Leo Burnett's creative head honcho 'Bakrafied'

MUMBAI: "If ever you all come to Spain, keep one thing in mind - Don't come alone or you've had it." This can pass off as a welcome statement when you read it. But it was meant to sound more like a 'beware' threat when Leo Burnett Worldwide chief creative officer Miguel Angel Furones said it to the Leo Burnett team when he left after his visit to India earlier this month.

Reason: Leo Burnett's team had the cheek to pull a fast one on their creative head honcho. And that too with the help of the 'baap' of all pranksters - Cyrus Broacha on MTV Bakra.

The deal: Leo Burnett wanted to make Furones' visit to India a memorable one! Well, no harm done as long as Furones took the 'bakra' in good spirit (which he did and thankfully so for the people at Leo Burnett!!).

"We wanted to do something special for him to remember us and his visit to India. At first all cliched things came to our mind, like to put up a show of a kalaripayattu (martial arts of South India) or take him to watch an old Amitabh Bachchan movie or take him to an Indian wedding. But nothing that we thought of seemed to be exciting enough," said Leo Burnett national creative director K V Sridhar (fondly known as "papa").

"MTV and their pranks came to our mind and we decided to give a go at it," he added.

So what did they do? The Leo Burnett team was at a workshop conducted by Furones at a hotel in Mumbai. After the workshop got over, MTV arranged for an elephant that was kept at the gate of the hotel. There were a dozen women in saris waiting to welcome Furones. They asked him to break the auspicious coconut before he took a ride on the elephant. After cracking the coconut, the clueless Furones went on his joy ride with a few Leo Burnett team members trailing him.

The stage was set for the grand entry of the ever-so-strict Inspector Broacha!! Broacha enters the scene and calls a stop to the royal safari. Broacha to Furones: "Do you know that you need a license to ride a elephant in India. Do you have a license?" And what's more... Broacha also tells Furones that it was a crime to ride a female elephant in India! A bit preposterous but hilarious nonetheless.

While Furones doesn't have a clue of what to do next, the juniors (a part of the ploy) who were a following him tried to bribe Broacha. Needless to mention Broacha is furious with the suggestion. Meanwhile Furones is asked to get down from the poor female elephant (Ha! Ha!) and is asked to do 10 push ups. Pulling it too far?? But guess what... he obliged. Broacha then takes him in a police car some distance and then leaves him to take an autorikshaw back to the hotel where he was honorably bestowed with the 'Bakra' cap.

"I think Miguel was scared for the first five minutes or so, but then maybe he had an inkling that we were up to something. Although he did not show it," said Sridhar.

All in good spirits! - Miguel Angel Furones with Leo Burnett India head Arvind Sharma and Cyrus Broacha

"He was very sporting about the whole thing and he is a very fun loving guy. Being a creative person, we expected him to take this in good spirit. To be on the safer side, we played this prank on him on the last day of his visit," chuckles Sridhar. "I would have lost my job if he had got furious with the whole thing," Sridhar does not forget to add.

The 'Leo Burnett Bakra' episode aired today on MTV and will have a repeat episode on Sunday 29 February at 8:00 pm.

While Furones may have taken the 'Bakra' episode sportingly, not so the legal fraternity, who are furious with MTV for different reasons all together.

The Rajasthan High Court ordered legal proceedings against MTV yesterday for telecasting a song that portrays the court of law in a "defamatory way". The public interest litigation (PIL) was moved by a Dinesh Yadav after MTV telecast a song, Jo sharab na piye usey saza dee jaye (Those who do not drink liquor should be punished) which projected the court of law in an "indecent, ridiculous and defamatory way," the United News of India has reported.

The song showed two advocates along with the judge consuming alcohol and a woman cop dancing inside the court. The bench found the court's picturisation highly improper and objectionable and hence issued directives against the music channel.

When contacted, an MTV spokesperson said the video was made by T-Series Super Cassettes Ltd and was on air on many other channels as well. Although MTV has not received any legal notice so far, the video in question has been pulled off air, he clarified.

Even as a lot of liberties are being taken nowadays by the makers of music video remixes, it seems rather out of place to sue MTV for airing the video. Shouldn't the axe have actually fallen on those responsible for making the video in the first place?

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