Indian television is mostly ads punctuated with brief clips of scheduled programs. I don’t know that any other country where I’ve lived has as many ads crammed into every show, regardless of whether it is news or entertainment or “infotainment” (a moniker that I’m very dubious about, but we’ll discuss that another time). Yes, indeed, consumerism rules the airwaves here too. And, of course, there is plenty of heavy-handed messaging of social issues, complete with awful and hopelessly dated tropes, in a good number of these commercials too (although, having now lived here for a few months, I’m beginning to see why).
Given the sheer volume of ads, the average TV-watcher cannot be blamed for either turning absolutely immune to their siren calls or using the time as breaks to switch back to another of their many devices for the duration. Of course, the smarter retailers and ad-men have figured this out. And, some ads in India are worthy of a Clio these days. While I don’t think that all the fine ad films on this recent list will last the distance, there’s one that, I believe, has set a new high bar for 2015: Titan Raga’s ad with the actress, Nimrat Kaur. Everything about this ad — the beautiful cinematography, the tight dialogue scripting, the nuanced performances of both actors — all make that punchline delivered by Kaur just pitch perfect. And, f you’ve watched her in ‘The Lunchbox‘ or, more recently, on ‘Homeland‘, then you know that she has mastered the understated-but-deadly performance. See for yourself below.
If you would like to see more such new wave advertising — i.e. women empowerment — on Indian television, check out this cool list too.