Category Archives: World Cup

The Worst ads in this World Cup

Every World Cup comes with its own set of advertisements. The ads, and the jingles remain in your memory long after the World Cup has gone. Like the ‘Hoodibaba‘ and ‘Karlo duniya mutthi mein‘ ads in 2003 and the ‘Nothing Official About It’ ads in 1996, all of them remain etched in the memory for a long, long time.

This World Cup however, has to be the one with the worst ads ever. None of them make you see them again, and all of them seem to be setting really low standards in creativity, and then digging further.

Lets begin with the ones that seemed ok. Vodafone did live up to the hype created for the 3G ads, and the ads peaked at the right time. Just while I thought the Zoozoo ads were getting a bit laborious, the Zoozoo ad showed everyone who’s boss. The Change the Game series seemed ok if you could stretch your imagination a bit, and did not ask some vital questions. What, for example, was Dilshan doing, trying a saree in the first place?

I wish they had one for Shanthakumaran Psychopanth. They should call it ‘Pull Shot’. In this, the captain is behind the stumps and has a gun. When he sees Psychopanth abuse the batsman, he ‘pulls’ the trigger and the bowler is shot. Ho gaya ‘Pull Shot’.

But anyway, that is wishful thinking. Coming back to the ads, all of them seemed to be following the trend. For eg, all toothpaste companies still had the white coat man endorsing them. The lemon cola drinks had a close up, slo-mo shot of a face getting drenched with water, Rocky style. All the ads for TVs seemed to show that the picture is so realistic, that you will believe its all real.

But among this clutter, there are a few who have truly managed to catch the eye. So, here’s the countdown to the 5 worst ads of the World Cup. Thank God India won the World Cup, otherwise some Creative Director was going to be shot in the parking lot.

So without much ado, here are the five worst ads of the World Cup.

5: Krishidhan

This is a seed company, and in an act of terrific copywriting, came up with the tagline of ‘Beejon ka Tendulkar’. Sad news is, you cannot use the name of a cricketer who is already endorsing other products in the World Cup without paying him. But I am sure even Sachin let the company go scot-free after seeing the ads.

The Krishidhan ads seem like the serials in the afternoon slots in Regional Transmission in Doordarshan. There is a man, who is talking to a young man over the internet. The young man, whose hands are suspiciously under the table, is surprised to see his father on the internet and says, “Papa, aap yahaan?”

In the meanwhile, to show that the guy is in America, there are two American flags diagonally facing each other, on the guy’s desk. Then, his father explains to him how his life took a U-turn once they started using Krishidhan.

In a truly Swades moment, the son takes his hands out from under the table, and says, “Main wapas aa raha hoon, papa.”

4. Hyundai – New Thinking, New Possibilities

There is Shaan, ex-popular singer and annoying host of countless talent shows, sitting in a recording studio. He is given the mike, and he croons, “New Thinking. New Possibilities.”

Right then, we are shown a number of cars, that are forming the words ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities’ on the road.

Exactly. WTF??

3. Parryware – What a bathroom!

Though this ad should feature in the Hall of Fame of bad ads, it manages to stay third because of some truly inspiring stuff that is coming later.

This ad, reiterates the fact that India Inc. is yet to get out of the recession. A total of 15K must have been used for this ad.

An umpire is standing in a match. The crowds behind him, the cheering, the grounds, all fake. The bowler, of who we can only see the left hand, raises his hand and appeals to the umpire. The umpire raises his hand, looks at the camera with a ‘I did it in my pants before reaching the toilets’ look on his face, and raises his pinky.

The next shot, we are shown pictures of a bathroom, along with a voiceover saying, “Parryware. What a bathroom!”.

2: Suzuki Slingshot

This ad has the feel of a detergent commercial. It has all the features of an Indian ad – cute children, clean shaven fair man, hot girl, and annoying Sardar who begins every line with the word “Oye?”.

So this man is getting ready to go to work, and a kid throws him the keys, saying, “Bhaiyya, yeh lo aapka ‘O! Suzuki Slingshot’. The man wonders, “O! Suzuki Slingshot??”

In the next shot, he is shown kicking ass on the road, and wherever he goes, people say, “Oh! Suzuki Slingshot”. To add to the horror, there is a ‘Slingshot, slingshot’ track running in the background, sounding suspiciously like a Nirma ad.

At the end of the day, he gets the girl, and that kid comes back and gives him an “I told you so” look, and everything is right with the universe.

Except that the ad truly sucks.

1. Idea – Keep Cricket Clean

For a company whose tagline is ‘What an idea, sirjee!’, Idea comes up with the most disastrous ideas. Each of their ads, is pushing each other, fighting to break new barriers of stupidity.

At any given point of time, (even if you are watching Sahara Firangi), the worst ads are by Idea. After dishing out crap for two years, how does ‘Idea’ prepare for the WC? By making the baap of shitty ads.

The ads raise a few pertinent questions. Firstly, who is that woman who has the numbers of Clive Lloyd, Allan Border, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Ranatunga? Isn’t that unethical in the first place?

And what is Steve Waugh doing there, talking about keeping cricket clean? Where was he when his brother was talking to bookmakers? It so happened that somewhere in 1994, bookies asked Mark for information about the team and pitch.

“No Idea”, said Mark.

“Well, get idea”, said the bookies.

The ad makes you thankful in a way that India had never won the WC. Imagine Azharuddin talking about keeping cricket clean. If he told a journalist to ‘get idea’, trust me, he’d get ideas.

Not only does the girl seem extensively ignorant of an iota of common sense (“Sir, what to do when someone asks to throw away a match?”). What was she expecting? A tutorial video by Mohammad Asif??

The ad makes you cringe everytime you see it, and is another feather in the crap of Idea.

Like I said, thank god India won the World Cup!!

Champions!!

I grew up with stories of the World Cup. I have read magazines, watched reruns on Ten Sports, listened to Madan Lal speak for one hour, but I have never been able to fully grasp what it feels like when India wins the World Cup.

In 2003, it was different. I was doing my first job in a travel agency and PCO booth. There was a small black and white television that someone from the basti behind the agency would willingly donate to us. There would be 20 people huddled up there. Rickshaw pullers, guys who would disconnect calls on their mobile phones to make a call from the PCO, little children who seemed to have vowed not to bathe till India won the finals, and Shankia aka Shankar Ganjadiya.

Shankia lived in the basti behind us. He was always doped. During day, noon and night, he could be found crushing herbs in his hand, and stuffing them in his chillum, and blowing gyaan on people’s faces. He did nothing all day, but he had 5-6 pani puri carts that some kids ran for him, and so he was among the wealthier people in the basti. He would sit and the door, blow away smoke in the air and predict who would win the match. He was no Paul the Octopus, but his predictions (which were flexible and changed according to the situation of the match) made the experience of watching the match even more fun. He would look into the screen, close his eyes (like a warrior in Mahabharat), and then say, “Chauka jiba” (It’ll be a four).

On the day of the final, Shankia did not come to watch the match. I assume he had had a fight with someone and so he was pissed. When I went to his hut to call him to watch the match, he replied,

“Banda match dekhiba, maghiya. Jao ethu!”, which roughly translates to

“(random body part) match you’ll watch, mo-fos! Get out of here”

The mood in the final was somber right from the beginning. Ganguly won the toss and chose to field, and Zaheer Khan chose to sledge at Gilchrist. Both these decisions led to a score of 359 and Indian buckled under pressure. We used to sell cool drinks in the shop, and I remember opening a bottle of Pepsi and gulping it down like a 90s hero when he sees the heroine dance with the villain, whenever a wicket fell. The match was over in 40 overs, the next day was a Monday and I had to go back to school to learn Business Studies and Accountancy. It was tragic.

This time though, there was a difference.

Now, after two days, it has finally sunk in. Till Monday, I was expecting some London newspaper to break the news that the Pakistan match was fixed. Thankfully, the Interior Minister has some clout there.

This time, everyone was ready for the moment. Cameras were brought out when there were 30 runs remaining and poor Facebook was flooded with oily faces shouting out in joy. The screaming in joy, hugging, dancing on the streets and running away when the PCR van arrives have been done with. Now when I sit and write this do I realise that the feeling has truly sunk in. We are the Champions of the World.

So if I ever have a son, before driving him out of the house after his matriculation exams, I’ll have something to tell him. I shall tell him that I lived in the times of a certain Sachin Tendulkar, who had every feather in his cap except this one. Of how he was carried on the shoulders of Yusuf Pathan, which was surprising because the burden of the middle order batting never seemed to fit on them. Of how there was a particular captain who turned everything he touched into gold. How two fast bowlers called Nehra and Shreesanth took turns to become the most hated persons of the country. Of how Sehwag got out for a duck and a million dreams were crushed. Of Gambhir and the innings of his life. I’ll also talk about Yuvraj and Zaheer and throw in a little bit of gyaan about consistency and persistence.

I’ll also tell him that I was a total stud back then and I had six hot chicks writhing next to me when Dhoni hit the last shot, and I told them to get away from me as I ran out to the roads to celebrate. I know he wont believe the last bit, but what the heck!

We are the World Champions. I can say whatever I want !!