Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The ad-factor

I am usually not bothered or motivated by television commercials. It sort of passes by on the screen while I wait for my programme to resume. If it's a good ad, I might laugh with it or nod in approval but it sort of ends there. And I never act upon ads. I guess it's got something to do with my mother restricting television and talking about the 'bad' influence it casts on young minds.
But there is one advertisement that I couldn't shake off my mind. It's no big deal but yet, somehow, I was forced to think about it a couple of times.
It's this recent advert of a mobile company (and I have no clue which) with Aamir Khan in it. In there, Aamir receives a call that he's gotten himself a job in the city. Ta...da! cheerio everyone...
Don't get me wrong, I love Aamir Khan. In fact, he is probably the only actor I have been sort of faithful to, despite all those crappy movies he'd been part of where his acting skills could have easily been squashed by a mosquito swat. But I love him anyway because he's proven that he can improve and be considered more seriously than many other Bollywood stars.
However, in this advert I can't help but wonder why the company didn't actually choose someone from a small town and redo the whole ad, as it is, but with a more realistic touch. Aamir would have been paid a hefty amount for that job but a regular guy, a normal guy, who doesn't look right out of a cute magazine, could have been chosen in his place. It would have been more human and, speaking on behalf of the company, cheaper.

I think that's what bothers me. Skin fairness creams, shampoos that make your hair look like the flowing Niagara (just much darker), hair colour that can make your life more exciting, body sprays that can give you any woman/man you want, cars that can drive for hours without wanting a refuel, lipstick that never goes away even after kissing - I could go on really.
I think of all the ads, only chocolate comes as close as its promise - it does make you happy.

So I ask - we are moving towards a very logically driven time, if we aren't there already. We understand the difference, in most cases, the difference between fake and real. And yet, corporate houses force their advertising agencies to create this vague illusion that only infuriates us.
Why are we so canted towards illusions? Is that the downside of democracy?

The only products I genuinely believe in are the ones that are not advertised -at least not in our country. And I continue using those products, even though I pay a few extra bucks for it.
See, at the end of the day I want the real stuff - not the promise to turn into a fairy princess by popping a pill. That's why they are called fairy 'tales'.

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