A few days back was Amelia Earhart’s 115th birthday, the woman who was not the first woman to fly but was the first person to fly solo. She has many firsts accredited to her. And whenever she was not flying she promoted flying among women all over America. She took part in many a flying races and even with a limited capacity engine, she made her mark in almost all of them. She didn’t die but she disappeared in 1937 never to be found. There are many theories some accepted some rejected. No one knows the truth but for her and her navigation Fred Noonan. She stopped at India once, at Kolkata to be specific.
Some time back leading automobile manufacturer made an ad. Spoofing Amelia Earhart, making her land at the Gateway of India, they got everything down to the t. Her clothing, her hair, spoofed her name Amelia Johnson.
I follow ads a lot, a lot more than an average guy usually does. Not just the sexually provocative banned ads but also the thought provoking ads. I love spoof movies too. I don’t think anyone can forget “Meet the Spartans” or the Scary movie series. But what I didn’t like was the fact that someone legendary has been spoofed so calmly. It is neither creative nor homage of any sorts, it is what it is, a shitty spoof made on someone who has achieved something. The other ‘mileage’ ads were doing well weren’t they? Then why stoop to a low to generate interest.
I felt the same about the Havells fan ad that starred the Late Rajesh Khanna in his first and last commercial. It shocked me that this was what the great ad-man R.Balki as he is fondly known would make such a commercial. It was a sad pun. I think Mr. Balki could have given us a much better ad, keeping in mind the fact that he is the brains behind many legendary ads including “ Daag acche hain – Surf”, Jago Re campaign for Tata Tea, “ Walk when you talk” for idea cellular.
I have just seen a few movies of the first Indian superstar but the first thing that I recollect are 2 movies – Bawarchi and Anand. Anand was a movie that can really teach you the meaning of laughter, how to enjoy what you have and smile at all times. The last scene still lingers, Rajesh Khanna’s character dies due to terminal cancer and this is cleverly shown by the great late Hrishikesh Mukherjee as colourful balloons set free in the sky. It has a really nice dialogue in the background that I can’t recollect. The other thing that I recollect is the dialogue from Bawarchi –
Khushi ke geet phuljhadiyo ki tarah hain jo jalti hain aur bujh jati hain.
Lekin udasi agarbatti ki tarah derr tak jalti hai aur bujh jane ke baad bhi mehakti rehti hai – Gulzar
Back to the theme of ads, the best ones with pun and updated with times are undoubtedly the Amul Butter’s print ads. Amul baby features in all of them and none of the ads have ever hurt any sentiments and yet they get their point across. The clever use of pun and images corresponding to it make them all the more dear. How they place a product like butter in the ads, how they conceive the puns and involve marketing of common everyday product in ads that are to the point and sharp.They make such ads for sensitive topics so sensibly like for example the ads below.
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