Sunday, October 19, 2008

Samir loves Priya.. So?

Does any of you care how they expressed their love and how it stood the test of time? Isn't love a feeling between two people and isn't it sufficient that only both of them know about it? What is the necessity to scribble your names and hearts in stone? And how happy you will be to know that the wall/building you defaced during the early days of your courtship is still defaced by the expression of your love!!

There are very few things that irritate me and the recent Reliance Ad is one of them. I find this ad very stupid and irresponsible. For those who doesn't know, the ad is about a seemingly well-off and well-qualified husband on his way to Simla talking to his wife faraway at home without any disturbance, thanks to Reliance Mobile. As they are reliving their old memories, he reaches the spot where he and his now wife had engraved 'Samir loves Priya' in 1999 and finds that their deed has stood the test of time. The idea is to show that the phone network is strong and stays put even in remote, hilly areas and highways.

But isn't it high time that the ad-makers exhibited some civic sense? As it is our monuments and heritage building are hardly well-preserved. We Indians have an intrinsic habit of scarring anything that we can lay our hands on with love-birds’ hearty expressions - be it monuments, heritage buildings, trees, stones,.. And this ad is just glorifying this age old habit by highlighting it in a romantic and desirable fashion. It is so sad that creative team at the agency could not find any other metaphor to showcase timeless love. What happened to I&B Ministry and Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) who axed many a commercials. Does they find this ad acceptable? Or is it that they don't care about being responsible and conscious about having a clean society? Anyway there is no use just ranting and not acting upon it. So if you also feel the same about this commercial, please complain here : http://www.ascionline.org/regulation/howtocomplain.htm. I have no idea how effective it is, but no harm in trying..

21 comments:

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Dhanya,
ASCI complaints work.
There was this print ad for a food supplement which clearly said it was made from fish but had the green dot citing it as a vegetarian product.
The product was made by a Chennai company,can not recollect the name now.
I had sent mails to ASCI and I did not see the ad after some weeks.
Not sure if the product died or the ad was pulled off.Anyways.

-Nikhil

Sini said...

That is a stupid ad.

sandeep said...

they r not saying that its any national monument or ruins. rite? i thought they were just showing an old house/pillar and found the ad kinda cute ;-)

ofcourse, if it gives that impression ... it shud be condemned

~mE said...

i agree with you, these days media is so powerful and they have such hi influence on people they should know their worth and act responsibily.
I had my mouth and eyes wide open with suprise how can RELIANCE do this. i wonder which is the agency that came up with this concept.

Tiju John said...

Private graffiti's on public places is bad. It cost money to public to clean it up.

It is too bad to run AD campaign to promote such graffiti's. It makes it more bad because Govt is running a campaign not to write graffiti's.

They should change the AD use the mobile, locate the place and clean up what they had written.

usha said...

how silly!
that was my 1st reaction on seeing that ad too!
the graffiti thingie sends across a wrong message, and more than that, i was surprised at the silliness of the idea. wonder how many of us find a gesture like that'owww soo romantic!'
They could have surely come up with something more palatable to say that they have a good coverage.
on another note: im reminded of the hutch ad (was it hutch?) sometime back which said their coverage in kerala is only next to the monsoons or something like that. i thought that was a brilliant way of making their point!

Cris said...

Gee one guilty blind twin sister here. I liked the ad and took the message as they intended it. Not about reliance, well no one really cares what ads are trying to promote as long as they like the video. Thanks Dhanya, for throwing light - I care a lot about keeping city clean but I somehow missed this point.

Hmm as to why anyone would care about 2 people, err I dont know. More than love, there is something about seeing something of your past, younger days - if you know what I mean. As kids, cousins and I used to bury old stones in a spot in our native place and next vacation when we unbury and see it, it gave some kind of an unexplainable pleasure. Same way a letter I wrote to my bro as a 6 year old brings these feelings... I dont think its about what everyone else sees, its what you see of yourself.

JollyRoger said...

It is a dumb ad, pity that they still make more like them

Bindhu Unny said...

Good post, Dhanya. Civic sense is given least importance by anyone.
And, if only Reliance network is half as good as they say! I remember a friend, who has Reliance connection, borrowing my phone to call home. We were not even in a remote place. He's forced to use Reliance as he works for a company in the same group. Else, no refund for his mobile bills. :-)

Dhanya said...

@ Nikhil : That's good news. I really hope it works..

@ Sini : Yes absolutely..

@ sandeep : Yeh while writing itself I was expecting this counter argument :) May be I'll answer it by a counter question : Is it acceptable to engrave stuff on things that are not national monuments/ruins? If someone writes some such thing on YOUR wall, will you still find it cute? If yes I have absolutely no problem with the ad and better still will direct all such cupid stuck couples to your home :P

@ ~mE : Yes that's precisely my problem. Media should act responsibly when they have such wide spread penetration and plays a major role in influencing the masses.

@ Tiju John : Problem is no one cleans up this mess and seeing this more and more people will be inspired to do the same act. Reliance which is a well known name in India shouldn't have acted so irresponsibly

@ usha : I'm so happy to know that there are more people with the same outlook :) It's a real silly ad. and yes I too remember that monsoon. It was really brilliant.

@ Cris : That's a wrong notion Cris. People do get influenced by the video and it stays for a long time in the memory (though not necessarily the product) See Usha's comment : even I don't remember whether it was Hutch or Airtel, but the ad is still very vivid in the memory.
And I can perfectly understand what you mean. I am also someone who gets so very nostalgic about anything and everything and treasures all silly things from childhood. The thing is as long as it involves us and things that we own it's perfectly fine. But I can't accept that as a justification for defacing public properties. Why is no one doing such act on someone's home? They very well know they will be sued for the act and if it's a public property no one cares !!!

@ JollyRoger : More like them? OMG that's sad :(

@ Bindhu Unny : That's a pity. I am a serious traveler and the lack of civic sense really puts me off :( I am no fan of Reliance either. If they can't spread their radio signals, why spreading the negative signals instead?

usha said...

you've been tagged! :)

Eashwar said...

thanks you found this and wrote about it.I never thought in this angle though I have felt this while traveling.You know ,esp at the Edakkal caves in Vayanad..it is horrible!

phoenikhs said...

Yet another hypocritical tale spun around moral policing. Since when did people start forgetting about the existence of something beyond any form of rationale called romance?

I think the reliance commercial is a good story that has struck a few chords here and there where it really mattered. As far as the ad sending lacking civic sense and being a bad example to the society is concerned, I think your next post should be on banning newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Please, stop overreacting and being emo about some arbitrary thing. Come to America and see the ads here. I miss the ads in India. About 'n' times smarter than American ones.

Anonymous said...

Censorship has always been a good idea ...

Dhanya said...

@ usha : Sigh ;)

@ Eashwar : I travel a lot and have found this very disgusting. That's why I felt very bad when I saw the ad that promoted this.

@ phoenikhs : Romance is such a beautiful feeling and there is no harm in exploring it creatively. I didn't ask to ban anything just that such powerful media should be used properly to spread better examples for the society.

@ Anon1 : I didn't feel it is an arbitrary thing as I have seen many places destroyed by such acts. Anyway if you felt this ad was smart we have no other choice other than agree to disagree :)

@ Anon2 : I thought that is already in place. Isn't it?

phoenikhs said...

So the conclusion is, this reliance commercial is going to give birth to a new generation of stone scraping couples who will etch their love across monuments in India and thus blemish our heritage and culture. Point taken. :D

Dhanya said...

@ phoenikhs : If not give birth to a new generation , it might take out the guilt of destroying a public property from this generation. Forget public property, I am curious to know how you will react if someone writes something on your wall/house/property. If you can accept it gracefully, then no more comments from my side. Let the reliance ad reign!!!

phoenikhs said...

Seems like you are getting me completely wrong. I am totally against the damaging of public property by miscreants. The issues here is, the whole scenario of a tv commercial, in this cluttered media age for one, encouraging people to 'you know what', is a little far fetched to say the least. And yes, if someone scrapes my walls, he shall be brutally dealt with.

Dhanya said...

@ phoenikhs : Yeh I understood. But why I said that is coz all our commercials are censored and there is an organization and people who are paid to do this job. When there is such a possibility to check it then why not?
And good that you warned about the consequences that the poor soul who tried to scrap your wall have to face.. Else I would have tried it myself :P

phoenikhs said...

The argument continues ;)

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