Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Country Club

Country, in college lingo, means a guy with rough behaviour - flaunting the kind of activity, jokes or language that makes you squirm your nose and wish you weren't around them. College lingo as a set itself is absurd. So I won't bomb you with arbit CP. If this isn't chill, then kaata karo and peace maaro for a while.

Speaking of country personalities, there is an enigmatic person who appears at the end of this 30 second TVC for Country Club. It starts off with consummate cliche' imagery - an urban family of four, laughing and grinning like they are stoned, enjoying family activities throughout the footage with a bit of playful finger-pointing. Thematic words like Victory, Luxury etc are sprinkled in the ad.

Just after the voiceover, he appears out of nowhere.









I thought to myself - Who is he ? Some moronic attention seeking head of the company ? Well, it turns out he is! This man is Y Rajeev Reddy, the CMD of the organization. Today's print ad confirmed my suspicion.

Ad in Sunday Times with credentials (July 13th, 2008)

The media agency must have had a wonderful time, wrestling with him, cutting down his footage to a measley five seconds.

"How about I act like the father, mother and the kid ? You can slap some makeup on me. I don't mind."
"Sir, but the ad is about your travel business - isn't that your priority ?"
"Who is the boss ? Tell me who is the boss!"
"You are the Boss Sir. We'll have you on screen at the end. And you can be yourself in the commercial."
"Woo hoo!"

For building trust and awareness, there is nothing more effective than a rotund leader with a fat moustache, mysteriously grinning and giving a thumbs up sign. I've decided to plan all my fun-family trips from Country Club henceforth, unless the rival firm's head decides to do the chicken-dance.

If you found this man's actions to be embarrassing, there is a South Indian businessman who has surpassed him. If the Country Club guy subtly appeared in the commercial, the other guy's head is branded right in the middle of the company logo.
Meet Mr. Vasanth, owner of Vasanth and Co.
Being a large home appliances retailer in southern states, his business sponsors cookery shows. In the few episodes I happened to catch on DD Podighai, Mr.Vasanth made it a point to be the judge and guest of honour for every episode. He would personally eat up half the screen and slurp the sumptuous dishes accompanied by two sidekicks - A bit of grunting, some valuable tips to the gushing aunties and finally handing over heavy boxes as gifts while grinning at the camera. As the camera focussed on his face, the distinct line around the neck seperating his powdered and natural skin tone really spiced up the show.

I am certain that the same logo is also replicated in larger sizes across all stores. If he could just animate the eyes in the logo to squint and randomly stare in some direction, employee productivity would shoot up. I believe there isn't a better way to be remembered, loved and remind everyone that the boss is keeping an eye on you.

I am truly inspired. After a decade, in an optimistic scenario, I'll invariably be able to bully my media partners to splatter my face in my product commercials. I've already got the grin in place. All I've to do now is to grow a moustache, build a paunch and learn to be country.

Saala &*^^$*!#^

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15 comments:

  1. i think he does the outdoor creatives himself.. he gets more screen presence there ;)

    doesnt that mdh dadaji also make his presence felt?

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  2. everytime i watched teh country club uncle (especially the one in which he comes dressed as a sheikh & says MARHABBA) ... i didnt know whether to wince or to laugh ...

    on another level though ... i think this was an ad crying out to be taken apart in every gyan spilling blog :D ... gr8 job btw :)

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  3. @Manuscrypts: Yes I'd thought of the MDH dada ji. Firstly, I couldn't find a picture of him to add to the rant. Secondly, he seems to at least lend some feeling of trust or tradition to MDH Masala. Whereas these two UNCLES look like they'll pickpocket you in the bus!

    @SD: Thank you!

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  4. The show was called Saapida Vanga and had a cult following among all the maamis of the area. My mom actually used to try those recipes on me till I threated to run away from home :)

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  5. Arvind,
    Come to Kerala and dang! you see Atlas Jewelry. The owner Atlas Ramachandran based out of Dubai or somewhere else in the Middle East does the voice over for the TVCs and simply slaughters the video by doing this.
    His has this stupid voice and funny tone. The best was when he was giving Hyundai cars in some promo scheme and kept saying Hayundai ...
    He has produced a movie, and did a cameo in that.Managed another cameo as well. He hosted Atlas award nite where his movie won a prize :D

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  6. @ Nikhil

    i have also caught tht unintentionally funny Atlas jewelry ad

    But pronouciation of South Korean name is really difficult...
    Many a times we try to correct others pronouciation of foreign names and find tht we ourselves are wrong !

    acc to wiki UK pronouciation for Hyundai is haɪ.ʌn.daɪ

    But in America Hyundai marketed its name as rhyming with Sunday

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  7. MDH masala ka thatha seems very dignified though...

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  8. KFC's Colonel Sanders is also featured prominently on the company's logo, albeit in a monochrome sketch. Perhaps they are trying to imitate his success.

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  9. @Mokkai - Wish I could empathize with you. But my whole family watched it only for the giggles!

    @Madhavan - What about Sarvana Stores ? Do they have scary uncles too ?

    @Nikhil - Are there videos available online ? Sounds like solid gold material!

    @lavidaloca - :)

    @maxdavinci - yes. that's why he didn't get an entry in this post :)

    @Ambuj Saxena - you wish! Seems like unadulterated narcissism to me :D

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  10. lol i have never been inside vasanth & co...always felt it too embarrassing...

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  11. @Arvind
    Could'nt get it online.
    Suggest you catch up with some Mallu channel and u would spot an Atlas Jewelery ad!

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  12. I think this guy's inspiration is the old gent from the MDH Masala advertisements.

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