Is this the worst ad on TV?

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 The BSNL-Preity Zinta TV commercial must rank as one of the worst on TV – the one where Preity rejects a suitor because he does not have a BSNL landline. Groan. The idea is so regressive its not funny. I am surprised its been on air for a good 3-4 months now. When Preity says demurely, ‘Yeh aapka phone number maang rahe hain’, you want to give her ‘one tight slap’. And when she turns all aggro and says, ‘Yeh shaadi nahi karoongi, you burst out laughing. How do they even approve this kind of stuff?

Am I not getting it? Is it meant to be funny, a spoof? Is it a function of PSU-type advertising? I can imagine one sarkari babu telling his boss, ‘Sirji, kya badhiya ad banaya aapne! ‘. And then we have the same brand attempting to be ‘creative’ through their Sher-o-Shayari ads. Another ad that makes me pop the question, ‘How does this get approved?’ is the Acer ad with Hrithik doing a sing song in an aircraft.

Speaking from personal experience, unless the creative team is totally devoid of talent, the scripts that come out from major agencies attempt to convey an idea. Its another matter that a majority of the ads are mediocre across the world. The Top 20 agencies can be expected to produce stuff that conveys a single-minded idea and entertaining to some extent. Compulsions on adding stuff and a general please-all attitude mauls the original script out of shape. Or sometimes, Mr.Client takes over and writes out the script.

I heard this story from a Creative Director. He saw a junior writer tearing his hair out on a script. The CD decided to help out and gave an idea. The writer was maha thrilled and the script was approved by the client. A month later, the Creative Director was shown the film. He casually asked, ‘Oh you guys didn’t go ahead with my film, is it?’. Pat came the reply: ‘This is that film!’. Such is the journey of a creative idea.

According to the Page 3 types, Preity & Ness are headed for splitsville. Maybe Ness has an Airtel at home?

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  1. As long as you are in the news , anything is OK. I do not see any other justification to this. Zinta does not seem to have any Zing at all- too much of IPL I guess. Well the news is that BSNL is calling for a Pitch. A case of Wrong Connection !!!

  2. the core part of any advertising is message delivery and not entertainment. the brand will sell well with message delivery and entertainment. as in the case of Landlines I feel they have done reasonbly well, also scored well on Message delivery

  3. Bhavin, I would disagree with you. Sure, advertising is message delivery in an entertaing form. But BSNL doing well in landlines has got nothing to do with this ad which according to me, is neither entertaining nor delivering a message.

  4. Sure, makes you wonder how celebrities agree to do a script. Like the latest Acer ad with Hrithik…I am sure he felt downright silly doing it.

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