India Advertising Blog

Background: And When We Do Create Great Advertisements, The Government Bans Them.

So, how does a creative team overcome the Information & Broadcasting Ministry’s definition of vulgarity? By employing Orangutans…

Refreshingly great advertising in a world full of lame advertisements. The creative team behind this ad deserves an award!


Three months back, we analyzed why Motorola’s shareholders were a unhappy lot. The trend continues with another honestly lame ad:

If you hold Motorola shares, would you as a shareholder approve such cash-burning efforts by management? On a broader note, what’s the message Motorola’s conveying to the Indian youth?

Finally, here’s a great opportunity to see a lame advertisement dissected. Just use the form below to submit what you think is a lame advertisement. I’ll grab the ad and dissect it for you.


Tweets on 2008-02-08

by Vinaya HS on February 8, 2008

in India Advertising Blog

At the end of this Maruti Suzuki WagonR ad, she actually wanted to say:

Lame. Very lame.


Advertisements for Lux soaps and personal fantasies seem to go hand in glove. We’ve already seen Part #1 that features “a bathtub tethered to a hot-air balloon with a soaped-up model (who’s obsessed with the lather but doesn’t give a damn to much else) inside it and Aishwarya Rai with a rope clipper in her hands and a cynical look on her face.”

Part #2 has Priyanka Chopra scrubbing Lux while you are left wondering what she’s doing in this lame advertisement. More important, what’s this ad all about — the Lux soap or Priyanka Chopra?

It’s no wonder then that Hindustan Unilever’s share price goes nowhere. How can it, when the shareholders’ money is being drained away. What do you think? (Even Tom Peters argues in favor of the shareholders!)


The Part #1 ad.


Please tell me that’s not a Maruti Swift beaten up in a few places. The ad does a brilliant job at hiding a proper side-angle view of the Fabia. Because when seen from the side, it looks exactly like the Swift.

What do you think?


The bulls had only one question on their minds:

WTF are we doing in this ad?


Videocon first burns shareholders’ money in creating this meaningless and irrelevant ad. And when it’s time to cut that multi-crore check to each of the multi-crore demanding celebrities, they unleash this lame scheme on the public.

Maano Ya Na Maano!

Pay just Rs 12,990 for the Jumbo 34 Flat TV and deposit a sum of Rs 7000 to get a Plasma 32 Entitlement Certificate. Redeem this certificate after 2 years and 11 months for one Plasma 32″ (81 cm) TV. You can also redeem this certificate earlier to get heavy discounts on the Plasma 32, under the premature redemption option. Hurry. Book your TV in next 3 days!! Better believe it. It’s full Paisa Vasool.

Source: Videocon’s printed ad featured in leading dailies.

“It’s full Paisa Vasool,” actually means “We’re scamming you, you fool.” I asked this question a while back and I pose it again: What do Indian corporates take the Indian public to be? Mindless idiots?

What do you think? Seriously.


This brilliant ad from Barclays Bank for their credit cards would like you to believe that you are in total control. However, dig deep and you’ll find this:

Barclaycard Gold Card

Our fee free for life Gold card gives you simple options to tailor the card to your needs. Choose between a minimum monthly payment of 5%, 7%, and 10% of your balance, determine your billing date and adjust your credit limit to manage your spendings.

Barclaycard Smart Budget Card

With Barclaycard Smart Budget you won’t have any nasty surprises. You decide how much you can afford each month and only need to pay that amount, regardless of how much you spend. As with all credit cards by Barclaycard, you can also choose your billing date.

I am being encouraged to spend on my credit card and then conned into believing that I am in total control of the situation by paying 5%, 7%, or 10% of the outstanding balance as minimum monthly payments. The naked truth is that when you make a single minimum monthly payment you’re transferring 100% of the control to Barclays Bank. It’s a lost battle from this point forward.

And which bank so far has set the credit limit that you asked for? I don’t carry a credit card simply because of the ridiculous credit limits that banks choose to set on my behalf. One bank set my credit limit at Rs 148,000 when I had asked them to set it at Rs 25,000. I’d be delighted to own a Barclaycard with a credit limit of Rs 10,000. Then again, I don’t fall within their definition of a customer-in-control.

What do you think?

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Seriously. How many people you know use AOL for email? There’s really no bit of me in AOL mail. The whole world has moved on and, if you’re using AOL mail, so should you.

And, as The Big Picture says:

AOL also — they’ve decayed, become a garbage service for the clueless. (AIM remains mostly worthwhile).

What do you think?


I think Vodafone, as a company, desperately needs these astrology alerts more than you do. Here’s a possible list of astrology alerts Vodafone would receive:

  • You will continue to irritate your customers if you run this advertisement again today. PS: Not that you care two hoots for that.

  • You will lose a lot of customers in the real world tomorrow. PS: Not that you care two hoots for that.

  • You will continue to burn cash if you run this advertisement again today. PS: It’s the shareholders’ money anyway.

  • [Having burnt the cash,] You will complain about falling revenues in the next quarter. PS: Damn those market[ing] forces.

  • You will beat that mutt in the elevator today. PS: That mutt wasn’t your idea anyway. And pink? WTF mate?

And finally,

  • You are using one useless service right now. PS: Amen!

Can you think of more?


Listen very carefully to the background music. Don’t you think it sounds as if the i10 is being taken on its last rites? At the 35th second of the ad, although the hot model says “I wish I could catch it,” she actually means “I wish I could get out of this advertisement.” And the less said about Shah Rukh Khan the better. Each time he laughs or waves he seems to be mocking existing and potential i10 buyers for footing this multi-crore SG&A line item on Hyundai’s P&L.

A classic “WTF mate?”

Update: Just discovered that a few cranky RSS readers won’t display this video inline. If that’s happening to you, just click on the post’s title and you can see the video on the post’s homepage.


Do we need this when we know this?

… the Chinese banks have an enormous volume of bad loans — $911 billion at May 2006, according to a later-withdrawn estimate by Ernst and Young, which must surely have ballooned to $1.2-1.3 trillion now.

That explains why China Investment is somewhat un-aggressive in its international investment strategy. China’s $1.4 trillion of reserves are in fact almost all required to prop up the banking system, when the inevitable liquidity crisis occurs.

We have seen this movie before; the Japanese banking system’s bad debts after 1990 totaled around $1 trillion, about 30% of Japan’s GDP. The result was the bursting of the 1980s bubble and a period of little or no economic growth that lasted well over a decade.

Source: A Bull in China, A Bear on China.order cialis

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If you run a mobile phone company and broadcast your wares with such lame advertisements, especially in a market considered to be Mecca of the telecom world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your shareholders are unhappy.

Read: Motorola Replaces Chief With an Insider.

Said the dissident shareholder Carl C. Icahn,

I believe that the steps announced today do not even begin to address the major problems at Motorola.

Spot on mate. It’s time to fix these marketing campaigns.


The first time I saw this ad, I felt worse than a toad on a frying pan. This is the third straight lame advertisement from Shah Rukh Khan (see the first and second). Given his unsatiated fetish to endorse anything non-living, he’s got to quickly reposition himself as the “King of Lame Advertising.”

I found this article on Indiatimes in which Videocon’s senior management is quoted as saying,

Videocon has created magic by bringing super stars like SRK and Dhoni together for the first time on a single platform to create a unique campaign. The core idea of the campaign is to celebrate the spirit of success –- no matter the role life gives you, always play it big and emerge as a champion.

I believe those statements should actually read,

Videocon has created nonsense by bringing super stars like SRK and Dhoni together for the first time on a single platform to create a totally lame campaign. The hidden idea of the campaign is to celebrate the spirit of lame advertisingno matter the ad life gives you, just do it and emerge as a stinkingly rich person.

Continues the article,

Our [Indiatime's] sources who were present at the sets when the ad was being shot are of the opinion that Shah Rukh and Dhoni’s chemistry was clearly visible and they enjoyed a lot by changing their real life roles. The boys had a great time together.

Wow! People actually go and watch these lame ads being filmed. Unbelievable. I don’t think those McKinsey productivity studies take these into account. And when you see Videocon’s next P&L, observe the SG&A line items, because you now know where a few of those crores are headed for.

Message to Videocon: Rather than disseminating nonsensical analogies between life and your corporate re-invention, it would be a really great idea if you wind up your business and distribute the proceeds to your creditors/shareholders.

On the other hand, what do Indian corporates take the Indian public to be? Mindless idiots?

What do you think?


NDTV, in it’s efforts to broadcast nonsense 24 x 7 x 365/366, ran a detailed story on the creation of this lame ad:

Part #1:

Part #2:

Watch these videos if you really have nothing better to do today.Buy Long Road Out Of Eden (cd1) Album|Download Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer DVD|Download Wild Hogs DVD|Download Loose album|Kanye West – Graduation mp3 download


This is another ad that freezes up my neurons (but not as much as the Airtel ad, which makes me feel like a toad on a hot pan) and is a great lesson on why you should not consume the actual product while making an advertisement for that product. Drinking too much Fanta probably screwed up the creative team’s thought process. Honestly, there are much better ways to pitch the concept of being “naughty.” The final 13-seconds are the most irritating section of this ad. In the final scene, you can almost hear Trisha screaming out “WTF mate? What just happened in the past 40-seconds of this ad?”

And as a commenter to the original video on YouTube says:

Trisha is awesomely cute looking in this ad ! The right choice by Fanta!

Yeah. The strategy is right but the implementation is wrong. (Look forward to a detailed comment from you, V.)


Do I need to say more? I haven’t actually seen this advertisement on television. Must be one of those crazy ads that are inserted at the beginning/middle/end of rented movie VCDs.

Related Post(s):


Amway’s multi-level marketing scam is alive and kicking in Bangalore. A close friend V recently experienced a “recruitment attempt” by an existing smooth-talking Amway distributor/prospector/agent/whatever at The Forum Mall. S tells me that the situation is no better in the United States of America. She’s experienced a “recruitment attempt” just days after landing in the United States. Wow! Talk about the depth of your sales channel.

How about you? Have you been prospected yet?

Further reading:

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Each time I see this ad, a couple of my sense organs stop sending messages to my brain for a few minutes. There’s certainly no doubt that advertising in India is surely headed down an abyss. But what about corporate management? I wonder who at Airtel approves these ads for broadcast?

What do you think?


Background: Lame Marketing: Funsters And Their Economic Significance To Airtel. A couple of months later,

For a monthly subscription charge of Rs 30, Airtel Live Music on Demand gives you 30 minutes of free listening time with a validity of 30 days. If you exhaust your 30 minutes within the stipulated time and want to listen some more, you can top up your account by paying Rs 10 for an additional 10 minutes or Rs 20 for an additional 20 minutes.

WTF mate? Lame advertising. Totally useless service. Sums up to value added crap. Message to Airtel: Funsters aren’t mindless idiots.

What do you think?


When I first heard about HCL’s Leaptop range of laptops, I had this to say:

You don’t know who’s embarrassed more — you for possessing a Leaptop or your friend for asking you what’s a Leaptop. I don’t know about you, but I already feel like Leaping from the Top.

Fast forward a year and you now have this really wonderful advertisement from HCL, but sadly the Leaptop branding fiasco continues. What do you think? Can brilliant advertising cover up for lame branding?

Bold enough to buy a Leaptop?