After following almost all the matches of the IPL on television, we can tell for sure two things 1) No score is seemingly safe, as teams are confident of chasing down any total. 2) No ad for airconditioners can be good.
The latter is more worrying what with the IPL telecasts being more about commercials and less about actual cricket. The thing is, looking at the AC ads, even Delhi Daredevils can proudly say, “hey! our cricket doesn’t suck as bad as these”.
Take the ad in which there is one Moorthy, who is supposed to be a South Indian. His neighbour comes and plonks himself comfortably in a couch in Moorthy’s house because, he says, the AC’s cooling effect is better at Moorthy’s house. Why does Moorthy allow his irritating neighbour to impose himself on him so much? The neighbour has pictures of Moorthy in a compromising position with his maid. No, actually we don’t know. But that can be the only plausible reason.
Moorthy and his neighbour speak in heavy-accented Hindi — they are South Indians, you see — and we are supposed find this humorous. Thick-tongued Hindi was not funny even when Mehmood tried it in films several decades back. And these ad-makers are still peddling it and hoping to appeal to the millennials.
But this AC ad is not the worst. There is another one for another brand of AC in which they have tried to — this has to be the height of desperation — mimic this moronic Moorthy character with a lookalike who speaks with a similar silly accent. Mimicking Moorthy is a bit like somebody trying to emulate the death bowling talent of Corey Anderson.
If these ads are downright stupid, there is one which features the actress Samantha that is plain bizarre.
I’ll use all my journalistic ability to describe this ad in total detail: Sitting in front of a mirror, Samantha applies makeup to her face. She uses a lipstick or some such to put a bindi dot on her forehead.
The ad ends.
Seriously, that is it. This is supposed to be an ad for a brand of AC.
This ad is probably the first in the world that has nothing to do with the product, or for that matter, any product. How on earth did the client approve this ad? Don’t know, but it is fair to say that the team that okayed this ad must have had a lot of people with MBAs. Modern-day management education always erodes that part of the brain that houses the thinking cells.
Another product where where there is little possibility of having good ads is automobiles. You may probably have noticed it, cars in car commercials climb the most steepling of dusty slopes, course through the deepest of rivers, trek across the wildest of jungles, and sometimes even fly, but are never shown to run on actual roads — one with real traffic and real people — where you will drive it. Again, I blame the modern-day MBAs.
Take the ad for an SUV that features Ranbir Kapoor. He emerges from a building and stars the vehicle, and voila — this is the power of the modern-day automobiles — the building collapses. If this technology is real, it is a handy one to have. We must buy this car immediately and — as a duty to the nation — rev it up in front of the building that houses Republic TV.
Tyre commercials are equally tiresome. One man and woman, on a rugged bike, arrive at a restaurant, only to be greeted by a ‘sold out’ board, which would make it clear that they have come to a cinema hall and not a restaurant because nowhere in the world a restaurants dangles ‘sold out’ message. If anything, it hangs out a ‘closed’ board.
Anyway, the man and woman, unperturbed, do the most commonsensical thing: They order on Swiggy. No, characters in our ads no longer do anything remotely practical: The man-woman duo ride the bike to some hill and fish from a river using a spear and cook it because we know hilly forests come equipped with fully-furnished modular kitchen.
These being ads during the IPL, we must talk about some featuring cricketers. A pizza commercial has RCB players drooling over Rs.99 pizza. Yeah, it is quite natural to believe that cricketers who earn in crores become big fans of low-cost pizza. One ad has Yuzvendra Chahal going gaga over the extra cheese in the pizza and how improved it has become, and, as if on cue, Virat Kohli says something snarky in Hindi, and immediately, the resident pundit in Hindi in the RCB camp, Brendon McCullum, understands the joke and breaks out into a laughter.
On second thoughts, McCullum might have been laughing at Kohli’s idea of bowling Corey Anderson at the death.