It's just a Commercial

Authored by Nikhil Sharda, EVP – Communications at Scroll Mantra.

I never realized how badly I needed a new washing machine until the sexy girl with the enormously titillating personality in a washing machine ad told me so; I was unaware of the importance of moisturizers in my life until a girl with the perfect pair of big round eyes in a commercial reminded me of it; I never thought lime-scented mosquito repellents completed me until a lady with two massive mosquito bites in an advertisement told me so. However, when I found myself trying on ladies’ innerwear after watching a lingerie ad I considered that maybe, just maybe, advertising had the power to wreck your mind and was in fact the root of all things evil and demonic.

Advertising has imparted four fundamental rules to human society-four rules which we hold close to our hearts like you holding this magazine. Rule one: People who can’t afford expensive commodities are equal to assorted pellets of monkey crap. Rule Two: Unbelievably attractive women who look like supermodels will choose you over filthy, rich body-building giants provided you use a certain brand of toothpaste or chew a certain kind of gum. Rule Three: You will be the most popular person in the world if you trust everything that you read, see, or hear around you. Rule Four: The world is a beautiful place as long as you keep buying stuff.

Despite being tagged evil by most people with a functional brain, advertising does have a compassionate side to it as well. For instance, the world chooses to ignore poor people. Advertising, on the other hand, uses them. However useless the product might be or however terrible the concept of the ad might be, once you show the sad, emaciated face of a poor person and a rich guy helping him out by giving him two bucks, followed by the name of the useless product, it’ll seep into the barely active minds of the unsuspecting consumers and appear as worthy of being purchased. Advertising also has the big-heartedness to never ignore the unfortunate ones amongst us; those given the short end of the stick by fate; those stepped on and spat on by God himself. I’m, of course, talking about those of us who have been cursed with dark skin, pimples, freckles, dry hair, bad hair, no hair and teeth that aren’t as white as a polar bear’s butt. The panache with which such people are shown by advertisers can only be topped by the subtlety with which they portray women as sexual objects.

Advertising boasts of being the breeding ground of geniuses. But then again, even Hitler was considered a genius by some people. With advertising, the best works are often deemed absurd. Commoners who do not have a sharp intellect like the industry people often fail to make sense out of really brilliant ads; they do not understand why an alien drinks soft drinks; they struggle to comprehend why a chimp playing bongos sells chocolates; it’s beyond them why a condom ad has a salamander in it or why a salamander ad has a condom in it. But they all make sense to the industry people.

Advertising, if done the right way, has the power to sell even new inventions. I have come up with a very innovative idea that I believe would take the world by storm. My idea is to create shoes with in-built socks. Think about it; no more searching for matching socks, no more taking the shoes off and then the socks off. It’s all taken care of in one quick motion. I haven’t yet figured out a way to advertise it yet but I’m pretty sure I would find a way to sock it to you. 

About the Author

Having developed a penchant towards storytelling from an early age, Nikhil completed his schooling from St George's College (Mussoorie) and then went on to graduate from Huddersfield University (UK) with Film Studies as his major. Today, he is occupied writing new stories for brands that will help make each scroll a mantra to be reckoned with. Nikhil is also a writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur. As an independent filmmaker, he has made over 20 short films most of which have featured in National and International Film Festivals. He has also written columns for mainstream media, both online and in print, along with a critically acclaimed book called Sans Destination. In the last decade, Nikhil shaped a tech-based publishing house called eFiction India, where he, apart from publishing a monthly literary magazine, was the first to convert short stories to films and poems to songs. Currently working as EVP – Communications at Scroll Mantra.


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