Debrief: National Population Register: Hello Early Nineties!

09 Jul,2013

By Anil Thakraney


I have a bad feeling we are living in the early nineties. Madhuri Dixit is back, so is Anil Kapoor, and so is Sridevi. And the BJP is talking about Ayodhya all over again. Soon we’ll hear Sanjay Manjrekar is back in the Indian team. Not to be left behind, here’s an ad from the glorious past.


If you are a new entrant to advertising, watch the commercial from the National Population Register very carefully. It will give you a good idea of the generally crappy television advertising we used to produce back then. A tired, laid-back, sleepy jingle. Indians from all walks of life doing the same activity, in this case, mud-slinging (though the copyright for that now belongs to Shri Arnab Goswami). And each visual a bloody living, breathing ad cliché. I have to say this must easily be the most annoying advert currently on air, and it’s on air all the time because we taxpaying idiots sponsor this trash. Each time it comes on, I want to fling some mud at my television set.


So if these guys want us to register our names for the census, they should tell us why it’s important for us to do so. The communication trigger should be this and only this: Dude, you don’t sign up, you are screwed, and this is how you get screwed. It’s as simple as that. This is what will result in consumer engagement. Instead, these dolts have gone back into the past to re-create its worst. I’d rather register for the Pakistani or the Bangladeshi census.


Rating: (On a scale of 1-5): 0. Poora paisa mitti mein mil gaya


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views of the writer are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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