July 30, 2009


Have you seen how things or places that say they bring world class services to India usually show some foreigner enjoying the arrival? Doesn't this go against the very purpose of the argument? Not that I am a great fan of Mukul Keshavan's take on Indians and especially males but let's face some facts here- why would you show an Indian enjoying some thing that is already normal to him? If someone said in the 1980's that they got authentic Chinese food one would laugh first and in case if you survived the scare and tried what was being offered you'd have gone, 'Hmm...Maybe this is Chinese.' Not anymore.

If you want to show something international at an intersection near me then please put a face that I can identify with. Look at this picture from Vatika Group's website about an Italian restaurant in Gurgaon. The only person in the pictures is far from what you'd expect. Why? Every time I see some builder talking about world class amenities in the neighborhood residential complex they show me happy foreigners. This has become so natural now that no one notices anymore. Sharda University- and you thought nothing could beat Lovely Professional University...well think again. Anyway Sharda's top brass is all gora. They got foreigners, I can live with it; the foreigners are doing radio spots urging you to come to Sharda, I can still live with it but what I can't get over is an individual calling himself an international marketing guru who believes in Sharda. Here's Johnny now!

There is some really bizarre about 90% of Indian adverts. I don't know how we end up winning the Golden Lions or Silver at Cannes on a regular basis. Have you seen any of the motorbike ads? They all look the same boys’ fantasies being lived by men. Of course, it's utterly simple to sell a bike that way but I'm just thinking aloud here. We were at the receiving end of the Aussie brunt when it came to Indian students. Imagine the Nivea fairness cream ad where you have three foreigners including Matthew Hayden who is dumb stuck as the local lad walks away with the girl. Subtle, eh? Telling the gora that we can beat you in, no pun intended, all fairness? What I don't get in the advertisement is that the dude’s claim to fame is family business. I'd think twice about a gal who walks with you for your family business pal.

I once read a book called Life's Pitch and loved the way it got a simple change in my attitude. Pitch is what makes all the difference. All around us there are numerous examples of crazy people. It takes all kinds to run the world you say but I think it's time some of them were given a break. Who is going to listen to Maneka Gandhi the next time she pleads some poor animals case when her son is allegedly off to do away with an entire community. Without being too generous to Ms. Gandhi...I propose Sundays off for the Vodafone mutt!

Image: Vatika Group

2 Responses to “Pitch!”

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
  • Part of a recent corporate film I made, was a set piece on Gurgaon the Millennium city. Yeah that's what it was. The thing about framing that wishful face of Gurgaon is that things look kicking and Singapore-like as long as you have your camera pointing up. Tilt down and you see the mess of a gold rush town, a town on the frontiers of the millennium but not quite there yet.
  • Post a Comment