple enters their home ( a stadium more likely !) to find a surprise party has been arranged on their arrival. The proud parents preen in contented glory as the friends of the groom play some musical tripe. The casting is exceptionally good and the father resembles his son remarkably, or are played by the same person. The bride is the attractive picture of demure coyness and the friends are goofily real.
What caught my attention was the camera panning on to the young pride and happily staying there for long shots ( Pulchritude has its advantages !) . The ad-maker could not have possibly been more chauvinistic and condescending as the bride goes trough the entire gamut of formulaic facial twitches that characterize shy icons of femininity that has epitomized the male gaze since decades. She pouts, beams, grimaces and manages to find time to do the Miss World gasp-hands-on-the-mouth routine not once but twice in the sixty second spot. And then lays a grateful head on the reassuring shoulders of the incomplete/worse half. Ah yes, the pretty one is decked to the gills in her auric splendour and silken revelry.
Truly a masterpiece-- an ode to the joys of dependence and reliance. Alas, fifty years or so too late !
The Pink Pig Floyd gig played itself out recently.
Any more watered down has-beens yet to visit India ?
Elvis or Freddie, perhaps ? No ? Gentleman Jim ? He's dead ?
May we have The Who in that case ? Who ? No, what ? Not who .

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