Five cheap smartphone ads from hell

If there's one thing worse than Indian smartphone manufacturers, it's the ad executives hired by them to market the recycled Chinese handsets. Even the upper-crust brands aren't safe, as evidenced by the insipid Lumia commerical. The saying goes: if you pay peanuts, you'll only get monkeys – a fact that's aptly illustrated by most of the atrociously bad commercials inflicted upon TV viewers by budget cellphone makers. We wouldn’t mind if they were just plain bad, but these advertisements take their wtf**kery to Lovecraftian levels. The shades of crazy range from cellphone-induced condom advocacy in one advert to another one where Virat Kohli plays a typical Dilli ka launda who tries everything but chloroform on the southern siren. In hindsight, that would be unlike the typical Dilli ka launda, but we get ahead of ourselves.

Kohli’s egregious product endorsements aren’t the only adverts that make us wonder just what the hell were these agencies smoking. However, one can only take so much before going homicidal during the commercial break. It only makes sense then to vent our frustration with a caustic critique of five of the worst adverts infesting the airwaves.

Nokia Lumia 510
The setup: Hands kissing, hands kissing everywhere. A young couple, a token old couple, friends, rubber ducks, a kabab mein haddi, all kissing—with all their hands. Fingers bunched together, they touch the others’ while pouting, apparently signifying a kiss. So what’s the bottom-line? The kiss just got "trendified" it seems. Is it just us, or does anyone else also suspect someone at Nokia is majorly into some twisted form of a hand fetish.


Well, alright. We understand that “trendifying” (or rather fetishising) an everyday action is your idea of a marketing campaign, and going social your USP, but what in the name of god did hand-kissing have to do with a mobile phone? You do know that the K-word is the only word in India currently that induces rage more than the R-word. Read: Rape...or Religion, which, as our atheist friends believe, is the rape of common sense anyway. Sadly, the Khap Panchayats are too busy lynching people willy-nilly to finally do something productive for a change and put an end to such ads. We’re pretty sure this ad, replete with its smoochy sounds, can make the most hardened of criminals confess to crimes they haven’t even committed, when played in an infinite loop.

Lava A10
The setup: A ridiculously underdressed counter lady in the supermarket has run out of change. The dude with a plasticky phone at the checkout counter gets a lollipop instead of change. Note: if you ignore the subliminal symbolism, the dude with a cheap(er) phone is supposed to have been ridiculed with the gesture. However, when the stud with a plasticky Lava A10 walks in, the counter lady suddenly acts like she’s been abducted from the sets of the latest Wildstone deodourant advert. Instead of change, boy-next-door is handed “Surex” condoms. Well, because the phone apparently separates the men from the boys.


Now, we’re all for safe sex, but there is no way that owning a Lava phone can turn you into an alpha male who’s stumbled right out of a porno. The only brand that actually got any mileage out of this advertisement was probably Durex. Let’s observe two minutes of silence for all the men who bought an A10 with the hope of getting a free condom. The least Lava should do is throw in a box of tissues.

Micromax A110 Canvas 2
The setup: A free soul of a man—presumably on vacation, or unemployed, since all he can afford is a Micromax—uses his Canvas HD to charm the pants off everyone from an old woman to a band of travelling musicians, a hot lady and a token black woman. Our unemployed stud boy uses his phone to translate the old woman’s incoherent gibberish, jam with a band of musicians with his phone guitar and ruin his lady-love’s face (much like Chris Brown).


Thereafter, he spends the night playing games with her, followed by sending an MMS with flowers thanking her for the one-night-stand (also much like Chris Brown). We would have called him stingy, if he weren’t unemployed. However, just before we feel sorry for his unemployment, he pisses us off by replying to every question asked with a “Can(vas)”, except when the token black chick asks for his phone. He replies with a “nah”. Oh well, in his defence, he is unemployed after all.


All we get from this ad is that if you own this phone, you can walk out on a one night stand without having to say goodbye. However, this only works if you’re a firang with the vocabulary that’s restricted to only two words: “can” and “nah”. It looks like using smartphones as a replacement for corny pick-up lines seems to be the go-to argument for ad execs these days.

iBall Andi
The setup: Kareena Kapoor describes her perfect mate (don’t worry, it’s not Saif Ali Khan) while a contraption, nicked straight off Tony Stark’s bedroom, listens in on her monologue to build her a “perfect partner”. If you thought this was fast descending into a rerun of the Bicentennial Man, think again because we’re not that lucky. Despite her robotic performance, Kareena isn’t the machine here. Her perfect mate is...surprise, surprise...the iBall Andi phone that jumps right off the eavesdropping machine and onto her table.


We must mention that the disturbing rictus she has on her face sure look like she’s seen a mobile phone for the very first time in her life. Strangely, the phone doesn’t figure in the advertisement save for the last few seconds or so. But hey, who needs to see how the product looks like when you have a half-naked Kapoor preening around? Did I say half-naked? Well, unfortunately, she’s disappointingly overdressed for someone who's been hired for her eye candy quotient.

One might argue: if she isn’t sitting pretty, at least she must talk some sense then. That would have been the case if she was talking much at all, though. iBall seems to have paid her by the syllable, which pretty much explains why she has so little to say. Here’s a confession—it took us at least three attempts to figure out that we weren’t actually watching a Lux soap advert. In hindsight, that still would have been a better option because to be honest, a bar of Lux will probably last longer than the iBall Andi.

Celkon Mobiles
The setup: Dilli ka launda Virat Kohli witnesses hottie Tamanna slap her boyfriend out of her life. Being the good samaritan, he decides to “patao” her. He tries the age-old, “I’ve lost my number, could you give me a missed call?” trick. Madame falls for it obviously, especially since she’s getting paid for it. In what would seem a morale booster for creeps all over North India, she says absolutely nothing when he snaps her photo with his Celkon phone for his spank bank and sends her a friend request to boot. All within seconds.


The Celkon advertisement has to be the worst one in our list by a huge margin. Cheesy and deluded, this commercial is targeted at all young guys who think throwing money cheap smartphones at bimbos will get them laid. What they will get, however, is a sound public thrashing instead. At any rate we all know that the Celkon phone you buy in the hope of wooing a Tamanna will invariably end up being used to watch MMS clips.



Published Date: Mar 01, 2013 05:41 pm | Updated Date: Mar 01, 2013 05:41 pm