Mad Men (The Indian Version)

Published: Tue, 08/11/2015 - 07:17

It’s now painfully clear: the BJP and AAP firmly believe that pouring tax-payers’ money into advertising and PR is the best way to govern the country, states, Union Territories, et cetera. I don’t know about you, but I flinch when I discover that crores of rupees are wasted on the silliest of ads and unnecessary PR initiatives. Since we cannot dissuade both these parties from engaging in this battle to win our fickle hearts and minds, how about we recommend a few ways they can cut costs?

Let’s start with the BJP: The image of the Prime Minister grinning and waving to us from the cabin door of an Air India plane is now deeply etched in our minds. We see this footage almost every other day because he loves travelling. In fact, a leading newspaper recently reported that more UPA ministers had travelled abroad than NDA ministers – it didn’t say why. But I gather it’s because our holiday-happy Prime Minister does all the travelling for them. So here’s the cost-saving tip: Instead of news channels wasting time and money to capture his frequent farewells to the nation, how about they spend some quality time with the information and broadcasting minister, select the most touching bye-bye scene available and play that each time the PM leaves for foreign climes? There’s just one small problem here – the Prime Minister loves showing off his new clothes. But that can be solved easily. The BJP’s social media cell is fabulous at Photoshop, as we have seen in the past, and changing his outfit each time shouldn’t faze them at all. Hello, if they can make Ahmedabad look like Shanghai, I’m sure they can change a shocking pink kurta to an electric purple one effortlessly.

The BJP ads remind me of the preachy slogans we suffered during India’s socialist era: ‘Be Indian, buy Indian’, ‘Discipline makes a nation great’, and so on. We already have all this depressing stuff in the national archives, so why can’t they just recycle this footage? All they need to do is switch black-and-white to colour and change the nation’s leader. Easy peasy.

And now to AAP:

AAP’s leader, Arvind Kejriwal, has petulantly informed the media that if they carried accounts of his good work, he wouldn’t have to waste money on advertising. I’m absolutely with him. In fact, I’m even considering starting an online petition on this issue because I just cannot bear those AAP ads. The first one with a woman sighing deeply over Kejriwal as she shopped for veggies, cooked, served and dropped her kids to school while her husband played couch potato had me in tears. I mean, I know that Kejriwal dreams of Ram Rajya but does he expect today’s women to be as servile as they were centuries ago? Also, if I were her husband I would be worried that she had another man on her mind 24x7. Very, very worried indeed. The second ad is less controversial but it’s a yawny bore. So yeah, let’s start that online petition now!

AAP should stick to what it stands for – the aam aadmi. The best way to reach out to its core constituency would be street plays since Kejriwal has proved time and again that he’s the undisputed king of drama – the entire nation has watched him sleep on roads, brush his teeth, gargle and eat his dabba breakfast/lunch/dinner with edge-of-seat excitement. This is Performance Art at its best, and Kejriwal really should embark on tours of international museums of modern art with it – I’m certain he will win high praise from critics. Perhaps then AAP wouldn’t have to pass the Gandhi cap around that frequently for the party coffers, hmm.

This story is from print issue of HardNews