I wrote about cynical ads airing on Indian cable TV a while ago. Since then I’ve started to notice more such ads and thought it might be useful to maintain a running list.
- Rapido – Don’t bother with asking the government to improve public transport, instead race to the bottom with a form of transport that makes using Indian roads feel like a circle of hell.
- PhonePe insurance – Easy bike insurance, so easy that you can get it when a cop catches you, so maybe don’t bother until then. [video]
- Fogg – Men not wearing perfume is a deal-breaker, for no discernible reason other than a problem with something other than body odour, since that isn’t discussed. [video]
- PharmEasy – Don’t leave the house, give the app all your medical info, get deliveries at a discount, and don’t leave the house. [video]
- Swiggy Instamart – Order and expect deliveries in minutes, to the detriment of “delivery executives” labouring in terrible weather, traffic, errant motorists, foul air, etc. (One of the first ads Swiggy put out showed a little girl throwing a tantrum and the father appeasing her by ordering whatever she wanted, and having it delivered almost right away. Swiggy subsequently took this ad down from YouTube and cable.)
- Voltas AC – Why go to places with greenery or complain about bad air where you are when you can install this AC and get good air right in your living room? [video]
- Vimal Elaichi – Four Padma awardees – Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar – and Ranveer Singh in surrogate advertisements for chewing tobacco. Bachchan and Kumar pulled out after criticism. [video]
- Sony Ten – Ranbir Kapoor threatens a group of English cricket fans to chant “India jeetega” and BMKJ under pain of death, implied when he slams a giant axe on the table in front of them. [video]
- Uber – “#RentalHealthDay” for you to skip the stress of driving because, for an astonishingly small fee, another person will assume that stress for you and undermine their well-being. [video]
- Star Sports – While its ads for later matches were more sedate, its ad for the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match packed macho and some mild emotional blackmail to fan fans’ frenzy [more here].
- Manyavar – Ranveer Singh in fancy house smiles and says, “Diwali is coming, you’re expected to be prepared” – for rich brats setting off loud, noxious crackers while the harm we suffer for that being blamed on us not being prepared. [video]
- Bose – Amazing noise-cancelling headphones for rich people so they can focus on just the light emitted by the firecrackers they’re (shown in the ad) setting off.
To be continued…