Specials

When ads are better than soaps!

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/event-coverage/2014/01/07/Ramanujam%20Sridhar.jpg?itok=MPvBbps7

By Ramanujam Sridhar

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the old year, As an avid television viewer (and may my tribe flourish), I continue to find TV commercials often more entertaining than the soaps and serials my wife seems glued to. The advertising industry realizes that the remote control is an even more potent destroyer of poor advertising than clients and is hence pushing the envelope more and more to ensure that we don’t switch channels. Social issues have been sensitively portrayed and subtle brand messages conveyed. What better tribute to creativity than the Tanishq remarriage ad. Beautifully shot, it shows a woman doing the saat phere with her husband even as a child keeps calling her and trying to join the holy walk. We realize that it is the woman’s daughter from her first marriage perhaps, and the husband cheerfully asks the child to join in. Commercials like these need a lot of courage to create and more importantly, run, and I doff my hat to my friends in advertising and marketing who have the guts to push the envelope in more ways than one. The Google ad for Tanjore paintings is another one that created ripples as did some of the commercials for Idea Cellular and the latest Vodafone video streaming ad is as cute as advertising can get.

Advertising which sucks

And yet, I find a lot of advertising quite convoluted, where the idea seems to be stretched needlessly like some of the TV soaps that have long outlived their sell by date. The new campaigns for Fevikwik - a brand that had great advertising for years - seem to be that of an agency and a creative team which is too full of itself. Equally annoying are the new five star commercials. Some of the big budget ones like Pepsi’s much touted ‘Yes Abhi’ too hardly set the Indian pulse racing. While celebrity endorsements keep multiplying, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount paid to the celebrity by way of fees and the creativity of the commercials that they are involved in. Why are advertising agencies giving up so easily on celebrity scripts and coming up with such inane stuff?

What’s with the programming?

I am not a great follower of TV programming so I really should be the last person to complain, but our big anchors are becoming quite insufferable as they play God, passing judgments on people and events with impunity. They also seem to flit from topic to topic with the attention span of a few days and issues are just buried as they worry least about sensitivities and only about TRPs. Soaps are extended mindlessly for ages on end, timings are changed, characters dumped, and just about every possible character mayhem is managed with ease. The sports programming that I watch a lot is really cloying as India is shown to be the greatest superpower of all time based on a few home series wins and it seems really weird given the poor performances abroad.

To hell with editorial responsibility

The old issues of ‘paid editorials’ and ‘irresponsible journalism’ continue to haunt poor viewers like me. Unfortunately, the TV channels don’t seem to care as they keep outwitting each other in their quest for TRPs and viewer eyeballs. Self regulation will never work and I guess, the time is right for viewers to be more discerning, more militant even, and when their sensitivities are not respected, we must exercise our rights and instead of switching channels, maybe the channels will learn only if we switch off the TV set entirely!

May that never come to pass however! Here’s wishing you all a wonderful year of TV viewing!

(Ramanujam Sridhar is the founder CEO of brand-comm and director of Custommerce. The views expressed in the above article are the author's personal views)

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/17/year.jpg?itok=5GvcFiSh
2017 was a regulatory roller coaster and the ride continues

NEW DELHI: The year 2017 for the media industry certainly couldn’t be called easy from the point of doing business despite efforts and claims by the federal government that significant progress had been made in the regard.

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/17/ye.jpg?itok=x24qJXmR
Guest column: Digital outlook for 2018

MUMBAI: The year 2017 is behind us and, as we peek into 2018, there is so much to look forward to. The digital landscape is so dynamic and ever-evolving that an annual trend-spotting article would be unfair. But still there are key areas where digital is heading and I can safely say that 2018 is...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/11/content.jpg?itok=_9GC25n5
Content segmentation defines English entertainment, movies in 2017

MUMBAI: It was the year of HD for English entertainment in India. Add to it, the bump up in the number of movie premieres and series that you could now see in better quality. Increased adoption of HD set top boxes encouraged broadcasters to go for HD. Content segmentation has emerged as a big...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/11/dth.jpg?itok=QkzMsFlZ
DTH's year of consolidation

MUMBAI: It would be safe to say that this was the year of the big DTH challenge. India’s cable TV multi system operators (MSOs) could not go into many phase IV areas and DTH stepped in wherever analogue broadcast signals were switched off following the crossing of the digital addressable system (...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/09/year.jpg?itok=Qc8RGGh9
2017 a year of rebranding and extending time slots for Hindi GECs

MUMBAI: The year 2017 was a roller-coaster ride for Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) in the truest spirit of the term. The tussle for the top slot in the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings has seen pay TV and free-to-air (FTA) channels hold on tight to the rope.

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/09/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=bmTRbT_m
The year of hiccups for marketers

MUMBAI: The year 2017 was when brands were unwillingly thrown into a roller-coaster ride only to emerge dizzy and faint. The highs weren’t enough to ride out the lows.

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/04/ear.jpg?itok=jT2Q8mKD
2017: The year OTTs went regional in India

MUMBAI: Over-the-top (OTT) services were undoubtedly the centre of attraction in 2017. The boom in India’s internet users, mainly aided by the growth of Reliance Jio, ensured that OTT players got the right reception and target audience. Not just  mainstream TV broadcasters but even smaller players...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/03/year.jpg?itok=SbrfiYTZ
Making the news: A look at what news broadcasters did in 2017

MUMBAI: News channels were thrown into a storm of activity in 2017 with each player keeping up its oars to wade out of challenges that hit at them like ten-foot waves. With elections and sensational news driving up viewership at various points throughout the year, English news channels had to...

Specials Year Enders
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/30/Sahil-Shah1.jpg?itok=weZUchlK
Guest Column: The comeback of full-service agencies in India

By 2020, we will be close to a billion digitised screens. With the advent of cheaper data and smartphones and by virtue of tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon entering the grassroots of India, digitisation has become inevitable. And it’s going to be mobile plus digitised television (...

Specials Year Enders

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories