Talk to me in Telugu
February 6, 2009
I love Indian ads. The Indian mind being relatively fresh to the advertising world, there is a kind of candour to it. Ad people don’t need to overcome the wariness of an old consumer’s mind. They just need to entertain the viewer. Indian ads are so outrageously retarded, they’re fascinating. To the point where I often wish I worked in an Indian ad agency. Obviously, these people take a lot of drugs. For which the agency probably pays.
However, if I enjoy watching Indian TV, it is thanks to South India. South Indian channels, like Sun TV, Surya TV, Telugu TV and Udaya TV are India’s best kept secrets.
They have these incredible series I totally worship. They tend to involve short fat hairy men wearing bright polyester shirts, tight pants and jewellery. The houses are ghastily decorated and the lighting bold: bright neons, green bulbs, blaring sun. The older women are conniving creatures of the Dark. The younger ones are sweet and innocent and wear tube tops. Their faces are caked in light powder. Everyone sweats heavily. There usually is a kidnapping at some point, and then armed men and a politician in his white kurta-pyjamas.
Nothing much is spoken, but a hell of a lot is said with the eyes. Looks burdened by deep meanings are constantly exchanged. The actors’ expresssions range is impressive: anger, guilt, fear, love, desire. They manage to express all these emotions by widening their eyes really big.
The ads only add to the charm. My favorite one is about this syrup that will make your hair grow like crazy. You drink it, and your hair’s length triples overnight. Amazing. My only question is: what about the other hair ? If you get a fabulous mane of hair, surely your nails’ size also triples. And so does your body hair. Scary. That is, of course, if the damn syrup works in the first place which can reasonably be questioned.
That’s South Indian TV for you.
If you have a good satellite connection I urge you to watch these extraordinary channels.
Have a drink before, though.
Or maybe two.