Gone are the days when children were taught manners and basic respect for other people, be it anyone. The new cool is celebrating insolence, and seeing that it is properly rewarded. Case at hand, the new series of ads perpetuating impertinence under the guise of harmless mischief.
Exhibit #1: The new Peak Freans Rio Ads. Tagline: Fun ka daily dose.
The three ads I have seen all show adults being punished somehow for trying to discipline kids. One ad shows a garden keeper telling kids to go back to their homes because they have made everything dirty. The other shows a neighbor aunty refusing to return the football that lands in her house. The third shows neighbor uncles visiting the children’s home to tell that they need to stop mischief. In all the three ads, after the adults try to reprimand the kids, RIO enters, something bad happens to the adults (The sprinklers turn on, splashing the garden keeper, the birds go free and attack the aunty, the fan turns on and the uncle’s wig flies off). The adults are portrayed as devils, with angry clouds and lightening around them. The children enjoy the plight of the adults.
Takeaway: Adults who reprimand are bad, and children do not need to listen to them because “Fun ka daily dose” is much more important that basic manners.
Exhibit #2: Nestle Nesfruta. Tagline: Aaj kuch naya kartay hain
The cool youngsters at college choose one class fellow to play practical jokes on, get him humiliated and then enjoy his humiliation.
Takeaway: Making fun of the uncool college students is the thing to do. Because something “naya” can only be done at the cost of degrading someone else.
Exhibit #3: Kolson Potato Sticks. Tagline: Khao, Bara Maza Aayega
The first ad shows a girl making fun of her partner , who is nerdy looking, because a beggar calls him “Shehzada“. The second ad shows a guy telling the difference between “offer” and “loafer”. The difference he says is a direct attempt at maligning women (Larka “I love you” bolay to loafer, Larki “I love you” bolay to offer).
Takeaway: Maligning characters is absolutely fine. Because “maza” is synonymous with demeaning the lesser human beings.
The three exhibits presented are all targeted at youngsters. They all reinforce the idea that being witty is cool, being witty while hurting someone else is way cooler.