Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ATN Bangla Commercial

We recently got the ATN Bangla channel for our residence. It has the usual mix of Bengali dramas, songs and shows, etc. What I enjoy about it are the commercials. Some are corny, some are good.

I may have said it before and I will say it again. South Asian channels have far superior commercials. The ads on Canadian channels are really of low quality. Who's Better Than Badboy Furnitures, Noooooobody or something equally yawnable like Dairy Queen has a special. They are straight forward announcements. Whereas the desi ads show imagination, comedy, has a script, beautiful women and did I mention imagination. One ad on ATN Bangla, though, irks me. It's a Fair & Lovely one.

Remember the famous scene from DDLJ, where the actress Kajol is running on the platform towards her departing train, and the hero Shah Rukh Khan is on the train, sees her and extends a hand out to her? She reaches out, grabs his hand as he pulls her in. The Fair & Lovely people spoofed this ad. Our heroine, an attractive young woman, is running on the platform towards her train. Her boyfriend who is on the train extends out a hand. She also reaches out, then pauses. Wait, she tells herself. Look at my hand. I am dark. I cannot let him grab my dark hand. She hesitates and remains on the platform as the train pulls away with her dumbfounded boyfriend.

She returns home and takes out her Fair & Lovely whitening cream. Voila, seven days later, she is again running on the platform. Everyone's head turns to look at her. She is so white, so fair (infact she looks positively radioactive as whiteness appears from within her). Her boyfriend is once again on the departing train. He sees her and again extends out a hand. Ever thought of giving her a watch, buddy?

This time our heroine is confident of her fair hand, so she also runs towards him. But wait! Suddenly, another carriage door nearer to her opens, and a supermodel male is standing there! He sees the heroine, and gives her his hand. Our now fairer girl gives one last pity look at her boyfriend, grabs the new male lead's hand and climbs abroad the train. Poor loser boyfriend. If only you had used Fair & Lovely too. Tsk tsk. The ad finishes with some empowering message.

My question to the hypothetical lady: You boyfriend was willing to hoist you to the train before you put on the whitening cream. Ever thought of that?

Shabina wrote a post about pretty women with some not-so-pretty men. Continuing with this chain of thought, women today seem to be redefining the concept of pretty themselves. I don't say women should NOT use beautification products, but how well do these 'whitening' products work? If you DO need to work with something, perhaps your figure? Zee's Saloni is one such great series. It's about a dark girl who is not attractive but makes herself to be. Rather than scrub your face with bleach, cut down on the number of samosas? Any girl who is not fat is pretty. And anyone that looks like some radioactive albino is definitely NOT pretty.



Cunayt said...

Hilarious commercial and thought provoking analysis. Ads like this play a big part in developing a culture where artificial beauty takes on a whole new meaning -- and those who THINK they lack it lose self-respect.

Masti-boy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

True said about imagination, creativity and a beautifully scripted ad that cater the South Asian Channels. There are some ads that might irk some viewers, but they are still much better than your average US-Canadian ads shown on TV.
Talking about ads, let me share with you the ad on TIDE WASHING DETERGENT... It involved two school going Indian students (one boy and girl) roughly about 8 yrs of age walking on a muddy path back home from a school day. Suddenly, the girl's right leg twitched in one of the muddy pot holes and she falls down. The girl starts sobbing. Seeing this, the boy throws his bagpack, his water bottle, and rolls up his sleeve and fights with the mud hole (mind u the boy is only 8, yet his actions were so cute). Amidst of all the fighting, the girl manages to somehow stand on her feet back again and is now cheering on the boy to "Maaro Aur..Maaro..Aur Zyada Maaro" and the boy is naturally giving the mud hole more "Dishumm...Dishumm". Anyways, in this process he gets his clothes covered up with Mud. Then when it occurs to the boy that his dress and his face has some mud marks on them, he tells the girl, "Mud tumko Sorry bol raha hai" :) The girl naturally accepts the apology (now that she's seen her 8 yr old HE-MAN beat the crap outta the Mud, which brought smiles to her face) and the boy and girl walk home together with the message of "TIDE WASHING DETERGENT" playing in the foreground.

Bottom Line: Making these types of ads require some sort of imagination and a well-thought script to go with that creativity. These desi channels (whether it be Zee, Sony, StarOne, B4U, ATN) have a good collection of ads and can anytime beat the regular ads shown on big US-Canadian network stations.

- Behbood

Anonymous said...

Masti-Boy: Mezba does a good job of scripting good and interesting topics on his blogs, which people from all over the world like to read and give their opinions. If someone were to visit your website, all it has it pure *cheezy* jokes, which are copied from websites here and there. Before you criticize anybody, look at yourself... Atleast be original in your Blog..otherwise just dont bother having one!!!! and yea... MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS...

- Behbood

Aisha said...

the whole skin color value in desi culture upsets me to no end. i guess every culture has their physical feature vice. but i hate it when ppl have a child and the comments are either "tsk so dark.. or mash'allah so fair" or when looking for a wife "she's dark but she's still pretty" why can't one who is dark be beautiful? or worse the people taht say "seeking fair girl" ughhhhh :) another topic that sparks me! :)

Masti-boy said...

are bhai behbood..I am just saying...Desi guys should look at themselves before asking barbie doll.

Read Shabina good post. Woh bhi to theek hi bol rahi hey.

Masti-boy said...

Also I don't agree with you guys that western media doesn't make attractive or imaginative ads. Probably it may not be appealing to your desi taste and background. Western media make great ads too. For you guys I posted an ad of pet food with message that they protect you so keep them healthy. Just click on my blog. (Earlier Farah commented that I leave messages here so I can have few visitors at my blog....whatever...suck it up baby)

(Also enjoy cheap desi guys in next video - Raju rebate - 3 minute film)

Shabina said...

DDLJ is one of the best desi movies ever! But Mezba, are you saying fat women can't be pretty? Cuz even though Kajol was a bit on the heavier side, she still looked pretty hot...

mezba said...

@Cunayt: Exactly. For some reason Indian women lately have decided they are not pretty and have gone the extra step in trying to be. I am not complaining :-) but there has to be some line somewhere!

@Behbood: Lol at the Tide ad. I remember the Nirma (I think it was Nirma) ad where the young kid goes to school and everyone teases him about his low marks, glasses and dirty clothes. Comes home crying, out comes Nirma. Next day magically no glasses, he answers every question in class and scores a goal in football. Amazing detergents. Ends with some message about mother's love = Nirma.

@Aisha: White people want to get tanned, and brown people want to get untanned. Now that there are face transplants happening, how long before skin transplants? *shivers* Also, some black people had the same skin inferiority issue (Michael Jackson).

@Shabina: Agreed about DDLJ. I was saying rather than worry about their skin color (about which nothing much can be done really) girls should, if they WANT to improve something, anything, worry about their figure. I don't know which of my relatives read this, so I won't say anything about big hot girls *wink*.

@Masti: If you disagree with a posting you are more than welcome to state your points, but in a decent manner. Any comments that I feel are rude, offensive or stupid, I will delete.

Nabeel said...

can you post some of the commercials? i know many pakistani and indian commercials are corny .. like Gaye Soap and so many others man..

You should see African Mosquito Spray commercials .. dang