I haven’t done it for a while now. So while I’m at it, let me break away from the usual TV ads and focus on voice ads for a change. Driving to office every morning, listening to ad-infested Radio City in order to catch the wonderful Vasanthi’s wonderful voice gives me an opportunity to listen to a lot of them.

The most jarring of them all is this ad by Puravankara. They have made a song in hindi which has a bad tune and bad lyrics with stuff like “mila hai mujheeeeeeeeeeee, purva mein gharrrrrrrrr” and stuff. If only I knew exactly how long the ad would last, I’d put the radio on mute for that much time. Sometimes it completely takes the joy out of listening to Vasanthi!

Then, there are these welfare ads put by the ministry of family welfare I think, which are absolutely hilarious. Some of them deal with cleanliness at roadside eateries, while others say that you can’t play with hens! And they have a number of versions of these ads, all of which provide for a good chuckle. Of course, there are also the “eye ads”. There is a song in kannada about glaucoma, which is sung in the form of a duet! One wonders why the ministry wastes valuable resources putting these ads in the mostly upmarket radio city. Wouldn’t its objective be better served if it were to be put on more junta channels such as Big or SunFM?

Then, of course, there are these TV ads from which the voice is removed and the ad played on radio. Most of these again turn out to be extremely irritating, for I think it’s mostly visual impact. There is this salt ad, which is in Hindi, which is perfectly fine for Radio City.

Today I found a new set of ads – for UTI Bank, which has just changed his name to Axis bank. They take examples of how Rajiv Bhatia became Akshay Kumar, and Shivaji Rao became Rajnikanth, and how nothing much changed. And that UTI Bank is like that! Coming to think of it, whoever had heard of Rajiv Bhatia? Or of Shivaji Rao (except for commuters on route 10A)? Is UTI Bank admitting that they’ve not been a good bank so far?

I’ve noticed one other thing with radio ads – initially they are all mostly in Hindi, including on the Kannada channels. After a while, though, they re-make the ad in Kannada, and put it in Kannada on all channels! Interesting stuff. The latest to do this has been Indian Oil, which has released it’s extremely irritating “ah aaah pucho pucho” ad in Kannada.

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