Just the other day, suffering from Dus Ka Dum withdrawal, I turned on the TV to watch some songs. A commercial break ensued. The commercial had a woman twiddling a mobile. Hmm, I thought, an ad for Nokia maybe. A few moments later I noticed massive pimples on the woman's face. Hmm, I thought, an ad for zit cream maybe? Neither! The whole shebang turned out to be an ad for a saas-bahu serial.
So what is the difference between a saas-bahu premise promo and a commercial? None! I spent the major part of an hour watching the promos for saas-bahu serials and each time they looked like an advert for something. My hats off to the writers of the serials who can take a wafer-thin premise and turn it into a daily soap.
In any case I got down to thinking. Why not make the whole serial a massive commercial? Many advantages come to mind. First, there would be a ready sponsor - so the serial would come completely financed. Next, the premise would actually make sense. Third, heck its happening anyway - lets just make it official.
To get this whole idea started, I brainstormed a bit and came up with the following ideas for marrying sponsors and entire saas-bahu serials. The commercial is built in!
VIP Kkachhe Ka Kamaal
Anil is a loser because no chick will go out with him. Then one day his mates force him to play strip poker - which he proceeds to lose. Down to his underwear and near fatal humiliation something amazing happens. The college princess - Avantika - walks over and says "Yeh to badaa toing hai!" Anil's confidence skyrockets and his life takes a turn.
Value proposition: Each episode deals with a crisis of confidence solved by donning a VIP underwear.
Nokia Teri Meri Baate
Arjun and Jasmine come from families that are in a long standing feud. But fate plays a hand. One day Jasmine dials the wrong number and connects with Arjun's mobile. They talk and fall in love. Unable to meet in person because of khandaani dushmani, they talk on the phone each day and plot to reunite their families.
Value proposition: Arjun and Jasmine talk in every episode using Nokia mobiles
Fair & Lovely Mere Aiyeene Mein
Gayatri is gorgeous, but she's dark. So no one will marry her. Worse her younger sister is the town hottie but has to turn down rishtaa after rishtaa while she waits in line (they are both from a 'traditional' family you see). About to commit suicide by jumping off a ledge, Gayatri notices a tube of F&L carelessly thrown nearby. Gayatri goes home and uses it. Boys start noticing her! But are they attracted to her personality or her light skin?
Value proposition: Fair & Lovely is featured promptly in every episode AND accompanied by hokey girl empowerment message about finding someone who loves you for what you are on the inside.
Tilda Basmati Daney Alag Bhojan Ek
The neighborhood of Patli Gali are a troubled lot - they belong to different religions. Not to mention talk in all kinds of funky accents. The Parsi dude is especially afflicted as he thinks everyone's name is dikra. Every festival brings out the worst in everyone. But one day an old Christian lady called Naani-amma (yes, heavy handed but this is a saas-bahu after all) makes a potful of fragrant basmati rice that is so sumptuous that everyone drops their jhagda and eats at the same table.
Value proposition: Each episode has a neighborhood dinner scene featuring a potful of steaming Tilda Basmati.
Mint-o Fresh Tere Saaso Ki Mahek
Mahek is a loser because no guy pays her attention. One day she finds a Mint-o Fresh in her pesky younger brother's shirt pocket and pops it into her mouth. Instantly a handsome guy throws himself at her feet. Mahek decides to use a Mint-o Fresh to run through all the boys she can lay her eyes on and find her true love.
Value proposition: Undesirable girl eats Minto-o Fresh and lands guys by the bushel. Yes, anyone can get laid - and its cheap!
Hajmola Khaate Peeta Ghar Ki Kahani
The Varma family head - Roy Varma - is a moneybags tycoon. But a heart attack lays him low and he has to call on his three sons - Joy, Boy and Toy - to run his business. Rivalries spring up instantly among the brothers and strike at the heart of this joint family. Into the lives of the Varma family enters a young, soft-spoken but firebrand cook called Haj Mola. Using his unique brand of Yoda-like wisdom and cunning, Haj Mola brings peace to the turmoil in the Varma family.
Value proposition: The classiness of metaphors is used to offset the fact that this is a commercial for Number Two relief.