Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slice of lime.

Quite likely I'm totally off the mark here. But I'm beginning to seriously doubt the indiscriminate inclusion of celebrity in ads in the cinema hall and on tv. I suspect it takes away some of the credibility of the message intended to be delivered, especially when the approach is slice-of-life. Take the well-made ad currently being aired for Tata Sky+. Aamir Khan is trying to put his wife (played not by his real-life wife but a dimply Gul Panag)
into a good frame of mind. He has made the morning tea, cooked breakfast just the way she likes, cleaned up the fridge and so forth just so she will allow him to watch cricket match slated for the evening even if it clashes with her favourite soap. Obviously they have just one tv set. I don't believe it. To me, they look like a two- or multiple-tv family, who would also have at least a live-in maid. Ergo, the bone of contention should simply not exist. Only if the viewer is a born cretin or has just arrived from Mars to believe the couple depicted is a typical middle class, upwardly mobile couple, then it will work. A modest apartment as the setting and a non-celebrity cast would've helped belief. http://digbig.com/4xwra.
I guess our tv watcher today is too astute and savvy. She can tell when Aamir Khan is not Aamir Khan. The trouble with the Indian star system is that, in every movie, we tend to think of the star as herself/himself. If we are telling the story to a friend, we refer to the characters by the name of the star. Remember how in most of his hits of his heydays Amitabh Bachchan used to be named Vijay? On the other hand, there is a currently running tv ad featuring Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor which lets them be celebs and uses a real-life relationship intelligently and believably.