Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ads

A blog that's been on my mind for ages (as most of my blogs are). It's about the recent ads I've seen on screen. One of them is the Fastrack ad. Where, during the roll call in what looks like a college classroom, when Siddharth's name is announced, all the girls start moaning and saying 'yes sir' and it leads up to a mock orgasm, a la the famous restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally when Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are having an argument about how women can fake it. Ultimately, it's obvious Sid is quite a stud because he's like covering his face in embarrassment (so studs also get embarrassed? wow). Anyway, the ad ends with the line 'How many you have'? trying to pretend that it's about 'multiple' uhmmm watches! I'm quite impressed because either the ad has been subtle enough to go above the heads of many, which is why no moral police groups have talked about how it encourages promiscuity in college etc. Also pre marital sex is so obviously at the centre of this ad, I'm again surprised no one has asked for a disclaimer being put in 'sex before marriage is injurious to health'.
But hey, good ad, well executed.

> Since we're on the topic, there's this condom ad that I quite like because it takes the suggestion story forward. A condom usually means safe sex. KS tried to take that forward to pleasure. Now, it's friendship. Basically this ad has a couple on their wedding night on the decked poster bed and the guy chances upon a condom strategically placed under his pillow. But, since this is obviously an arranged match and he has a nervous bride before him, he decides to put it away and almost seems to say to it 'not tonight darling, I have a conversation to make'. Cut to the couple chatting and the ad suggests that use a condom yes, but sex is about getting to know the person (in an arranged marriage) and about a level of comfort. It's the 'Yehi Hai Sahi' ad. Again a good ad.

32 Comments:

Blogger Yours Truly...Conman said...

Obviously, this is the new generation of copywriters, who're young and one-of-us, at work.
I can talk for myself, there was a time when I used to fast forward all ads, while watching a rented movie on VHS tapes.
Since the past one year, I go into movie halls before time, coz I really don't mind watching the ads anymore. They're real good.
Though I've been missing out on all of them in this desert.

03 August, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Oh, Oh, Oh ... well, theatrical enterprise has come a looong way since this Shakespearean monologue (Lady Mc?) was used as the ultimate test of histrionics.

L, L, L ... ought to preface it, tho'. Can't really be one without the other, even if Sallyesque self-simulations seem so superbly satisfactory.

03 August, 2005  
Blogger n.g. said...

both the producer and the director of the fastrack ad are friends of mine, and i assure you, its not about sex. 'how many you have men' takes creative liberty striking a pun about the number of watches, and the number of his admirers. There was indeed, another edit of this ad which was more 'sexy' in the girls' reactions. but that was unanimously scrapped, and this edit was done. and i love the condom commercial, i think its brilliant.

04 August, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

What the watches represent in their multiplicity is open to interpretation. There’s a female take, male take -- either way, the ‘desired response’ of the ad-makers, presumably. But a good ad, like good art, must stimulate thoughts of even more variety.

... the natural selection/intelligent design debate?

Natural selection is part of evolution theory, accepted as the scientific explanation of how squiggly unicellular organisms turned into those multi-uhmm.. creatures. But some people see the wondrous complexity in nature, as in watches, as evidence of ‘intelligent design’.

Now, to the extent that this ‘intelligent design’ can be reconciled with observable phenomena of science, exposing people to the hypothesis may not be a lousy idea. Surely, many rationalists have had occasion to perplex themselves over some rather baffling “signs”, as it were. Should that dismay evolutionists? No. They could focus on busting the myths that are quite obviously made up.

04 August, 2005  
Blogger GSB said...

Hey Nish, did you say the ad is not about sex? Since when did admirers start banging their fists on the table and suggestively start moaning 'yes sir' to indicate a crush? And since when did a boy with so mnay admirers start covering his face in embarrassment... Please, just ask around you and you'll know... see the agencyfaqs ad feedback as well... What's clever about it is that it communicates several things to several people... and those who get it, get it and those who don't, prefer to think it's about watches!!! At least this is my take... and the prod and dir were smart to not use the even more sexy comemrcial coz it wld have caused a bit of a furore like the feast ice cream ads...

04 August, 2005  
Anonymous o-o-o-feint said...

Since feigning unawareness became a prophylactic against the control-freaks who seek to regiment society for self-serving purposes (productive capacity, reproductive capacity etc etc), that's since when, GSB.

05 August, 2005  
Anonymous e-volition said...

The Feast ad was in bad taste not so much because it was surrogate for sex, but because it was crass in the treatment of the subject and lacking in artistic imagination (not a surprise since many adpeople in India still think of "7-1/2 Weeks" as a high point in eroto-cinematic evolution). Many other ice cream ads have been applauded by the same people who objected to that particular projection of a "feast".

05 August, 2005  
Anonymous e-volition said...

The Feast ad was in bad taste not so much because it was surrogate for sex, but because it was crass in the treatment of the subject and lacking in artistic imagination (not a surprise since many adpeople in India still think of "7-1/2 Weeks" as a high point in eroto-cinematic evolution). Many other ice cream ads have been applauded by the same people who objected to that particular projection of a "feast".

05 August, 2005  
Anonymous filmaware said...

surely you mean 9 and half weeks. some refrigerator ad tried playing that, and many others make reference to it (esp blindman's bluff scene and ice etc)

05 August, 2005  
Anonymous filmaware said...

And did you catch the alley scene in RGV's Road? man, indian film and ad types need to be original. the "westernized" types that have impressed westernized reviewers etc are actually just boring us with image mimickry. my vote goes to desi originality

05 August, 2005  
Blogger GSB said...

Ok, first things first. For the rest of you who like me didn't know what prophylactic meant from o-o-o-feint's comment, here is the meaning: Acting to defend against or prevent something, especially disease; protective.

n.
A prophylactic agent, device, or measure, such as a vaccine or drug.
A contraceptive device, especially a condom.

And as for other comments, it's funny, 9 and 1/2 weeks has been lying on VCD shelf for months. I borrowed it from a friend and haven't seen it yet but will do asap. My vote too goes to desi originality. In advertising, Piyush Pandey and Prasoon Joshi and the like are especially credited with bringing in the desi mentality and idiom into mainstream Anglocized advertising (think Fevicol ads, Kodak groom on horse clicking photos ads), after all more than half of India does live in rural areas... I'm OK with inspiration but frame by frame copy esp in ads or mindlessly using white models is stupid...

05 August, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

I hereby disapprove of the content of "9 and 1/2 Weeks" (not of the film, do note, as an artwork... tis fine, so long as it stimulates vital organs both below and above the neck).

Why so? No, not because I support the "cover-em-all-up" faction.

But because I have reasoned my -- particular -- disapproval through.

05 August, 2005  
Blogger n.g. said...

yes, i said its not about sex. was never meant to be. i dont think the execution also strikes any chords of 'sex' on the minds of the girls. but thats what i think.

05 August, 2005  
Anonymous Newlight said...

Okay. As the director, I can confess; it's about sex but not about SEX. But then most anything is; If it isn't all about sex, it's about food, isn't it?

14 August, 2005  
Anonymous vivid-mind said...

Food? Just saw this in a review by David Honigmann of a book called 'The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten' written by Julian Baggini, who is editor of The Philosopher's Magazine.

"For philosophers, thought experiments are the equivalent of the laboratory bench: they boil out all the surrounding noise so that a philosophical problem can be contemplated and stripped to its essentials. Julian Baggini has compiled a selection of 100 problems. Some of them are moral (“How should one act in this situation?”), some epistemological (“How do we know what we know?”) and some essentially philological (“When we say this, what do we really mean?”).... the best parts of the book are the problems of ethics. Baggini asks, in several ways, what duties we have to other animals. Suppose, he asks in the title essay, we could breed pigs that wanted to be eaten? Would vegetarians be willing to eat either of these? If not, why not, exactly?"

17 August, 2005  
Blogger GSB said...

Hmmm.. so while I've been away you guys have kept my blog active. |I like that. Ok newlight, bright light, good ad, for starters, and yes I know it's not about SEX, if it was that overt (as i had written earlier) it wouldn't have worked. It's the subtlety that makes it work (subtle???). as for the last comment, if it isn't about sex it's about food, i'll have to give that some more thought. both can be highly erotic, stimulating, sensory, pleasurable and satisfying activities.

18 August, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Take "The Rising"

Is it about sex?

Is it about food?

Is it about rebellion?

Terrific film. About all of the above, actually, if you have your eyes and ears open.

Sophia Haq (cloud!!)

cartridge grease (lighting!!)

"Halla Bol" (thunder!!)

ART is art, and art is ART. It can also be "highly erotic, stimulating, sensory, pleasurable and satisfying"

22 August, 2005  
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