Advertisements..exploitative or indispensable?


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Unmixed blessings in life are rare, if not impossible. The interaction between device or modern amenity and society is something of grim concern and so is television which has invested life with a new charm that can never be dismissed summarily as harmful. To encapsulate, the television is truly an indispensable gift of our age and a vicarious means of entertainment. To vouch commercial spicy entertainers are not the only one to commit blasphemy when it comes to logic. Every bit of the society too has its own fair share of logic defying action. When the scene shifts to advertisements shown between the intervals of one’s much awaited serial or football match, the scenario has extreme tendencies too. One of the tendencies is to glorify and respect the world of advertisements while on the counterpart the other one simply resembles looking down upon it as a means of something derogatory that is eroding all values in society. Stepping on to scrutinizing the advertisement industry one must keep in mind that quality and quantity is inversely proportional and cynical interpretations may always not be the entire truth. Also, excessive expectation of reality might sometimes prove to be a paralyzing factor for creativity. When viewers are bombarded with an infinite range of glossy products, quality and creativity is bound to suffer. Undoubtedly some advertisements seek the shelter of humor to fetch refinement and gain confidence of the audience. Yet care should be taken that humor does not degenerate to a mere farce. One can have slapstick and one can have farce, but humor belongs to a more refined level. I wonder how many of the advertisements we see today that are tagged in the humorous category, falteringly goes in accordance with the real meaning of humor which states that it is “the ability to be amused”.  Then there are advertisements which are extremely offensive to family viewing  and they recklessly make use of vulgarism in which sexual innuendos are used to appeal to the baser instincts of consumer while selling a product, which often offends our sensible thinking. The worst outcome of most of these advertisements today is that they breed a consumerist culture where a person is made to feel that in the absence of a limousine or an android, he is reduced to the status of a subhuman creature. Traditional morals are insulted when we find that a student mocks the teacher for not using a particular brand of toothpaste or not coloring his house with a particular non washable paint. Thus undoubtedly there are hundreds of substandard advertisements being mechanically churned out every day, forming a black canopy over us. Yet there are a bountiful of appealing advertisements too. Some innocuous advertisements are also telecast which subtly makes a difference in our lives making us use our minds and eyes about the various happenings around us. The popular jewellery brand Tanishq features a mother getting remarried and it came as a refreshing breeze amid the overdose of fair and “perfect” people on television throughout the year. The Google – Reunion was yet another most shared ad of 2013.The three-and-a-half minute film poignantly capturing the reunion of two friends who meet for the first time after the partition of India and Pakistan, with help of Google search, struck a resonant chord across the nation. Another striking one is the Idea ad which warns people not to cheat or make use of scams for prospering in business. A favorite with kids is “Fevicol” which uses the metaphor of “Indianess” to advertise the power of its product in keeping things together. How can we forget the man who could not bend to steal a currency note because he did not use “Iodex”? Not o forget the Honey- Bunny song from idea and the Airtel ad of  “Har ek friend  jaruri hota hai”( every friend is important) which were hummed by millions across the city, Cadbury Silk commercials will always leave you drooling and who worries about etiquettes when you have a gooey chocolate in front of you. The Bharat Matrimony one where a husband stands for her wife who is pursuing her career too has a sanguine element.

If the world of advertisements merely advocates a brazen surge of consumerist consciousness devoid of morals, they are bound to lose respect in the eyes of consumers.

There also often lies a tendency to launch bad or indifferent products through advertisements gimmicks, as men in general are credulous. A new trend in the world of advertisements which has emerged is to target children. It is not ethical, as they are not yet able to distinguish advertising from actual programming. Advertisements specially to children is unethical because they have little or no money of their own thus have to persuade their parents to buy the products for them. Thus, it is clearly effective as otherwise advertisers would not spend hundreds of bucks each year targeting children who are not able to resist their sales pitch. Rather than advertising directly to parents companies often tend to use a “nag and whine” campaign. Multinational companies deliberately encourage them to be materialistic so that they associate happiness with purchasing power and the possession of particular luxurious objects.

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Advertisements is an ubiquitous factor and an indispensable part of a healthy society although it has its own set of negative impacts too. They have indeed become an intrinsic part of our lives. These ads narrate stories, some makes us think while some even make us shed a tear- they are funny, endearing and some memorable too. The ads still make us nostalgic; they still make us muse upon the salt sweet savor of the lavender scented past– memories of places, people and events are inextricably linked to these ads. With their euphonious jingles, eye catching visuals and unimpeachable ideas they still linger in our minds and hearts.


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