Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Absurd dee-lites!

Published 29 Jun, 2015 01:49pm
The success factors behind KitKat Telcum Powder, Butt Murgh Channay and other similar 'delightful' ads.

Seeing an ad on Facebook is like running into a persistent salesman at a party. You are surrounded by friends and acquaintances, busy posturing and judging, when suddenly, someone thrusts a questionable item in your face, expecting you to find it amusing, interesting or relevant.

Most ads on social media are paid for and promoted heavily, making it that much easier to ignore. Occasionally however, some ads burst through the muck and are shared, liked or dissed until that dreaded term, ‘viral’, may well come to apply to them.

So what makes ads succeed on social media? To help you out, I have created this handy measure to identify the key culprits behind such ‘success.’

Sheer ludicrousness: The more ridiculous something is, the more attention it gets. Check out the recent Kit Kat TELCUM Powder spot doing the rounds:

Your first reaction will be disbelief of an ‘is this real or am I just really tired?’ variety. This is followed by a bout of hysteria (I mean, do I even need to explain why?) and then excitement. At this point, you will likely play the ad over and over, marvelling at the genius of the creator, because let’s face it, parodies are not that easy to pull off. They can either be too subtle or too OTT. The right balance (wherein the absurdity is offset by an apparent sincerity on the part of all involved) is elusive. This is the point where you share this generously, chuckling along with your mates. Then finally you are struck by a grim, yet obvious realisation – the ad is real. It isn’t a prank or a parody. Someone spent money and time, came up with a genius line (Aap Bhi?!), brought two people together and made them ‘perform’ – although that same someone couldn’t be bothered to come up with a name or even check the spelling of what they were selling. The end result is riveting.

The models: Their earnestness struck me the most. They believe in what they are doing to a degree where you almost feel sorry mocking them. Almost.
The product: I mean, who even uses talcum powder in this century?
The name: I would pay to understand the connection between taking a break and dousing yourself with powder. Also, casual rip-offs equals icing on cake
The bottle: Shades of Black Cat’s glory days.
Absurdity Rating: 8/10

Appalling Taste: You would think an outdated concept like taste would be irrelevant to the glorious field of advertising. You would be wrong.

Exhibit: This Triumph ad that somehow ends up pushing incest with nary a blink:

This is the kind of example you will find scattered all over your male friends’ walls – no explanation needed. Scroll down the comments, and you will be assaulted by a barrage of mediocre-to-deplorable innuendo, littered with references to Game of Thrones (hey, it’s relevant!).

The model: Scantily clad lady equals a billion eyeballs, equals a no-brainer.
A clear call to action: 15% OFF works every time. In this case, I would rather it didn’t.
Two dubious birds, one questionable stone: Somewhere, a brand manager was given the task to celebrate Father’s Day while selling lingerie (a conundrum for the best of brains). Said brand manager combined the two in a message that is breathtaking in its casual promotion of familial intimacy.
Absurdity Rating: 6/10.Yes, it’s scandalous. And quite possibly, a typo.

Consistency: The key to building a brand and a reputation, and why this last example is perfect!

From the illustrious powers that be who brought us Kit Kat, enjoy another stellar addition that clearly surpasses the first: BUTT Murgh Chaney and BONG paye (I haven’t a clue what this last bit means, which is brilliant).

The model: The breakout star of Kit Kat graces us with his singular presence again. I don’t know what to fawn over first – the coif, the pastel shirt, the luminously pink face, the perfectly arched eyebrows or that unique delivery. It’s all unforgettable (in a searing-your-brain sort of way)
The supporting cast: These two ladies deserve special mention. Check out their synchronised dialogue and gestures and appreciate their dedication.
The product: I don’t even understand what they are offering – and that is a blessing.
The name: The two-year-old in me is sniggering, pointing to ‘Butt’ and finishing up with ‘enough said.’
Absurdity Rating: 9/10. Consistency counts!

But what about good ads, you might ask? What about gorgeous, emotional pieces of adverting that prompt much universal gushing and sharing and outpouring of love?

Those don’t count, I would respond, because they aren’t even half as much fun.