June 3, 2011


The advertisements I get to see these days appall me. I mean, seriously, WHO comes up with junk like these. These are my (recent) picks!

Presenting to you..."In Pursuit of Crappyness"! …

Matrix (Cellular Services) – I don’t know about their services (since I’m not globe-trotting) but their ads make no sense! (To the uninitiated their tagline is “makes sense”.) How much more cheesy can it get? I thought the “…Bas phone karte rehna Mummy” ad was strictly tolerable, the other ad with the same nerdy fellow and a few of the cricketers by the swimming pool was pushing it. But then came the ad with SRK and a bunch of the KKR players. The “killing cash” ad. The BG from (the new) DON with the ‘mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai’ dialogue (rather expectedly) included, the lame attempt at trying to build some “hype” and the cricketers (the likes of Kallis, Lee and Pathan) trying to mouth the dialogues, police capture with mug-shots, SRK trying real hard to salvage a nonsensical script…Sad…truly sad. THIS is what KKR is inflicted with for having to have them as one of their “official sponsors”.

Provence (Estate) – One can understand why Bipasha endorses jewellery, hair colour, RTS beverages, sports shoes, shampoo, two-wheelers, etc. But real estate?! What was the purpose of having her in that highly “graphic-intensive” advertisement where she apparently sees Italy in some concrete jungle? Since we’re talking about her, methinks no one would blame John for not noticing her hair colour. I mean, is that what she gets noticed for in any case? (Ref: Wella Kolestint Hair Colour Ads).

Live-in Jeans – Any of you remember that ad? The one where a guy goes into the washing machine because he “can’t live without”? Yea, thought so. Anyway, I believe their latest ad defeats their ultimate purpose (of making people buy it). Haven’t seen the ad? Oh well. There’s this couple who are frantically making-out and the girl suddenly grabs at the guy’s pants (to… you know, take it off). The guy stops her quickly and nods his head (left-n-right) meaning to say NO. (Frankly speaking, reminded me of the actresses in the movies of the yesteryears – they’d have this same reaction when they felt the guy was going “off-limits”!) Anyway cut to the brand logo and the tagline.
Seriously? So what is the message that they’re conveying? Don’t wear a pair of THE jeans if you think you’re gonna get some “action”? Way to go!

Deodorants – This is one category that has had no imagination whatsoever since AXE broke into the scene. “Sex appeal” is the only major positioning that any brand (or non-brand for that matter) can come up with. Or rather, they have atleast one brand that’s supposed to be sold with that positioning in their product portfolio. Think about it – there’s Wild Stone, Addiction, Zatak, *some others I can’t recollect now* and also the latest - Kustody (for women…has Bipasha endorsing it…surprise, surprise…right.)

Panasonic Lumix (DMC-FP7) – Forgive me for thinking that the whole premise of this ad is outrightly stupid. Apparently it has a ‘Beauty Retouch’ mode that can make you “look better” (digitally only, of course!) as soon as you take the photograph (yea, some sorta post-shot PP-ing within the camera itself). We have Mr. Atul Kasbekar, once again, with a few leggy models (remember Mahindra Scorpio ad?) posing and preening for him. But wait, they’re giddy with excitement and proclaim they don’t need makeup anymore! Yea right! I’ll believe it if that REALLY does happen for one of his photo shoots.

Tata DoCoMo – All those who (really) think that the stand-up comic act by Ranbir Kapoor is funny, please raise your hands (or clap, or LOL...or whatever). How many hands do I see up in the air? Yea, I know. In their effort to ‘keep it simple, silly’, maybe they have missed the point. I mean, yea it conveys their various Value-added services and conveniences, but then it’s not “stand-up-comedy-type” funny either. (The fake audience laughs and cheers are only oh-so-apparent). The only one I liked (so far) was the one about the maindak-in-the-kuan.

Fairness creams – Another of those categories which has lost all its imagination. Fair & Lovely may still be busy endorsing fairness as the only means to a successful life (career, love - everything included). But most of the others are busy promoting “complete fairness”. “Chehra chaahe gora ho, magar daag-dhabbe toh dikhenge hi, na?” So it’s not just the overall reduced melanin content (“general fairness”), but also the removal of all “dark spots, wrinkles, sun-damage” (“total fairness”) with a strip of ‘meter’ in tow to gauge it as well. Now Fair & Lovely cannot be left behind, so they’ve come up with a Spot Eraser Pen too.

So yea. This is my list. If you think I’ve missed out on some really horrible ones, feel free to leave a comment behind, or even blog about it too!

P.S. Written as on 26.05.2011. Delay in posting due to intermittent (read 'lack of') net access. (A temporary situation, I assure you, my dear readers/followers. Yes, all three of you! :-D)


Spaceman Spiff said...

I really can't stand the Idea ads, especially with 3G now. "What an idea 3G", the billboards read. Meh. :/
I miss having a TV now. Looks like I'm missing out in watching a lot of crappy ads. Damn!

Sameera said...

Ha ha ha... Vijitha! Classic observations. I too hate the IDEA ads in addition to your long list. :)
Oh... Preeti Zinta and Dhoni were endorsing a oil.. :P Can't remember which one.

Spaceman Spiff said...

I think worse than the Fair & Lovely ads is the fairness cream for men ads. Especially the one with Shahrukh in it. 'hi handsome hi handsome hi handsome!!!'. Ewwww!!!

And ya! Amitabh in the Boro Plus ads. BAD.

@Sameera: Was in Navratna oil? Or Dabur something-something?

Vijitha said...

@ Divya - Yep. You're missing out on a LOT of crappy ads! :-D

@ Sam - I don't even recollect them! :-D

@ Both - True. Idea ads ('No Idea' & 3G campaigns) seems to be at receiving end of every TV viewers ire. Sad. And to think they had got it right initially...

_rootnode said...

Similar thoughts on Ranbir's antics here

Anonymous said...


Completely agree with the deo positioning thing. Park Avenue comes across as a fresh brand there but you can't smell dem when you go to the store! I mean their deos are sealed! Pathetic mistake.

While all the deos are being positioned on 'sex appeal', Live-in is going against it! Next dey should get baba ramdev to endorse their jean!

By the way what do you think of Flipkart ads?

Vijitha said...

@ Deepansh -

As far as I've seen, most deos are usually sealed on the retail racks. Otherwise, customers would simply "try" them, not necessarily buy them, and it would result in quite a loss for the companies concerned - because it's been "used".

I mean, hey, who would want to pay for a bottle that seems to weigh less? (Speaking from personal experience here). Sealed bottles, on the other hand, is an assurance to the customers.

Also, what would/could/should the company do with these bottles that are neither empty, nor full?

To counter this, what I've seen in several retail stores is a "tester" being available, i.e. an open bottle meant for trial (with a label called 'tester' stuck on it). That's a much wiser decision, don't you think?

As far as Flipkart ads go -
I think it's quirky, has a certain "other worldy" feel/charm to it, is very distinct from most ads being aired these days.

But I don't think it's necessarily apt because -
1. Their services are currently available only in India. In that sense, are they connecting with the Indian audience?

2. Are they projecting all the products that are available on their site? Books (their core product, which they started off with) seems to receive all the attention. Maybe they want to particularly position themselves that way.

BUT...I can't really conclude whether it's working for or against them.

I am a 'delighted' customer of their services, and thought that their re-branding exercise (logo, website, bookmarks, etc.) was great.