Responsibility of consequences

One of my PGPMAX batchmates forwarded this message on our whatsapp group and I laughed, enjoyed the joke, but also realised we get conned so easily. Even the well educated, urban folks get taken in by a nicely worded, well presented advertisement. Hats off to the advertiser’s creativity and very dear friends of ours are in advertising, but I also want to raise the question of responsibility of consequences. The advertiser is not responsible because they get paid to create a campaign, the company making the product doesn’t take responsibility because their responsibility ended with increasing their shareholders money, and the government takes no responsibility because they don’t interfere in the marketplace …. and who suffers? The much duped, paying customer.

What Indian advertisements taught me …

1. Kareena has dandruff problem, Katrina has dry hair problem, Shilpa has hairfall problem. Actors and Actresses peddle stuff with no thought to the impact it creates. These three of course are peddling shampoos, the worst damage is a bald pate. The way dandruff seems to disappear on using Clinic Plus, we should have been a world of sweet smelling dandruff free people, but the reality is different. Clinic plus shampoo only washes off dandruff – so keep using it repeatedly and it will appear as though you have rid yourself of dandruff, but stop using it and dandruff comes back with a vengeance. Fix the root cause which is dryness of the scalp and hey, shampoos dry out your scalp a lot more !!! Catch my point? Like the famous Kamal Hassan dialogue in “Michael Madana Kama Rajan”.

2. If you’ve a beautiful wife, make sure your neighbor doesn’t use a deodorant in your absence. The deodorant ads are nearly soft-porn. And again will do nothing to solve the underlying cause. Even worse is endorsing promiscuity … 

3. Your complexion is more important than your qualifications. This is the worst. Fair & Lovely’s ode to fairness makes for the most regressive adverts ever. With these adverts they have effectively diminished the perception of a woman’s capability, it all depends on whether you are fair or dark – if you are fair, all doors will open, if you are dark and a brilliant surgeon, you still don’t matter. And now fairness creams for men…arghhh ugh sick. This obsession with fair skin is sickness. 

4. If there is no salt in your kitchen you can use Toothpaste. Hahahaha and die of fluoride poisoning. Please don’t use toothpaste instead of salt. And guess what Colgate said 150 years back, that salt and charcoal are terrible for your teeth because brown Indians in their native wisdom used salt and charcoal and neem …. catch my point, again ?

5. Every second oral care brand is No. 1 and recommended by every dentist in India!!! We are slowly importing this obsession with white teeth from the West. Like the McD burgers and the health enhancing properties of Coke and Pepsi (yes, I am being sarcastic), this obsession with white teeth only makes the dentist richer. Teeth are ivory in colour. If you cut out the chocolates, burgers, pizzas, and the health drinks called Coke and Pepsi from your children’s diet, and if they brush their teeth regularly, there is possibility that their teeth remain healthy and ivory in colour. Who sold this idea of white teeth ? Again an advertising genius. And now you can deal with sensitive teeth with a toothpaste that makes your teeth whiter too. Oh please, empty white teeth grins don’t look good. 

6. If your daughter is not Ready to Get married, take her to a jewelry/textile shop…. And not just that, every occasion calls for jewellery. Just keep buying jewellery – where will you keep them? How many occasions do you have where you can wear these heavy jewellery and isn’t there a better use for the money that goes into jewellery ? I don’t see many matrimonial adverts that say, “I want a good, hardworking, pleasant human being as my partner”. Are looks and bank balances, cars and jewellery more important than a good character ? Ooopsie, now you know I am from the parallel solar system.

7. Only reason why men use deodorant is to get girls. And somehow just the people who get onto flights seem to forget the deodorant ! Personal hygiene and grooming is important and welcome. Take a bath everyday, wear clean clothes, do use a deodorant as most places in India are hot, humid and sweaty. The new craze is John Abraham spouting wisdom about “anti-perspirants”. Mr. Abraham must know that if we don’t perspire, we die. If you have a problem of excessive sweating, carry an extra shirt but every self respecting well read doctor will tell you, stopping perspiration is the dumbest thing one can do. 

8. Most colas cure all kinds of phobias. You will be close to a superman, if you drink these regularly!! You will be close to a Superman literally because of the empty calories that you guzzle. The chemical-sugar cocktail that’s called a Coke or a Pepsi or Mirinda or whatever, cleans toilets effectively and helps to effectively spoil your teeth and very effectively adds layers around your waist. Go ahead, help several other professionals survive because of your Cola-fetish. 

9. All superstars are so poor that they prefer to risk life for a cool drink than to purchase it for Rs:10. Hahahahahaha, No comments. 

10. The special effects in shampoo ads are greater than special effects in Avatar. I wonder why? If the shampoos were truly good, won’t they sell ?

11. Fruit content in shampoo and soap is more than fruit content in 99% of juices.

12. Amul has better satirical cartoonists than people who make better milk products.

13. Most people buy vehicles to travel in bad roads but complain about roads in India. This is a deep insight 🙂 its not even a joke. Vehicles in India require higher clearance just for the craters on the road and the small hills called “speed breakers”. That said, the highways are really smooth and a pleasure to drive on…. with the cows and tractors for company!

14. You can’t eat Dairy Milk Silk without spreading it all over your face… Another of those sick adverts. A chocolate smeared face looks sick. Go for a chocolate facial away from the cameras if you must but just seeing those sticky fingers and chocolate smeared all over is enough to put off many people like me. Btw, not to forget, the sugar overload. Go on, eat that chocolate and they will even send you a year’s supply… how sweet, guaranteed diabetes and a mouth full of white teeth with deep cavities, at the end of the year. Can you see the pharma giants celebrating ?

15. Nobody uses motorbikes for commuting, its only to pick up girls. And to do stunts on busy roads. The fine print is missed as expected and parents lose their children and India loses young men! 

16. All soaps kill 99.9% of germs. This germ phobia is another import from the developed nations. You can never rid yourself of all germs and all germs are not bad. Why do you drink “Yakult” and other probiotic stuff ? They are full of germs. Yes, keep yourself clean, teach children to wash their hands, but the biggest con job there is, is these hand sanitisers. Just wash your hands before eating and after using the toilet. 

17. People believe that Bacardi makes music CD’s and Directors special/Kingfisher make mineral water. Certainly, all drinks are minerals in water, just their composition differs and your disposition changes accordingly on consuming them.  Do I hear, “catch them young” and cringe ? 

18. The only thing mothers and daughters talk to each other is usually about hair oil. oh yeah ! what else can they talk about, right? Regressive and stereotyping of the worst kind. 

19. No matter what kind of expert one is, he’ll always wear a white laboratory coat. This is ok as the law prescribes this but the saddest part is the real people who have studied to earn the right to wear the white lab coat are not becoming experts as some of them pay obscene amounts of money to become docs. 

And, finally this

20.Mutualfundinvestmentsaresubjecttomarketriskspleasereadtheofferdocumentcarefullybeforeinvesting. (To be Read in one breath ) Well, read it after taking a deep breath, atleast the deep breath will calm you. 

Laugh and enjoy the jokes …. and also think of whats behind these adverts. Don’t get conned with the snazzy adverts – check the facts. An advert doing the rounds now is trying to convince you that sugar denotes a mother’s love…. God save us when that day arrives.

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