The Mad Ad Show.

Posted by - Rohit
Going back down into the memory lane, when we were in college we usually witnessed a below par and totally lousy college festival. As cheezy as it gets our fest was known as Milan (or Tarang (both are cheezy)). We had a game show contested, named "The Ad Mad Show", wherein a team of 5 would pick up one chit out of a pool and create an imprompto ad for the mentioned product in the chit. Rocket Science. So our product was a Shampoo. Our team consisted of two long haired guys, one of them had curls just like Oprah Winfrey had back in those days while the other one was a Winona Ryder look a like, sans the same gender and height. We enacted the ad with with Winona being the state before applying the shampoo and Oprah the aftermath. I played the guy who came (moon)walking towards Winona who was seemingly troubled by his undistorted, shipshaped, unbent, unswerwing smooth hair. I gave him the shampoo which transformed him into Oprah headed Oprah now happy with the curls, disorderliness and untidyness. We won the competition amidst 43 clapping individuals, not because we were absolutely brilliant with our gimmickery but because our competitors had realized that their sense of humour was challenged.

And now when I look back to those days I believe we were brilliant just because the ads that are being aired now-a-days are either out of context, have flawed intent or lack of it and are also an epitome of spineless exemplification of "star power supersedes purpose". (Breathe in...and out). So most of the ad makers probably believe that the audience is just a set of awestruck individuals ready to digest that "Mangoes can make you amorous". I really felt the Mango Slice Ad was a condom Ad. Not only me, when the ad was recently aired in the 15 lakh Rupees worth 30 second slot between overs in IPL 5 my mom tried to close my eyes from behind only to later see a Mango popup in the ad. I mean it is plain silly to set your hormones raging looking at a...well...Mango? Exquisite location, exquisite cinematography, exquisite picturization, exquisite beauty and ... a Mango. I couldn't buy that ad just like I couldn't buy the Rajnigandha ad wherein the protoganist deposits one spoon of Rajnigandha, merely a Mouth Freshner, and buys the East India Company. So what the admaker probably wants to convey here is that bad breath is what made the British stay here for too long.

From mouth freshners to Deodorants, they all are equally preposterous. So there is an Oath that Deodorant Ad makers usually take before taking up an Ad. "I the Deodorant ad maker, vows to feature at least one model from Russia, one semi-nude guy and hair less armpits in my Ad". So the mantra to get to an aspiring russian model is to use a deodorant. The basic logic behind Deodorants is to act like a Deodorant and not viagra spray, but loud logic seems to be sound now. What on earth could possibly go wrong between two people of the same race? A fairness cream. A notion that being fair is the way to be is now setting it's foothold in the minds of all us Caucasians (Dravidians/Aryans...what are we?). So don't be suprised if a South Indian who probably is fairer than the other South Indian calls him a Madrasi. To be fair is to be lovely and to be fair is to be handsome, which implies that to be dark is the beginning of an aspiration to become fair. I believe Smita Patil was/is the hottest and the most beautiful being ever to be a part of Bollywood even though she wasn't conventionally beautiful, but her dark skin added to her beauty for sure. Fairness cream is the botox of India. Just like some people don't like natural wrinkles on their faces, natural colour is just not desired. With the amount audacity these guys show these ads with, it seems that Fairness creams are here to stay and being fair is being natural. Unfair.

What takes the Ad industry to an all time high of nitwittedness is the inner wear Ads doing the rounds. Wear your chaddi, baniyaan, win a race, save a girl, seduce a girl or an orangutan for that matter. A woman getting orgasmic feelings while...she washed her hubby's dirty underwear is an idea used to sell an underwear. I saw the ad a couple of times (oh come did too) to check if there was a free condom with Amul Macho mentioned anywhere in the Ad and finally confirmed, yes it was solely an Undie Ad. "Yeh to Badaa toing hain", where toing is a sound and thereby qualifies itself as a figure of speech (Onomatopoeia)(So the inquisitive minds can now discuss what that sound is all about). This is the kind of creative genius most of our Ad makers are delving into. Sex is used to sell and sex is also censored. Hypocricy of the other kind.

The first thing that comes into my mind when we utter about hypocricy is Coke. Coke's ads are most of the time about celebration of life, a positive outlook. But the hypocritic part of it all is that it's sucking off most of our farmers' water in an attempt to make the mass obese. So you talk about making the mass happy, shoo away petty issues by having a coke together, bring about hope but at the same time make the farmers look like American Supermodels and make the rest of the masses look like Jack Black. Junk food should also come along with some sort of warning messages as we see with tobacco packaging. It should mention, "Too much of junk can help you compete in the 14th Annual Jack Black look-a-like competition" or "Junk is similar to a lard dunk".

A lot has to be done so as to bring about a change to such mindless lampooning of the mindless awestruck mediocre. You and me. Right now fairness cream is botox in India but a sensible act by responsible bodies and authorities can avoid wide spread use of botox in India. Else in sometime from now we won't be surprised to overhear a similar conversation between an 18 year old and a 45 year old,
"Mom, I think I have wrinkles just below my eye".
"Ohh Baby, you are too young for it".
And she comes with the needle
"Ok tell me, where is it?"

Bonus Question: Why was James Bond standing over the world map?
Answer: Because he had eaten a packet of Rajnigandha - "Mooh mein Rajnigandha kadmon mein Duniya"

P.S: Yes silly ads can affect your sense of humour.
P.P.S: Here is the link to our Ad.

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  1. Superb Sir!

    Wonder you didn't mention "Maa ka phone!"

    1. Maa ka phone was long long back re...When Viru had just started opening :)

  2. Gud one bro....oh n yes Smita Patil is n wil always b a beauty....

  3. Bro AS USUAL... wonderful. simply wonderful....

    I don't know for some reason, I like the way you write without being partial to any one at any cost...

    Damn all ads mentioned suck my brains out of my nose, but mentioning the coke ad (people kind of see the good msg in the ad and forget everything bad abt THE product) - gr8, simply great.. the way coke ads try to show up as if they shud be a daily part of our life, makes me cry for justice...

    Also now a days dairy milk are promoting ads in an absurd manner, i hate the ad in which small girl makes faces while having dinner, and her mom goes and gets her a dairy milk... and everyone smile... - damn what about dinner dude... is she gonna live on dairy milk forever... i mean what effect the kids are going to have after seeing those kind of ads...


  4. I remember when advertisments where more about family values and sharing the product with the family, u knw exploiting the Indian middle class consensus, but hey! atleast they made u feel good about yourself! who else remembers the DHARA oil's Jalebi-wala commercial? and Amul's THE TASTE OF INDIA for that matter and then there was BULAND BHARAT KI BULAND TASVEER, humara bajaj :)

    1. Times have changed my friend. The TASTE OF INDIA has miserably changed :(

  5. the ads today have become obscene and at times it is just impossible to watch them with family..but alas! they pop up without notice..every other ad ,from a wall paint to washing soap ,show a skimpily clad models..! not to talk about deos , undergarments,cold/fruit drinks..(aamsutra)..etcetc
    what a loss of culture ..!

  6. hehehe.... Awesome article.... was smiling throughout... :D

  7. I came across this hilarious piece of writing of yours, and there is no way i could agree more. The way these ads objectify women! The only advertising principle that continues to be static is "sex sells", the products with women have higher chances of selling, at least so is believed, as if there were no cleaner ways of selling.

  8. It's great that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our dialogue made at this time. yahoo sign in