Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ad-ministering public health

Summer is approaching and the Central Govt. is floating quite few ads on Radio to warn people of the possibility of outbreak of diseases and teach the public the basics of health and hygiene.

Man one: Lala please give me some chole.
Man two: Why lala, salt is less today, didn’t let your sweat drip in the food? (derisive laughter)
Man two: And food is tasteless today, why… did you wash your hands before you cooked today? (derisive laughter)
Man two again: How can this food compare to the good taste of food served in dirty plates? (derisive laughter again)

Till here the ad is scripted very well in Hindi. Then comes this part that drives home the point that our Ministers have their ears to the ground and know what they are talking about.

'Sushma Swarajish' voice: This is no laughing matter. Insist on your food vendor washing his hands thoroughly before cooking, using clean and purified water for cooking and sterilising the plates for your good health.

This is a public service announcement bought to you by the Government of India.

(loud derisive laughter from silverine!!)


Neihal said...

and Neihal joins Silverine in her laughter.

come to think of it Silverine for most of our history we have had a govt language and a people's language.
first is was Sanakrit now English.
English is the new Sanskrit.:D

Mind Curry said... funny..ministry sponsored ads are so pathetically dull and substandard. dunno why..the government just wastes so much money for useless things, but then tries to crunch it where it matters.

the sadder part is that we have illiterates and semiliterates ruling most parts of the country.

Alexis said...

LOL... Nice one.

jithesh said...

Quite funny!
BTW, is it an old ad?cant recall it. Sushma Swaraj was health minister in 2003-04.I remember her appearing for AIDS awareness campaign. Recent ads by Shahrukh Khan for the national rural health mission are much better.

Fleiger said...

Do you know of the existence of a book called "Ji Pradhanmantriji" which is essentially translation of "Yes Prime Minister"?

The minister is facing a similar problem when a multinational is planning to force Indian Govt to adapt square-sized samosas, made with organic potatoes, and hygienically packed.

And he laments how the samosas will taste if your friendly-neighborhood halvai uses washed utensils to prepare the samosas and packs them in hygienic plastic wrappers immediately ;)

mathew said...

hehehe..they mix up humor and a serious message that finally you are confused whether it was a funny ad or a important public message..

reminds me of a Borat episode..when he tells his hosts in between a cheerful lunch.."Oh..By the way my wife is dead!!"..the timing made all the difference..

Jiby said...

lol...that was funny...sushma swaraj is a welcome invitation to flick channels! most ppl still count that the older the oil, the more greasier the cooking vessels, the tastier the food is...will take more than just ads to change public behavior and bring in awareness!

still remember a few public welfare ads regarding drunken driving and family planning during the doordarshan days...though others may disagree they had an earthy charm to i think that must have been done help the target audience associate with the theme.

silverine said...

neihal: What is surprising is that these ministers have forgotten what it is to eat street food. If I go ask the street cart food vendor to sterilise plates etc he will laugh me out of town! :p

MC: The ad starts really well, the script is really good when you hear it in Hindi, but being an ex copywriter myself I can see the meddling at the end of the ad. This ad is unbelievable! Everyone knows how (un)hygienic street food vendors are! The ad could have ended with a warning not to eat at from the road or stick to home cooked food!

Alexis: I burst out laughing when I heard this one! :))

Jithesh: I meant the voice of the lady was severe and stern like Suhsma Swarajs :) This ad is being aired right now on Radio CIty!

fleiger: Good one!! Our health netaji seems to have forgotten the relities of life now that he is a neta!

mathew: LOL that Borat is soo funny. I have a couple of DVD's wish I could watch the series though!

Jiby: The trouble starts at the root level when ad campaign goes to agencies willing to pay bribe and quality suffers. Some of the good campaigns are done by MNC's for the govt. And since the govt babus have no say in the matter the ad comes out good :)

Fleiger said...

Yes, they don't remember what is the difference between bhel at Choupati and in 5-star hotel. (Hint: Cleanliness is precursor to tastelessness.)