Thursday, May 29, 2008

Media Analysis

Many months ago, I designed a poster inviting volunteers for our inter-law school sports fest, Invicta. It featured a parody of the Lord Kitchener recruitment poster (The SportsCom WANTS YOU), and a few lines of copy, most of which escapes my memory at the moment.

Aneek had complimented me on the artwork and the concept of the poster (yes, we’re jobless enough to subject Sports Committee posters to media analysis). But he expressed reservations about one sentence, which ran thus: While you’re standing here reading this notice, people are running around looking for sponsors, booking fields, and doing all kinds of cool stuff.

“It’s a golden rule that an advertisement should not take a jibe at the product it is trying to sell,” I remember Aneek telling me.

I agree with his principle as a general rule, but I still think that if the target audience is sufficiently mature, an ad can work quite well, even though it pokes gentle fun at the product it is trying to sell. Heck, it might even work better than an ad which eulogises a product in clich├ęd ways.

An ad I saw the other day reminded me of Aneek’s advice. McDonald’s has introduced wi-fi at some of its outlets. The advertisement for the facility features two people typing on laptops. Speech blurbs contain the text of their IM conversation:
John: Hey!!
Mira: ssup??
John: nm. n u??
Mira: :) nm
My first impression on reading this was that McDonald’s copywriters must have about as much imagination as a doorstop. Far be it for me to suggest that my own GTalk transcripts run on Aristotelian lines, but surely John and Mira had more to say to each other?

But halfway through my glass of Iced Tea, another thought struck me. Was the ad, in defiance of Aneek’s golden rule, consciously parodying the pointlessness and vacuity of modern-day modes of conversation? I’ll probably never know.

In other news, Abdul Karim Telgi has vehemently criticised Mudrank, the movie based on his stamp paper scam. In particular, he has criticised the item number by Rakhi Sawant. “The item number in the film is so obscene that I had to close my eyes,” says the politician.

Here is a man who has defrauded the exchequer of thousands of crores of rupees, and his sensibilities are shocked by a flash of midriff and bare thighs. Indiyaah!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...
point is, would mcdonalds come up with an ad as deep as that? i think self-mockery is more of happydent white's thing. or maybe i just hate mcdonalds.

Rahul Saha said...
Telgi reminds me of what a friend of mine once said- "They should be less bothered about obscence hoardings and more bothered about obscene people."

Sroyon said...
@doubletake: You're probably right, but miracles have been known to occur. And as much as you hate McDonald's, you can try the iced tea. According to me, it's the only thing they have that's worth spending money on.

@saha: What friend? Larry Flynt? Or did you make that up and put it within quotes?

the boy said...

heheh. i saw that ad too. and felt similarly. inane, it was.

and thank you for the honest words on my blog. will let you know as soon as something that makes sense goes up!