Statutory warning: Random rant ahead.
Well, these days every time the hero and I have a spat, I like a good wife, give him a shraap – “May you have a wife like that Airtel Ad female in your next janam”.
Yes, that’s my pet peeve ad of the season. I have refrained for the last two months from saying anything about it because it’s too much shop talk. But I HAVE to rant now – because I see that dratted ad five times a day and it invariably and inevitably annoys the shit out of me as an individual, as a female and as an ex-advertising professional.
How can a brand which made the almost sublimely, poignant, minimalist, elegant, goose-pimples raising “Express yourself” come out with such utter trite, stereotyped rubbish? Airtel has always been a schizophrenic brand – it has the most sophisticated communication (viz the express yourself original campaign mentioned above or the football one ) as well stuff which is er..as basic as it can get .
But till this particular campaign, at least they tried to maintain a semblance of consistency within the executions. This one, not so.
Just to cite ONE example You have a woman who can call up her husband to ask him to make salads, but needs the husbands help for doing anything (paying bills, remitting money etc) – so the question is how modern and empowered IS she really? Then, which modern Indian urban couple BEHAVES like that? The cloying, sanctimonious wife. The coyly henpecked husband. The romance oozing saccharine sweetness. Calling sixteen times a day not to not talk?
That whole attempt to get romance in has gone completely haywire. It doesn’t look romantic. It doesn’t look aspirational. Period. It looks contrived and annoying as hell. To get the romance in dig into the archives and pull out something like Pond’s “Bas Yuhi”. The product bombed. But every single female I know across ages, across various socio economic strata got warm fuzzy feelings watching that film.
And who are they talking to? All men I know find that woman annoying as hell and the man a wimp. All women I know find that woman a shrew and the man a wimp. Women do like to hen peck their husbands yes, but this abla naara specimen is seriously no fun. One could argue that the message is getting across – viz the VAS features. And that is what is important in communication. But at what cost?
Ed note: Post written sometime back when the campaign was on, posted now