“Someday Didi, I am doing an MBA in Marketing.” my eighteen year old cousin said to me over the phone one night, his eyes shining, I am guessing, with fantastic creative enlightenment.
“That’s great kiddo,” I cheered, my face beginning to fall, “but you better focus on your exams for now.”
Don’t get me wrong, I adore the entire advertising business. It must be fun thinking up campaigns, setting the promotions, shooting eye catching videos and taking user reviews once it’s all done to gauge if you were good. But lately I have been rather upset with how Pune’s billboards are determined to spoil my precious beauty sleep. I beg to present my case thus, supporting it with live instances from my tryst with the city’s ad gurus:
1. “Live like a Macroman’s Girl, you drool-er.”
Many moons ago, Pune was the Oxford of the East. The brand new “Macroman City” label, apart from attracting lusty eyes ogling at Hrithik Roshan, has also installed ideas in Mom’s head. I was only joking about it one evening when she was here on a visit, saying that few men can equal that kind of charm, and she began an hour long lecture on the virtues of good men (read “catches for tying the Gordian knot of wedlock”) and how marriage, being a lifelong institution, should be decided safely by experienced hands.
Now, the when-will-you-get-married discussion threatens to exceed normal calling durations each night and for more reasons than one, I end up getting to sleep even later than I normally do.
2. “My name is Sheila, care for a chocolate?”
I have no intelligence on whether the chocolate mousse has some kind of sex appeal or if its Sheila’s favourite dessert flavour… Over dinner one night, I had people contemplating happily on the lines of: “what is it exactly that costs 49 bucks?” and all I could give them was a dumbfounded expression. But when the good man went all excited about photographing the ad and zooming in on the cartoon-ized Sheila, I saw red. You men are all the same. You men don’t bother about how degrading such item numbers are but only focus on the attractive girl in the frame.
Our order went cold. The dinner spoilt, I stayed up till three in the morning feeling angry and hungry in equal measure.
3. Saas Bahus and Betiyaan say “Ganpati Bappa Mourya”
Can someone tell me the plural of saas? (Or is one saas scary enough to let a plural definition alone?) The reason this billboard features here is multifaceted. If you have seen the television ad about a girl walking in and declaring she is wearing her favourite soap star’s new dress, you are probably accustomed to the kind of throaty laughter it evokes. I remember Ganesh-o-tsav last year and there were scores and scores of saas, bahus and betiyaan lined up near Bappa.
I used to doubt how many had the time to stay back at home and check out the televised yatra. Turns out I was wrong. YouTube reveals a fantastic hit count. If nothing else, I have lost several nights in viewership research.
4. “We have wings you plain mortal!”
Excuse me for losing the snap – and I blame my cell dropping habits for the same – but this was the one that drew the last nail to the coffin. It said more or less, in nice bold letters:
“If you are the type that asks directions to the Railway Station, Solacia is not for you.”
1. We allow only the richie rich, the type that flies from their work desk to the cafeteria. What are you railway compartment person doing reading us?
2. Solacia is a stone’s throw from the station. If you know not of our strategic placement, shoo!
3. Considering #2, we have problems keeping the visually challenged.
4. What are we called? Solacia! We keep guests who like solace and not the bumbling at the reception, gawking at the girl behind, chatting up everyone else kind.
One ad, a hundred meanings. I couldn’t sleep worrying over how some people are so natural at creating meaning-ful work.
My gyan on an ad that gets the point across well:
Picture Courtesy: http://taklooman-speaketh.blogspot.com/
The above banner shows how the good souls at Durga Coffee Shop have come with pre-processor directives. No change, no coffee. That way I don’t have to lose sleep hoping my coffee break doesn’t come with Madam-change-nahi-hai delays. I know it for a fact that going with only big money babies in my wallet will not get me cold caffeine.
Sigh, enough said about my sleep woes. My darling cousin, if you don’t want a harried market, make your drowsy Didi a case study.