Saturday, January 14, 2006

The ad doesn't add up

I love ads, in general. I watch them with equal, if not more interest as the program I happen to be watching. So it is a bit of a let down when they don’t make any sense (to me, at least). I don’t mean the ones which have skimpily clad girls whether it is justified or not---those are par for the course, and I feel they are defeating their purpose because the girls will be remembered and the product may not (do I see a heated debate brewing?)
Some ads don’t make sense to me but my teenagers patiently explain the point, so those are OK. At least they are comprehensible to SOME creatures!
There is an ad for Orbit chewing gum, which is supposed to whiten your teeth. The ‘protagonist’ here is a----hold your breath (no pun intended) ---buffalo! The narrator, a rural type with an oil slick for hair, says,”This buffalo eats green grass, but her teeth are yellow”. Hey! Hold on! *Bulb lighting up in my brain as I write this*---is this a barb directed at toothpastes claiming to have chlorophyll in them (for whatever that’s worth)? I remember l-o-o-o-n-g ago, there used to be Binaca Regular, Binaca Fluoride and Binaca Green (with said chlorophyll). Anyway, this guy pops an Orbit chewing gum into the buffalo’s mouth, and presto! The bovine heroine has flashy white teeth! All they have achieved is: underlining the fact that people chewing gum look like they are chewing the cud! Then the guy says something like, “If this works on animals, it will work on humans, because after all man is a social animal.” Huh? In Hindi it sounds even worse, because the last bit goes,”manushya ek saamaajik pashu haiSaamaajik pashu = social animal, if you please!
Digressing a bit: it is a bad idea to literally translate idioms—from English to Hindi, or the other way round--- they sound idiotic. Another example is the “Work in Progress” signs, which read “Kaarya pragati par hai” I live in dread of seeing some yokel, or some angrez type trying hard to figure out that sign, and barging into it in the bargain! What’s wrong with “Kaam ho raha hai” or “Aadmi kaam par hain”. This last will satisfy even the die-hard angrezi translators, because it means “Men at work”. And of course, who can ignore work done on a yudh-sthhar (war footing)? Or the grass-roots level being called trinamool?
The other ad which had me going “Duh?” was the ad for Kotak securities. A man walks up to the counter at a café and asks for coffee.
The guy behind the counter asks, “With milk, or without?”
Customer:" With”
Counter Guy:" With sugar, or without?”
Customer tells him.
CG: Jamaican beans or (something else, I forget)?
Customer tells him.
CG:” Light, medium, strong?”
At this point, the customer gets peeved and empties the cup over the service guy’s head. Huh? Isn’t it the wrong analogy? I thought the more choices you are given, the better it is! Then the company can say their portfolios are tailor-made for each customer. Maybe it doesn’t work that way. After all, I wouldn’t know a bull from a bear unless they were flesh and blood ones! So I’m open to any lesson in basic economics.

8 Comments:

Blogger WA said...

I find myself changing the channels the min ads start :(

15/1/06 2:46 AM  
Blogger ... said...

Few ads don't make sense at all! And few others seem to make a mockery out of their own products -such as the SBI ad. check out this post about the ad...pretty funny. Warning! The language is not very "clean".

http://merefundae.blogspot.com/2005/10/surprisingly.html

16/1/06 3:46 AM  
Blogger One in a Billion said...

Ads! One misses them so much .. you know, one used to record them when one was little just so one could watch them again when the shows began. Ah, memories!

You don't need to ask your teenagers to explain those ads to you, actually. Melody khaao, khud jaan jaao!

20/1/06 1:26 AM  
Blogger LAK said...

WA: Arre, I like ads, yaar--well made ones I mean!
...: yep, I read that,and it was funny, thax for the link!
the one:Did you really, because so did I, and not when I was little, either!

21/1/06 8:19 AM  
Blogger Kiwilakhs said...

hey, what a coincidence, just hot i'd look up ur blog and here we go, you've got ads as well.
how is it going in the new year for u?
I;ve finally started bloggin again.
cheers.

2/2/06 12:37 PM  
Blogger LAK said...

gs, glad you're back, and more power to you!

3/2/06 6:26 AM  
Blogger Shankari said...

For me the eternal ad is: Tinopal, tinopal tinopal tiiinopal! The product metmorphed into s.thing else, yet the jingle jangles in my mind.

Lak, could I have your email id?

4/2/06 9:29 PM  
Blogger Deepali said...

I finally found not one but TWO people who also recorded ads.

I miss Indian ads. Such goodness.

I didn't understand the orbit chewing gum ad myself so I feel less unsmart for not getting it.

28/2/06 7:41 AM  

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