Radio Ga Ga
If I had to pick a low point in Indian advertising, I would pick Radio ads. I spend 2 hours listening to radio everyday and this is the split of the listening content:
- 3% - Good songs
- 17% - Songs that are so bad, you would rather scratch your nails on a blackboard and wince in irritation than listen to these songs
- 10% - RJs talking, most of whom I don't mind at all
- 70% - Ads. So many ads. Random ads. Bad ads. Ads. Ads. And Ads.
In fact, the ads are so bad, that I didn't even want to add my sarcastic comments to them. They are funny in themselves. (But of course, I just had to add my comments too). I collected the best samples from Bangalore radio ads. Have a look:
Husband: Honey, do you realize how much time we spend indoors? I wake up in the bedroom - indoors, sit in a car and go to office - indoors, attend meetings - indoors, work - indoors and come home to...
Wife: ..Indoors. Oh my god, yes! It's the same with the kids!
Husband: And that's why, I booked a villa in XYZ Builders today, so we can spend more time in the beautiful outdoor areas of the project - Large greens where we can be outdoors more.
Wife: And that's why, I love you.
(I did not want to add my comments, but seriously, I am at a loss what to comment on. The Buddha like realization about indoors or the fact that he went and booked a villa in the same time that I take to buy curd in the grocery store downstairs, or that his wife loves him for doing this.)
Child (Struggling to pronounce a word): Aaaall-iii-nccl--uss-i--vee.
Child (Giving up): What is this word, Daddy?
Daddy: That's "All-Inclusive", Beta.
Child: What does that mean?
Daddy: Hmm, how do I tell you what All Inclusive means?
Lady voice (Presumably the wife): I'll tell you! All-inclusive is what XYZ Group is offering you for buying a property in their exclusive apartment complex - For Rs 4768 per sq ft, you get a house, balcony, modern kitchen, all facilities and access to a golf course - All inclusive!
Child: Ohhh. All Inclusive. Now I get it.
(Yes, this is exactly how we explain complicated words to our kids. Inspired by this ad, the other day when my 5 year old niece asked me what Interest means, I explained to her that "Interest is what we pay for taking out a home loan, for buying a house so much out of our reach that even thinking about it drains our bank accounts, but we go ahead and buy anyway because, hey the bank offered us a loan with low interest and the Government said we will get tax rebates and all that. But then one year later we realize, we are just losing money - more money than we had borrowed and that just makes us very very sad. That's interest."
My niece said, "Ohhh. Ok. My teacher said her interest was reading. She must hate it." )
Mother (in pain): Aaah, ouccch.
Son: Ma, you are in too much pain. Let's go to XYZ Join Replacement Specialty hospital and get a surgery done.
Mother: No, Beta. I am scared.
Son: Ma, you have nothing to be worried about. XYZ has been rated as the number 1 Joint Replacement hospital in Bangalore.
Mother: Oh really, come let's go there right away.
(This ad I could relate to. It is quite similar to how Sherlock and I pick which restaurant to eat in. "Oh, I am not sure. Asian?" "Zomato says 4.5 stars." "Let's go." I think they were going for this kind of effect. Like it.)
News Anchor: Breaking news coming in. Majority of people in Bangalore are stopping cooking in their kitchen today. Let's go over to our correspondent to know more about this developing story.
Reporter: Yes, it is true. We are being told that the reason for this is the amazing menu that XYZ is offering on its app. People are not cooking any more, they just order on the app.
News Anchor: I think I should place my order too!
(I don't even know where to begin. Cooking in kitchens - that's what news anchors are talking about these days?
If Arnab hears this, do you know how offended he will be at the lightness with which we have treated the extremely important role he believes he plays in our lives, in news, in politics, in everything? And we said that hypothetically speaking, there could be a day when he sits pretty on his seat and shouts this at the screen? - "The people of this nation want to know why Bangaloreans took this extreme measure of not cooking in their kitchens? What happened to all those mothers who love cooking food and force feeding their kids? It is unfathomable that people just stopped cooking in the kitchen. If this did happen, there is no doubt there are several sides to this story which people don't know about. And we will expose that today. We will tell our viewers about the criminal conspiracy behind this. #KitchensLeftBare - That's our hashtag today, it is already trending with more than 5000 tweets as people pour in views about this disaster that has struck our very own Kitchens."
No. I don't think that's happening.)
I had a few more ads, but I think you get the picture. As a marketer, I feel bad that we produce this bull****. I apologize on behalf of the marketing fraternity.