Lets look into two recent soft drink advertisement, namely pepsi and sprite, and see whether the advertising agencies really are worth the crores they take.
“Oye Bubbly Grind”
Pepsi is going all out on the ‘Oye Bubbly’ grind, roping in many celebreties, and also bringing out a compilation album. Ringtones of the jingle can also be downloaded from the internet. And you can view the video here.
In this ad, a bottle of pepsi in Shahrukh’s hand starts enticing inanimate objects. The bottle of pepsI is ‘Bubbly’ or ‘Babli’. Babli is a common pet name for a girl child, particularly in the northern part of our country. So while Shahrukh grabs ‘Bubbly’ and gets going from the beach, girls in sarongs gyrate to the grind. And their navel turns into vertical lips and starts mouthing the jingle in a female voice, which goes as,” Oye Bubbly, aaja bubbly, be my lover bubbly”. Next is the turn of a guitar, the Elvis doll on his rearview mirror, then overhead lights of a stadium and finally his glasses from inside his shirt pocket. All these characters have a male voice. Particular is the last one when from inside his pocket his glasses ask, “sirji mera chance!!”, which is a take on Coca Cola’s ad, featuring Virendra Sehwag.
Many people couldn’t digest the imagery of the vertical lips on the navel and that is probably why the Pepsi people have edited out that part. Predicting people’s response over things like this is very difficult and not everytime can a advertising agency succeed in doing so. But did they really want to show, navels (as female characters in female voice) going crazy about bubbly/Babli and wanting her as a lover. Most people would not have seen it as such but there is always some subconcious effect. Our society may be progressing, but same sex love is still looked down upon. And since they edited out that part, its likely that they realized it too.
“Kiss me”, says the frog!!
While not as big a campaign as ‘Oye bubbly’, Sprite has used the fable of kiss the frog and get a prince, or in this case a princess.
A young man takes a break and sits on a park bench. He is all sweaty and a ideal cold drink customer. He hears a husky female voice asking him to kiss her. He turns around to discover the source to be a frog. Not in the least flummoxed, he just picks up his backpack and cool as c ucumber starts to leave. Upon this the frog now a little desperate, asks him, “Kiss me, I’ll become a princess, then you’ll have everything, money, palace…” Hearing this the guy who now is at some distance comes back picks her up, and for a split second seems to be in a dilemma on which the frog asks, “Don’t you know how to kiss?” Upon which he proceeds to put her into his bag, while telling her, “Money, palace, these things can easily be found, but a talking frog is extremely rare.” And walks away grinning.
If the guy found a talking frog so amusing and even more desirable than a princess and money, why did he leave when first asked by the frog to kiss her. Its only when she challenges his manhood with, “Don’t you know how to kiss?”, that the guy returns. Or did they wanted to show the guy as impulsive and indecisive? Whatever be the case, here also I guess they realized their mistake as they have edited out that part. Advertising rates being in lakhs for minutes, how much would have they lost because of the redundant and contradicting scene.