by Dr. Madhav Prabhu
Nowadays nothing sells unless you advertise. Your product can be the best, but unless people know thorough advertisements, it does not exist. ‘Jo dikhta Haiwahi Bikta hai’. There are huge budgets for advertisements and there are firms which have exclusive contracts. There are celebrities too who make more out of advertisements then their actual profession. Infact the advertisement makes or breaks a brand.
The advertisements can lead you to believe the unbelievable and sometimes the very extreme. You suddenly start finding the product advertised on air something you desire the most, it’s like your neighbors wife, looks so beautiful that the quality product at home looks like a no show.
Sometimes when you sit back and think over it, you wonder if the world is truly a utopia, too perfect to be true or are you an idiot to believe these Advertisements. Here are a few Ads I never understood and I keep wondering whether I have lost touch with my basic sciences. These adds looks great, have the best celebrities and assure quality but what they don’t do is make any sense.
Well, there is this Ad which claims that the mineral water it endorses has extra oxygen, rather it claims that it is rich in oxygen. Number one, the chemical formula of water is H2O and if you add another oxygen to it, it becomes H2O2, that’s hydrogen peroxide used in medicine to desluff wounds. So how does the company accommodate for the extra oxygen, I wonder. Now all this extra oxygen goes into the colon which is the large intestine where all the water is absorbed in humans, this oxygen has to some how then enter the blood cells a process almost exclusively done by the lungs in normal humans. How it reaches the lungs and then replaces carbon dioxide is something i miss every time. Anyway getting extra oxygen seems like a good prospect.
There are some advertisements which are completely misleading, these people must be crazy, they advertise for products which we never get in the market. I am taking about the sodas, which use Surrogate advertising. The ads which are made on these sodas show them to be the most exciting drinks in the market. There is Carlsberg which gives so much confidence to Saif Ali, there is McDowell’s which makes you number one and there is Kingfisher which guarantees good times. A layman like me would love to have such soda to make me feel like shaktiman and act like saif. The problem starts when we search for these sodas, there is no place where we find them. I once went all over Goa searching for McDowell s No1 soda but not a single shop could offer me this coveted drink. I believe you don’t get this soda in every place they are exclusively for the elite, this issues should be taken up by the urban naxals, it is so anti poor. Why advertise this soda and raise our expectations if you are not going to allow us to drink them.
Advertisements do confuse you a lot, if you are diet conscious they will lead you to believe that you can live on those products. You can have plenty of fruits in your shampoo and soaps, you can get all the salt you want in your toothpaste, you can get milk in dove soap, lemon in detergent, proteins in shampoo, Vitamins in hair oil and antioxidants in cosmetics, why do we even need to eat foods. The concepts that nutrients are absorbed only from your gut and not from your skin and hair must be wrong. In a country where people live on one square meal every day you wonder why so many fruits and vegetables are used in toiletries and cosmetics. Soaps are soaps, they are meant to enhance the property of water to clean, how does adding fruits and vegetables help and how do the nutrition they provide reach the body, these advertisements make me wonder how much science has progressed. It must be the models and actresses that endorse these brands, their skins have special properties which help them acquire food from soaps. Perhaps thats why even after washing so many clothes and utensils they appear so fresh, something my wife never learnt.
Advertisements intimidate you and make you emotional too, look at the insurance company adds, “jindagi ke saath bhi, jindagi ke baad bhi “, in my jindagi have not got any benefit till now all I do is pay premiums How does it matter what happens after jindagi is over, but some how these adds make us think our afterlife will be successful only if we plan for our death and the good of the family thereafter. There is a high likelihood of my death and if I don’t insure then my family will be in shambles, the deal is if I die in an accidental death my family will get more than if I die a natural death, and once I am insured my family is the company’s headache. I recently felt i should take a new policy from a company which promised one crore for twenty rupees per day if I died as per it’s ad, the ad it seems failed to mention that this price is for people younger than twenty five, which person below twenty five has the money to insure himself. There is an ad showing a widow getting her daughter educated, married and settled on insurance money, wonder how many policies her husband did and what was the premium he paid in his life, which covered so many events in so much inflation. Anyway, I have fallen for the trap and insured myself and you should too because someday you will die and hope it’s before sixty and in an accident so your family get maximum returns.
Advertisement gives us hope too, when you see Salman Khan going to any extent to get a drink with a thumb on it you feel the drink must be special, when the drink promises to give you infinite energy and appeal you get to hope that it will make your life. But then when average people like me try using these drinks it almost never pumps the adrenaline, may be something to do with defective adrenal glands itself. They do provide sugars, plenty of sugars and sugars finally give energy but readily available calories too, and all this adds up to increasing my weight and not my confidence. Bad tooth, poor bones is what we get from the consumption of aerated drinks wonder how we can do an adventure with them. Well there is one positive, it must be killing all the germs in the body with all the pesticides they contain, I am sure Salman does not need pest control.
Well, advertisements are entertaining, it’s a welcome change from our lives full of pot holes and miseries. They provide us with a hope to make us fair and lovely as being coloured is a crime in a country where even our Gods are wheatish and grey. They show us the naughty side of Katrina trying to eat a mango, when else would you see that, bet you can’t eat like her. They show us that wives can be happy if you give them good soaps and detergents, don’t know why my wife never gets that. They show that energy and strength can be got so easily and gyming is really unnecessary. Advertisements may be the only thing making us think life can be better with the right products in hand and destiny has nothing to do with it.
I am sure you may also have come across Ads that you like and feel for, let’s see what you come up with and yes for misleading Ads, there is the The Advertising Standards Council of India to which one can complain.