Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For Commercial Use

I recently visited the toilet while at a huge mall in Dubai, spotless clean with two women mopping the shining floors furiously. As I shut the door behind me and started to hang my bag up, I noticed a poster covering half the door, just below the bag hook. It was an ad for Lifebuoy handwash that said "Look closely: There are 189 kinds of invisible germs in this toilet." Eeks! The shiny cubicle took on a menacing look and I hurried through my business and raced out to wash my hands. I don't think it was Lifebuoy in those soap dispensers though! Talk about foolish, mindless placement of ads. Yes, Lifebuoy was paying them pots of dirhams, but did they really want to put that ad in their painstakingly clean loo?

On Indian TV, I enjoy watching advertisements almost as much and sometimes more than the TV programmes they sponsor. I find them to be much more in tune with local realities than soap operas that show over-lipsticked, over-sindoored, "pativrata" women plotting nasty schemes in their chiffon finery.

I see ads as yet another form of entertainment. Rarely has an ad moved me to go for the particular product (unless it involves images of chocolate). Instead, they can amuse and surprise. I've seen some fabulous ads that left me smiling for the rest of the day. And I'm sharing some ads that I tracked down online so that you can enjoy them too.

One series of ads we have all grown up with in India are the utterly butterly ads for Amul. I remember picking which 500g pack to buy depending on the cartoon I liked best.

Topical, amusing, and often using clever puns to comment on what was going on, they were eagerly looked forward to. See the one below, during the Emergency when Sanjay Gandhi went on a compulsory sterilisation drive.

Or this one, when INSAT 1 had problems with its flaps on launching.

I was dazzled (pun intended) by the Happydent ad. On the same note, the Orbit White ad, with the famous cow and Dr Bhatwadekar is perfect! See the storyboard here, the English version here and the Hindi version (sadly, not half as amusing) here.

Check out these stickers Wrigleys placed under Starbucks cups. I am not sure though what they want to say!

Or the ones put up by a Paris stripclub all across the city.

Or even this one seen in Germany during the Football World Cup: an ad for Adidas. The caption where I got this image from said "If you're currently in Germany, you may be driving under the world's biggest set of balls."

We've all had flyers for home delivery from various restaurants tucked into our door handles or mailboxes. But this pizza company went one step ahead.

For more images like the 4 above, go here.

The Madhya Pradesh tourism ad, Hindustan ka dil dekho is another one that has me tapping my feet and mouthing the words. (Special mention of the visual "aankhen phaar phaar dekho"!)

And then what about that Mentos dimaag ki batti jala de ad: See the storyboard (can't link the video for some reason). Obviously whoever thought these up had a 100 watt bulb in their brain!

Of course, some ads can (and maybe should) shock the viewer into behaviour change. For instance the famous one on passive smoke, which coolly spoofed Marlboro. I thought this was very very clever.

And, to end on a high note, check these out. They were forwarded to me lately, and I laughed my head off at the first two. The others are funny too...worth a look!

PS: Please let me have your links to good ads and I I'll put them up as a follow-up to this post!


OrangeJammies said...

i'm a huge ad fan! and this piece was such fun!

Who ees thees Anamika? said...

just responded to ur comment, and it's not showing..isn't this s'posed to be MY blog?

anyways..yess, ads are great. one that i dislike tho', nowadays, is the amul briefs one with the line "yeh to bada toing hai"!! what were they thinking!

G said...

aah, i haven't heard the word 'toilet' in ages :) and the chitti aayi hai is my fav thing in the worllld. now that you've made it public i can fwd it en masse.

Who ees thees Anamika? said...

G: welcome back! aha..'toilet' must be called 'washroom' where u are? god forbid u shd call it a 'loo'!

and thanks for waiting for me to blog it :) appreciate that. pls do spread the joy of that 'chitthi ayi hai' ad. it will save people from being 'udaas'!

Minal said... the Amul ads.

Also, put some Absolut ads if you can source.

iz said...

That's a lot of ads you've gone through. After working on ads all day, I kinda avoid going through more! But it was nice to look back at the Amul ads. Sadly they're not as good as they used to be.

Who ees thees Anamika? said...

minal: thanks for dropping by! and let me see if i can find some absolut ads: that's a good idea!

iz: i agree, but isn't that true of so many things we fondly remember? :) anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog.

Sandeepa said...

I miss Indian Ads, used to love them growing up. Exam time, with the NO TV rule I would pop in for the ads at least
I sure miss them here, the ads here are pathetic. Shall check out the links and loved Amul ad always

Anamika said...

Sandeepa: Yes, Indian ads are the best. I am sure you have tons to do but I promise the ads linked here are worth it!

arunima said...

Hi, Just read your ads piece and its a great compilation...I "waste" so much of my time going through funny ads...check this website

Some are very good..