The most idiotic commercial of the year (so far)?

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes:  Much of television is generally mind-numbing, but the latest TV commercial for the TVS two-wheeler, Wego, insults your intelligence like nothing else.

When accidents are spiralling out of control, when we are facing a spurt of head injuries and teenage deaths, when traffic police and NGOs are exercised over how to curb all this without playing spoilsport, here comes a TVC which shows teenage girls new ways of embracing death—by doing acrobatics on a pillion- ride on a scooter.

Obviously, the commercial comes with the standard disclaimer, usually glossed over by idiot box watchers, that the ad is performed by professionals and is not to be tried at home.

Still, what is the message that the commercial sends out to its target group, young men and their impressionable girlfriends, a daughter to some, a sister to somebody else?

That trying out such stunts is hep?

That such callisthenics “rock”?

That putting your life on the line to show your love is “fun”?

Does T.V. Sundaram Iyengar & Sons—a solid, “conservative”, family-run company that prides itself on its values and ethics—have no qualms of what such advertising could be doing to young minds, if not in urban centres at least in the small towns and villages, where too such commercials are received?

Has TVS heard of “peer pressure”? Or hasn’t it?

When will we ever learn that there is no need for bravado on the streets? Safety should be the criterion. As it is, our terrible roads, insufficient lights, monster vehicles, maniacal drivers—and mobile phones—play a daily of dance with our young ones. take enough lives.

TVS takes it to a new height. Or is it depth?

I know I can write to the advertising standards council of India (ASCI) and complain, but does TVS really require a fiat from the industry body to react?

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32 Responses to “The most idiotic commercial of the year (so far)?”

  1. Nastika Says:

    @ERR, if eating a chewing gum can help you to smash all the villains, why not dance on a scooter :)

    Does ad impact anybody?
    1) What about people who use mobiles while driving, did they learn from any ad?
    2) People who do tricks on 2 wheelers. Did they from ad?

    People are far intelligent to believe an ad.

  2. Kano Says:

    Well, you just gave them free promotion among your readers ;)

    And I think you are needlessly getting worked up on copy-cats .. people don’t really like getting into accidents, and the younger crowd are generally smart enough to take care of themselves.

    The others who are foolish enough to believe whatever they see on TV get only what they deserve !

  3. vishnu Says:

    agree that commecial is just crap and silly but who is going to imitate it?! i dont think anyone takes any commercials so serious.

  4. the colonel Says:

    a solid conservative family run company.

    please dont make me laugh so much.

    i’ll die

  5. Alok Says:

    People stupid enough to succumb to peer pressure on this one are doing us a favour by taking themselves out of the gene pool.

  6. vinay Says:

    agree with ERR, its a sickening Ad to be seen with ones family esp with kids , its time that its taken off the air

  7. Indu Ramesh Says:

    Stupid or otherwise, youngsters will cioy them. It is not the sauve, reban kid like the ones they show in the ad., it is the young boy fron the hinterland who believes everything shown on TV is real who will copy this stupid act. Believe me, I have seen those kids.

  8. Justfine Says:

    @Alok, I don’t mind them stupid kinds taking themselves out of the gene pool. But in the process they tend to eliminate one or two of us belonging to “intelligent” pool. That’s cold.

  9. Shrinivas Says:

    @Alok, would you say the same thing if it were your brother or sister on that scooter?

    I know people should not imitate such silly ads or any ads for that matter (AXE Deo, you there?) but we live in a country where innovation and creativity is restricted only to (and by) the idiot box. An actor worth tuppence hits someone in a film and the poor guy somersaults thrice in the air before falling on the ground while in reality, the same actor struggles to lift his own body weight. Haven’t we seen people whistling and dancing to such fights? If you have not, just visit any movie theater in rural Karnataka.

  10. Deepak Says:

    Ad agencies seem to be totally out of control, their attitude is ‘will do anything to sell’. And regards the ASCI, it is a totally useless body, we have seen a spate of illogical/obscene ads and they have not done anything so far!!

  11. Anand Says:

    The advertisement could have had a burqa clad woman sitting side on the pillion. That would be a way to illustrate the balance of the Wego. To show TVS family values, we could have a prominent naama on the driver’s forehead, along with a lungi around his ass.

  12. shenoi Says:

    When the brand name is WE Go, perhaps the ad approrpiately shows where they can go if they perform that act

  13. Ajit Says:

    Anand, you rock dude rotfl

  14. austere Says:

    agree.
    off topic: my kid sister’s bday today. she died at 19 in a stupid scooter accident. wasn’t her fault.

  15. Simple Says:

    ERR aware

    Bitbidri. Idu ondu ad ashte. Who takes ads seriously? It has plenty of roadside entertainment value. That’s all.

    The ad ostensibly looks foolish but it does make a mark on target consumer’s minds because:

    1) It is weird and outlandish, yet communicates a striking feature of the product ingeniously.

    2) The two words that stick to your mind : “body balance”

    Hidden inside the two words are many promises: That the bike is not delicate, it is firm and sturdy, it will never throw you off balance.

    Although the commercial begins off in a way which seems hysterically disengaged from the product, ultimately, you realise that the dance drama by the two girls is not a far fetched execution of the premise ‘body balance’ What matters is that it does create a memorable impression, the ad stays in your mind.

    Meaning: the product too stays in your mind, which is a prerequisite before viewers are transformed into active buyers.

    I give a thumbs up for this commercial, although If I were a judge at any ad contest, I would not give it an award.

  16. Mango Abdul Says:

    Simple,

    You say that you would not give the ad an award if you were a judge in an ad contest. Assume for a moment that the nun and her son were on the bike in this ad.

    Now would you give out that award?

  17. Vinay Says:

    Well, frankly, everyone goes through that phase and age when he feels that certain things are “cool” and that “nothing will happen to me”. To be honest, when I was in college, I had a feeling that doing things like wheelies on my bike, especially with someone riding pillion, was “cool”, and we used to have wheelie competitions and bike races. We also used to go to dhabas and have “KF beer” or “60 MC Whisky” and ride back after that. The attitude was, “Nanige Olle control ide, nanige enu agolla”. I was stupid, like most of my peers.

    Towards the end of my college years, I mellowed down and as I started working and switched to driving a car, I matured – and of course, I cannot dream of trying such nonsense now.

    My point is: ad or no ad – influence of peers and college environment will make boys do stupid things. Having ‘clean ads’ hardly makes any difference in the larger scheme of things.

  18. TLC Says:

    Ha ha ha ha…who are you ? Are you for real ? You mean to say this ad will increase accidents? Like the way the Happydent ad will increase number of people hanging from the ceiling ? You are the sharpest mind I’m come across. Totally.

  19. Simple Says:

    Mango Abdul

    I would judge your question as the most stupid.

    Why bring politics into everything?

  20. RJ Says:

    @Simple: You say the ad “does create a memorable impression” and you give a “thumbs up for this commercial”, yet not award it. Do you care also sharing why you wouldn’t?

    @austere: feel really sorry for your loss.

    I think the agency could have chosen to highlight the realistic scenarios where the product’s “body balance” would really add value. After all, TVS did not design the vehicle to cater to guys having peer-pressured, mental girlfriends as pillions. I think the ad would have led me to consider buying it or recommending it had it really shown how it would have helped in negotiating pot-holes, sudden brakes at humps, close shave with another vehicle, etc. Exaggeration of a real scenario would have conveyed the message more meaningfully rather than pointing to a silly, made-up scenario.

  21. Nanu Nane Says:

    I think the Pepsi ad series including the one shown in the previous post are the most idiotic set of commercials of the year (so far). Chances of rash driving will surely go up after seeing such nonsense on TV.

  22. Sanjeeva Says:

    If any educated person(s) get inspired by that ad and dare to act in similar manner and in that process if they meet with accident, they do deserve it. Ads in general are nothing but stupid, idiotic, nonsense and sheer nonsense. Viewers should be sane and intelligent enough to excercise their discretion and either forget it or enjoy and have a good laugh. Thats it. No Ad should be taken seriously. Centre Fresh, Fevicol and some other Ads bring good hearty laughter. If anyone believes any ad or takes it seriously, he or she deserves whatever such person does and gets.

  23. Simple Says:

    RJ

    Probably because the idea, though it is clutter breaking, it doesn’t have a great idea that gives me goosebumps.

  24. Not Simple Says:

    Thought this is worth a port: “Today’s railway minister has achieved the impossible. She has actually made the Railways bankrupt, which is an impossible task. And spending more on advertisements than on executing projects.”

  25. the colonel Says:

    come on guys, nice ad, have a nice smile, enjoy it.

    move on

  26. twistleton Says:

    Hey I like this ad!

    I really don’t see kids getting hurt because of THIS. No, no they are very creative, they constantly invent new ways of getting walloped, no need for ad-inspiration :D You are undermining the resourcefulness of Gen which one is it now??

    @Austere -sorry for your loss buddy.

    The ad is not the problem. The problem is a complete absence of the culture of safety in our country. Educated, uneducated are all alike in their complete disregard for safety rules. In India life is dispensible.

  27. poli huduga Says:

    The most stupid ads are those Airtel ones…. Takes a special talent to create something stupid as well as creepy.

  28. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    That’s the TVS Wego’s ad, its creators have mental imbalance.

  29. Not Simple Says:

    Post-worthy:
    The Income Tax Department has slapped a tax demand of over Rs 450 crore on software giant Infosys Technologies for wrongfully claiming tax exemption on onshore services by declaring them as software exports, Parliament was informed today.

  30. ThamannaShettru Says:

    Well, I don’t see anything wrong in the commercial. Those who see it in a wrong sense, need to see their psychiatrist. Rajkumar is to perform more daring stunts but no one criticized him. In fact kannadigas admired him for his stunts than his acting

  31. Linus Says:

    Really! If you want to rail against ads, go after Pepsi, Coke, and Thumbs Up! Their sugary drinks kill more people every year than teens being teens…

  32. The Dancing Aunty Says:

    @twistleton

    can’t agree more on this.

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