Recently I found myself with a lot of free time during a visit to the desh. I decided to use it wisely - I watched hour upon hour of IPL , gleefully settling down to watch eight hour blocks of TV cricket.
Soon however, I found that in between all that cool cricket action I would be forced to watch the most inane and annoying commercials. After multiple viewings, I felt I might go insane. I became irritable and irrational. I started heckling the batsmen, the bowlers and the commentators for all the agony they were peripherally inflicting on me.
Once when Rahul Dravid was batting, I nodded off. I heard a clap and saw a billowing cloud of smoke. Before me stood Bunker Swahadevan.
"Bunker!" I said "Is that you?"
"Yes" sang Bunker and then launched into a superb alaap - his hand flicking imaginary locks of hair off his forehead.
After he was finished, he admonished me.
"Aspi!" he scolded, "you know I and my band Bunker Fashion Coy work on most of these commercials. I'm disappointed you don't like our work. Why don't you try and give these ads a second chance?"
"Go wuuaaachhhh theeemmmm" Bunker's voice faded into the distance.
My eyes flew open with a start! Had it all been a dream? Well, I was lying down on the couch and dribbling. But then I noticed the word "Maa" scrawled on the layer of dust on my window pane. I knew this had been no ordinary day dream.
I took Bunker's advice to heart. I paid renewed attention to the commercials. Soon I started to enjoy them. In a few days, I was so enraptured that I even started taking notes.
Inexoribly it dawned on me that these ads communicated more than met the eye (or ears). There seemed to be a secret code to them, a specific audience they were talking to - a hidden target demographic. I decided to decipher their coding.
In continuing posts, I'll talk about my research on specific ads - annoying beyond belief, but expertly communicating to an audience with disposable income and luring them with coded talk. This exercise had a rather pleasant side effect - I became smarter and more entertained.
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