The BCCI cashed in on India's success in the T20 world cup, by launching the IPL which was a mish mash of Kapil Dev and Zee Groups ICL and various football leagues in europe. So what did I love about the IPL?
Sorry, not the cricket. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the longer 50over and Test versions.
And definitely not the commentary (planning on doing a post about that :P)
If not these,what else?
The Ads of course :D. Wait,this can't possibly be!!! Ads?? Err,isnt that our cue to surf channels, or go get some snacks to energize us as we watch the players sweat? Well not this time,mate.
Over the past few years, India has produced some of the most creative ads one sees on television. The IPL was a perfect platform for the ad-agencies to showcase their ingenuity (and in some cases, mediocrity) as never before. (Like, where else can you get the opportunity of seeing your ad every 5 minutes for umm close to 3 hours?).
When the IPL kicked off, I wasn't too enthusiastic mainly due to the poor treatment of Kapil and the ICL. Nevertheless I found myself sittin infront of the Television, watching the Bowlers living out their darkest nightmares (shorter format shorter boundaries... Yippee!!! if you are a batsman,that is...). My interest would often wane (but would sparked up on occasions like Bhaaji and Shortfuse-Shreeshanth's Friendly fire,if one may call it so :D). But then, I started noticing these ads. Some were very creative, others, beautiful and a few quite hilarious ones as well. So here is a roundup of the Ads of the IPL :
Well I ll start off with the Pepsi ad- The comical spoof of Akshay Kumar in that quite silly ThumsUP ad.The ad features a guy lyin in bed,after apparently getting a Vadivel-like knock (only, he falls off buildings instead of having the balls knocked out of him lol) :P and 2 cool dudes making off with his babe. This trend of pulling each others leg has been going one right from the "Don't be a Bhandhar Taste the Thunder" days :D.
Then there was this one - Max New York Life, where the wife comes running up the stairs, with shopping bags and all, and oh so naturally goes to the kitchen and starts preparing something, presumably coffee, all the while, shouting out the husband's pet name in a voice which would get her no where near playback singing studios. She runs out, finds the husband in the easy chair, head flopped to one side, cup over-turned, and her worst fears seem to have come to life. The mobile phone rings and the drops of water falling add to the effect. As she approaches him, you hear a voice which says - Without Max New York Life, misfortune can strike you at any moment (a loose translation :P). Since when do companies start threatening customers? :P lol i liked the wife's anguished cries of "Sanju Sanju", and the poor guy goes- You scared me!!! Lol who wouldnt be scared if someone's yelling your name with that kind of a tone and comes sneaking up on you when you're having some rest? Fun apart, a really powerful ad indeed. Puts the message across rather effectively. Good work by Euro RSCG
And then there was this really lame ad about Hyundai Accent, where you see this guy who seems to epitomise the Expressionless metro sexual of the corporate age, drive around in the car, whose features include err power steering steering, an ok chassis and the usual luxuries. An ad,totally devoid of an iota of creativity or humor. LG came out with ads for a new TV series labeled LG scarlet, with a model trying to seduce a TV (err i heard models are dumb, but man this is the limit). However, I came to know that it was actually a fake drive :D. More on this here
There were also some really funny ones- BigFlix.com the online rental service from ADAG, which spoofs some of Bollywood's recent films (loved the dude in helmet doing the Gar Me disco =)). There was this ad for Bingo chips, where the old man in the mad scientist get-up was trying his best to sound and to look funny, but foolish,was what it looked. I guess they were tryin something along the lines of that insane Ad Orbit white (Yellow Yellow dirty fellow;White White Orbit White- beat that). While the dentist kid and the cow in the Orbit white were super cool and brought a few smiles,Bingo falls way short.Crunchy,it may be, but the ad definitely was not.
The Sprite Kohlega Toh Bolega ad was good, with Sprite breaking up the romance. But and ad which impressed me very much, was the Crab tree switches ad, where 2 guys are discussing some business proposition, while 3 dudes,with accordion and all, and a lead singer who seemed to have forgotten his lines, doing some funny "Karramba Karramba" noises are (thankfully) muted by one of the guys discussing the deal, almost like turning a switch off, making us wish everything in life was like Crabtree switches. And the Crabtree taps ad,along similar lines,where the groom effortlessly turns on and off, the tears of his wife. Great work. Then there is that classic Havell's ad with the kid with the Dragon Ball Z hair style :)) cant help laughing. Funny music as well. The new one about havell's wires not catching fire is also very good, with a lady using it like a Kidikki
One ad I really really enjoyed was the Non-Iron shirts from Park avenue,with a series of "Misadventures of the obsolete iron". One of the best ads in recent times,courtesy Dentsu Mumbai. So much meaning conveyed in so few seconds on air :).
Ok now. Moving on to my top 3 ads...
At number 3 we have the Citibank ad with those snippets capturing many everyday events in a style reminiscent of academy award winning movies, with the music to match and the very powerful Citi Never Sleeps slogan. Apparently the wise dudes at Citi had settled on "Let's Get It Done," but the campaign fizzled after 2 months and a $30 mn campaign. Then came the Citi Never Sleeps slogan, which is a very powerful statement about the company. The words- "Your dreams are wide awake" and "That's why we work around the clock" "That's why Citi never sleeps" convey a strong message about the Company.
A nice Ad indeed
At Number 2 comes the hilarious Moto Yuva Ad, and I don't have to tell you who steals the show :D. The Dad ofcourse. We see the son,modern kid, groovin to the beats of his Moto Yuva. He gets a call from his girl and struts out some youth lingo(he seemed to be anxious to get his lines right). As he goes off,leavin the mobile behind, the curious Dad, picks it up, and starts grooving,no no doing something which looked like a cross between the Coco Bongo dance by the Mask and the Twitch of Fred Flinstone :D . I loved the part where he flips the cell open and mimics his son with that - Hey Babes, see you in 15,Ciao. (especially that 'Ciao' part) rofl. And that is capped of by that mad dance with the table tennis bat. Was hilarious, to say the least. And that part where he maintains his image when he comes under the questioning glare of his wife and that "What the!" look from his son.No words. Double thumbs up to O&M for the wonderful job on this ad.
Check out the supercool "Dad Dance"
And number 1 in my list is that beautiful Vodafone Chota credit Ad. The scared look on the girl's face as the ink runs out, the tension created as the Teacher starts collecting the answer sheets, that cute little hiccup :) ,the act of help by the extremely cool kid,(with his teeth giving Chip and Dale a run for their money) and his fantastic facial gesture, which unfortunately, I am unable to describe here.Above all, the lovely little girl, with angelic innocence written all over her face, infuses so much life into this ad, with the narrator,taking the same soft tone of the ad,in describing the new chota credit scheme. Oh! How could I forget? The melodic guitar strumming in the background, was exactly in place with the ads theme. One of the most complete ads in recent times,and one of my all time favorites. I love watching this ad, never missing it when it's on air.
Dedicated to Dinesh :D