The sorry state of TV commercials

By Tanu Talwar | Last Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 09:19
 
Tanu Talwar  

Show me the money – This seems to be the mantra of our young, vibrant and itching to succeed celebs! Suited up in their designer clothes and flashy gear, the latest Bollywood debutants, joined in by their much successful peers, aren’t coy when it comes to quoting a whopping price for their films or endorsements.
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And then, be it the three movie-old Sonam Kapoor walking away with Rs 3 crore for a Coke ad or the so-dubbed Baadshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan preaching the goodness of a toothpaste, celebrity endorsements have become a cover for the lack of creativity among admen.

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In fact, the whole standard of advertisements on TV has gone down drastically. And it’s not only the celebrity endorsements that leave us gravely disappointed, but the overall concepts that advertisements today are based on.

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I mean…come to think of it, what was the last ad that really made you think or left you in awe?

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And by that I don’t mean ads that make you think of your retirement or health. But the ones that really struck you as different on the basis of their creativity and idea.

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Not that there are no good advertisements at all; the latest campaign by Surf Excel ‘daag ache hain’ is a much needed respite. If nothing, it at least attempts to establish a connection with the audiences. But that is hardly the case for the numerous others. In fact, many commercials are nothing short of being derogatory, sexist, cheap or plain right vulgar.

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Talking about some such ads, one can’t help but mention the latest ad by Crabtree, wherein a husband insists on having Crabtree switches at his home and when his wife fumes at his obsession he, in order to make a point, takes her to have tea at street-side and not at a five star.

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Now, what is an ad like this supposed to convey? That if you have Crabtree switches, you can’t have tea at a street joint? Well, if anything, then having tea on a roadside stall is a must have experience which the makers never seem to have had!

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And this is just one, there are numerous such commercials. Look at the latest ad by JK Cement which, believe it or not, shows a swimsuit model cat-walking her way out of the water on a beach, a la Halle Berry in a James Bond flick. How has that got anything to do with cement?

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Is it used in making the model, or is she smuggling the cement across waters? What were the ad-makers thinking?

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And while these ads are derogatory and vulgar, the celebrity branding is even worse.

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Take for example – Shah Rukh Khan endorsing everything from hair oil, cars to underwear. And not a single ad has a strong content except SRK expressing his love for the product that has paid him millions to endorse it on TV. And it’s not only him, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan and Sonam Kapoor are some of the leading personalities spearheading the ‘no-content’ commercials on telly.

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Well, it’s okay to have a pretty face but it wouldn’t hurt if they could pay more attention to the content of their advertisement than just mindlessly mimicking the given lines. After all, it’s time to be more creative and saying no to mediocre work that is nothing but a corporate campaign.

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First Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 09:19
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