A Commentary On Indian Ads

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time but I kept putting it off until later for a vague reason that I can’t remember now. I used to read a hilarious commentary on various Indian ads on Economic Times when I was in 8th standard, around 2005. I don’t buy Economic Times now,  so I don’t know if that’s still continued. It’s usually on the last page of one of the supplements.

Anyway, I decided to finally write this as I was prodded along by some “questions” on Facebook asking which the worst Indian ad is. So I am blahblah-ing now.

Lets get this shit on the road eh?

If there are 100 ads made in India for whatever brand, then maybe 5-10 will be funny and memorable(which, in my opinion, is the whole point of making ads).

I feel some mint ads and some of the soft drink ads (particularly Mountain Dew) are sometimes funny.Let’s look at this classic Mentos ad, which is still funny :

Does eating Mentos make you move faster? Does it make you more disciplined? No! It does, however, make you feel so good that you suddenly grow 10 ton balls. It is a pointless ad, but hilarious all the same.

And sometimes Nike and Adidas come up with great ads. But that’s about it. Everything else SUCKS.

I’ll start with the “glourious” ads of the cosmetic industry. Particularly the skin whitening industry. Is that what its called? Skin-whitening? Skin-fairening? Skin-painting? God knows.

First look at this gem :

Girl and dad. They go somewhere, where the receptionist says “only modern people allowed”, because shes dark and dark people are not modern? THATS FUCKING RACIST YOU POOFS! I’m dark, which is why I’m getting incensed.

Anyway, the barrage of utter stupidity goes on. Enter dramatic Indian spiritual BGM. The father is an expert in ayurveda and cooks up an ayurvedic salad that his daughter then applies and becomes fair.

If you notice hard enough, in that sequence going from dark to fair, shes not smiling when shes dark (because dark people never smile and have nothing to smile about) and then she becomes fair and begins grinning like a stoned fool. She walks into the..uh..building again, hair loose (it wasn’t loose the first time) and surprises the very receptionist who was rude to her, who also stands up while talking on the phone (I expect the conversation ended then).

She then stands like a dumbass near some other table where a guy with a foreign accent appears and says “What a face” and recruits her to represent his “Modern beauty company” promptly. She gets out of the plane and is accosted by reporters ASAP.

Everything that is wrong with India is displayed perfectly in this ad. Oh and if you feel this ad is “old”, let me throw a modern RACIST ad at you :

She just happened to have fair and lovely with her while she was dancing? Also, talent doesn’t matter. ONLY the skin color matters. What kind of primitive, feudal people are we?

Side note : It’s not just India. Everyone is racist inside. That’s why Youtube and other forums have so many racist comments : people feel safe behind a monitor. Anonymity brings out the worst in people. But India itself being racist is stupid. I mean, as if we’re not extremely heterogeneous already : different languages, states, cultures, food habits, religions and worst of all, castes, now there’s a huge fucking rush for being “fair”.

It’s not just the ads either. Please just look into the matrimonial column of any newspaper and see the shizzle in that shizzle.

“Wanted : Fair lovely girl for handsome fair tall MNC guy contact 666”


The entire cosmetic industry is full of nonsense like this. Is your hair parched because of the heat? Don’t put oil ! Just put 314261 chemicals that will make you bald by 45, that comes in a plastic container that will ruin the world because its recommended by Aiswhariya Rai’s face. Meanwhile, she makes a bucketload of money for each of those ads. Win-win situation, no?

Here she is now. SHES SO SNOOTY!! YUCKY

Seriously, 5 – in – 1 shampoo? That’s a LOT of very dangerous chemicals in just one container, particularly SLS and all the devilish things SLS can do. That’s why I seriously and honestly use Johnsons Baby Shampoo : because it doesn’t have SLS.

And these fairness ads were becoming sexist, so they introduced Fair And Handsome for men. Seriously guys, WTF.

Side note again : I’m Indian, I’ve lived in Chennai for most of my life, I’m a member of an entirely different race therefore I don’t want to look Caucasian, and I don’t have a problem with the quantity/color of melanin in my skin. It’s fine.

I'm also badass

Ok, lets FUCK the cosmetic industry and look at something else. How about the service industry? Tata DoCoMo used to make good ads, but when they switched over to the very unfunny Ranbir Kapoor, it just fell apart. Their entire marketing campaign just collapsed :

What? What’s so funny in that? Why does it deserve applause? They’ve clearly run out of ideas, so they’re trying new things. I wonder if they even watch the UTTER NONSENSE they call “advertisements” after making it. No, seriously.

So using high definition videos with good music shot in Europe would make you too much like Airtel.

Creating a fake character and marketing that would make you too much like Vodafone.

And bringing in Abishek Bachchan would make you a retard :

That retard can’t act and the catchline is such a poorly thought of line, that even they got tired of it and went to “Get Idea 3G. What an idea, one, two, three ji.” Maybe this is where that idiot from the Congress who called the late Osama, “ji”, got his “ideas” from.

I know, I know. Sorry.

Ok, so services suck. Airtel ads are fine, sometimes, but thats only because of the music. Aircel ads promote stalking and therefore must be avoided or followed, depending on who you are :

What about consumer ads? Surely they must be better. Of course, who can forget this classic gem from Sprite that absolutely raped Mountain Dew :

This came out when I was in 6th standard and is still absolutely hilarious. Now, however :

And that’s it. Gone. No more ideas. Keep in mind that Sprite is OWNED by Coca Cola. They’re basically the same people in charge of both those ads.

I agree, good sir.

Or this very wrong ad from Cadbury Eclairs :

If they’d added a little more color..no lots more color instead of just various shades of brown, then it’s what you would see if you were “banging 7 gm rocks”, ie, tripping, ie, drug-abusing. Seriously :

You're a wise man, Charlie

Ok so that sucks. But I’m not stopping yet, not by a long shot :

This ad is innovative and also FALSE. THEY LIE. McSpicy paneer sucks. It’s not even spicy. I had to add Chings Scezwan sauce to make it spicy. But, 100+ for innovation.

Unlike the KFC Ad :

WTF. He screams like that and..what happens? Why does it look gay? Why is licking the fingers considered good? There’s something very wrong about that ad, but I don’t know what..properly.

Ok. Moving on to the smalltime miscellaneous ads, like :

Hahaha!! That was funny and still cracks me up, especially when his spectacles fly out of his face and he looks bewildered at the poster. Hahaha!! Good ad. Thank god Fevistik still have good ideas.  They always have, and I hope that continues.

And who knew that the shock proof switches industry had such great minds working with them? Havells have produced hilarious ads consistently, such as this one :

It is hilarious especially when the wife thinks the husband is flirting around with the servant, and when the son just casually knocks the hairdryer out of his dads arm and walks away, as if nothing happened. This is the best ad I’ve seen.

That one was funny + meaningful, which is a rare combo in the Indian ad industry. It doesn’t pretend to be a smartass and insult the intelligence of the common viewer. It speaks directly and metaphorically : +1 internets for that.

Yep. That’s about it. Ill come up with more later after I find the links. Have I missed any ad? Tell me in the comments section below if you know of particularly funny/irritating ad.

Posted on May 5, 2011, in Personal Musings. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Speaking of Fevistik, there’s that one with the fishing guy. Which is good, even if kinda stupid.

    And of the terrible ones, there’s Hide and Seek’s Hrithik Roshan’s dance. Biscuits can give you dance moves? >=|

  2. dharini raja

    how can yu forget the harpic and domex ads….those which come on tv jus wen yu sit infront of it wid yur dinner!

  3. Hamam’s “pavithra, pavithra” ad
    All of the fairness creams ads
    Vivel soap ads
    Axe ads…..
    ……….the list is endless as indian commercials are highly clichéd and exaggerated to highly impossible levels!

  4. There’s one Saffola oil ad. The most horrible ad i ve ever seen. Will post link soon !!

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