IPL 2013: Katrina Kaif vs Ajit Pawar!

There are close to 10-12 ads featuring Katrina Kaif (above), Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and the Zoo Zoos that are continually recycled during the IPL telecast of matches © IANS

By Rahul Namjoshi
I have yet to get HD [High-Definition] on my cable due to pure lethargy, which stems from the perception that it doesn’t really matter much in terms of viewing experience. Many readers may disagree with this perception, but being a huge fan of Didi [Mamta Banerjee], I find their attitude ‘petty’ and have stood firmly by my irrational beliefs. Also, as I am not going to Delhi any time soon, I am not liable to be attacked by my detractors. But unlike Mamta Didi I am beginning to have second thoughts after watching the first few days of he 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL). I was blissfully ignorant of — rather didn’t appreciate — the fact that as of now the HD telecast is completely free of ads.

This is not going to be a rant about how commercial the IPL is and how I hate the fact that commercials are shown in between “natural breaks” (between overs) and “contrived breaks” (strategic) and how it breaks momentum of a match. It’s not about the ads but it’s about the composition of the ads that are shown during overs and strategic breaks. There are in all some 10-12 ads featuring Katrina Kaif, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and the Zoo Zoos that are continually recycled with a viciousness that would make Al Gore’s eyes swell with proud tears. Some may point out that I have missed out on the Big B but to those I will say that I am like Narendra Modi who sees half a glass filled with water as full because the other half is filled with air. The Big B is the air. He is everywhere.

Not being an ad man, my views may be met with scorn by the more knowledgeable ones. I will still try. How does a cross dressing Aamir Khan make Godrej Eon a more desirable air conditioner? Am I supposed to believe that touching a wall painted with Berger paints is akin to feeling Katrina’s smooth skin? If yes I don’t like Katrina anymore. Ranbir, who did commercials for Pepsi during the Football World Cup (or was it at the Euro) poking fun at cricket fans is back to wooing — you guessed it right — cricket fans!

The Zoo Zoo ads are a fantastic cure for insomnia, but within 15 seconds Saif Ali Khan’s wailing voice wakes me up from my slumber. Imagine everybody’s plight as watching the same people over and over and over again doing some really unimaginative and irritating commercials. I can. 

So it’s not about the fact that commercials are shown during IPL 6 , but the lament is more about which commercials are shown during IPL 6. Some may argue that Extraa Innings is even nastier than the commercials, but there I have a choice of turning it off. What I would like to see is more realistic ads that would also position the IPL as a socially responsible. Of course the models for the commercials would not feature any film stars or cricket stars. They will not be some good-looking models either but people we know.

I can suggest some ideas for the same.

Subroto Sahara will be a perfect model for an Insurance Pension plan ad. The fact that at this ripe old age he has total assets worth only three crores will immediately form a bond with people worried about their post retirement comforts.

Ajit Pawar is an obvious choice for a Pepsi commercial advising villagers in Maharashtra to not fight for a bucket of water on the arrival of a water tanker. They can have a Pepsi. Please note that this idea has already been submitted to the patent office. Dam it — pun intended — they haven’t responded yet.

Jayalalitha can don Farah Khan‘s clothes (guess they will fit her perfectly) and make people dance to her, the IPL tune. 

And yes there still will be a couple of Big B ads slipped in. He is air, remember?

I realise that maybe my idea won’t appeal to the umpires powers that be at SetMax and hence going to call my cable guy and get that HD connection. Sometimes money can buy you peace of mind.
(Rahul Namjoshi, an utter failure as an MBA, has no published novel to boast of and hence trying the next best thing – blogging. There, too, the results there aren’t too encouraging. Rahul pens his thoughts on the game in a blog called “Not Cricket”)