Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Celebrity Advertising

I had always waited for the day I’d write an ad involving a celebrity. What fun the shoot would be! The glamour, the awe, the casual mentions I’d get to insert in daily conversations.
So, one day the boss beckoned.
“We’re roping in a celebrity to endorse our brand of nuts and bolts.”
The heart whirrs into action.
“So, write a couple of scripts quickly.”
The heart is now beating against the incisors.

Chucking all briefs (including proofreading artworks that have to be released by the same afternoon), I sit in a lonely corner trying to create a Karan Johar kind of ad. For reasons of confidentiality (I shudder to admit openly that I have written the final ad that was aired), let’s call the celebrity, say, Banwarilal.

So I write pages and pages of scripts about Banwarilal using our nuts and bolts everywhere. The final shot would always have the celebrity screwing the final nut in place, and saying, “Gangadhar nuts and bolts – sabse badhiya.”

“Idiot!” yelled the boss, “do you think Banwarilal is a garage boy? He’s the king of romance! How on earth can you show him doing all this?”

“But don’t we have to show him using the product?” I protest.

The boss while trying to recollect why he hired me, bellows, “Who will believe The Banwarilal goes around lagaaving nuts and bolts?”

“But he’s endorsing them, isn’t he?”

The boss’ deep stare penetrates my optic nerve, “Are you trying to challenge my strategy?”

“Not at all”, I back out, “sir.”

“So how do you think we should do this?” I add for good measure.

“Just show him running around trees with a woman. Write a jingle. ON LOVE, NOT NUTS AND BOLTS!”

“Sure, sure, of course. And how do I fit in the product.”

His eyes narrow “Put it in the last shot. And for heaven’s sake don’t make him touch them. Just place them alongside.”

“So, do we just place them in a heap on the floor or something?”

The boss speaks through gritted teeth, “And show Banwarilal’s feet in the final frame!? Put them on a table next to him. In a glass bowl.”