Vantage point

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Summer of the Boring Ads

This summer....
(A visual of navels having lips and singing)
...during commercial breaks...
(A visual of Aamir Khan in drag) prepared to get...
(A visual of a talking frog jumpiung around)

This is the year when each and every soda commercial has laid a big stinking egg. Each and every soda commercial seems as if it has been written by interns from the accountancy department, instead of creative people. Each and every soda commercial is as bearable as a million teenagers scratching blackboards with sharp nails.

For the uninitiated, the peak season for soda drinks, i.e aerated drinks, starts off around this time of the year, and continues until monsoon. March-April is the start of summer in most parts of India, and cola sales shoot up. As a result, all soda companies and their ad agencies work hard on flagship commercials which define their brand in that summer.

This year, all ad agencies seem to be suffering from constipated creativity.

It all started with the ghastly 7 Up commercial that I wrote about last month. Utter mutilation of the ever-cool Fido Dido, and the ridiculisation of the luscious Yana Gupta betrayed mismanagement of resources, the likes of which has not been seen even in an Indian PSU.

Then followed the 'Khufiya' series of ads from Pepsi which wasted Saif's comic talents. Not only that, it would flash on our TV screens the 'blue screen of death' eerily reminiscent of a Windows malfunction. Fortunately, the head honchos at Pepsi realised that Indians have a life, and he couldn't really expect us to have a coupon in our hand while watching TV and wait with baited breath for the offensive blue screen. The ad was pulled off the air.

Only to be replaced by the inane and irritating 'Oye Bubbly' series. The ad starts off by focusing on the taut abs of three pretty ladies. So far so good. But then all of a sudden, their navels sprout lips, which start singing "hey bubbly...". Eh??? Then a hole in a guitar, speaking in Saif's voice tries some hurriedly written pick-up lines. The ad heads downhill, with a floodlight, a burger, a shirt pocket, and a door, all trying to woo the pepsi bottle. All Shahrukh Khan does during the ad is look bemused, and bite off a set of lips protruding from a burger.

If Pepsi has laid some eggs, the Coke poultry has been busy too. If you thought the Aamir Khan Coke ads last year were lame, the ones this year beg for many a Jaipur feet. Multiple Aamir Khans, one of them in drag....oof, I can't even describe it without feeling disgusted.

Thums Up promises to take us to the Everest, and give us a lot of money. They also show Akshay Kumar on a pile of snow pretending to be on the Everest..

Mountain Dew takes potshots at the lame Thums Up series, and ends up looking even lamer. They show the usual himbos snowboarding on the Everest. How dumb!!

Even the usually reliable Sprite disappoints, featuring a talking frog and a cliched joke.

Pretty much every soda brand has come out with muddled boring ads. Unless their aim is to gain mindshare by annoying the customer, they are way off the mark.