Sunday, 3 February 2013

And Then There Were None...

It is my humble creative effort to present how Menakas of the advertisements across all media are out to shake up Vishwamitras within us, and then turn the tables on and save the very Vishwamitra...:-)



This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 36; the thirty-fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following http://blogaton.in/">
Blog-a-Ton
. The theme for the month is "and then there were none"




And then there were none…

     This big head line, at the bottom of the front page as an advertisement in the morning newspaper did attract my attention. No wastage of the whole page, as we have often seen, even some times keeping it fully blank with only a tiny little text  at the bottom! Thus, spanning the entire width of the page with just one line generating desired curiosity, was a brilliant advertisement ploy, I thought. Very cost effective, and on the week end…, certainly a clever move by who so ever would be their advertisement consultant!

    And then there were these other pages- politics, crime, city woes, the Nero’s guests on page 3, A bit of wisdom somewhere, opinionated opinions, science, medicine and fright, International relationships and frights, commerce, stock markets news and frights, sports and disappointments…

    It is amazing that one could still remain enthusiastic while going to the office. May be because it is Friday! The weekend, and those multitudes of Menakas (er, read advertisements) blinding us to the realities. The whole office dynamics are different on Fridays. Week end mood pulls people together for chats, whenever opportunities arise. Tea break is certainly one such. Normally the topics revolve around planning of the week end excursions, shopping malls, shares, stocks and mutual funds and bungling on the sports arena. Professional jealousies are generally missing on Fridays, unless it is the annual review period.

    But, today, surprisingly, many of my colleagues had also noticed that one liner ad- ‘And Then There Were None…’, and naturally the topic of discussion became that ad. How do we all think and behave the same way! Modern life style makes all of us robotics, no? The discussion began. After the initial oohing, and aahing, and praises for the one line marvel by our marketing department guys, people settled down to decoding the ad. What could it be for? Why have they not provided any website address (our intimate connection with the virtual World!) to know more. The marketing guy oozed his wisdom-‘look, it is a teaser ad. Tomorrow they will reveal more.’ ‘It must be some consumer product’, he added. He rattled off about all the similar ploys being adopted by the likes of Apple and Galaxy and many other companies.

The day was over. While heading home, that ad kept on popping up in my mind. Thoughts on rampant consumerism, the lopsided GDP based economic development model and the impending strife in to the society would argue against these advertisements. And yet, I wondered, why was I being pulled in by this advertisement.
      Sure enough, the ad was repeated in the same newspaper at the same location next morning. It looked even bolder to me.  But I did not find any further clues. I wondered why they have not even changed the location. Wouldn’t the last page be a better idea?  Anyway, marketing is not my core competence. I left it at that.

     But the ad had made a subtle penetration in my mind. I started imagining that the ad must be about a new smart phone. Why smart phone? May be my present one has been draining my resources in repairs and new batteries. May be I am the only guy in my circles not using smart phone. May be I am missing out on myriads of apps that make smart phones smarter.. I tried browsing the net, but the advertising style did not indicate any of the renowned brands.

     By the evening I realized that the Vishwamitra in me was losing battle against the Menaka. The thoughts of smart phones was making me dull. I forgot for a while that I am on an experiment of refusing to buy anything new for some time now. My present phone was donated to me by a friend three years ago after appreciating my experiment against consumerism. My not purchasing new clothes for the past 4 years have inspired many. How can I fall prey to the Menakas now? Or, may be, it was just the curiosity which was killing the cat!

    I fell asleep in the night while the duel in the mind was not yet resolved. I dreamt that the ad has shifted to the last page, and that it was all about an android smart phone getting emptied on the shelves. The bold wordings made some sense to me- ‘And then there were none..( on the shelves?)’  The new line for this Sunday morning ad read, ‘Don’t Worry, Fresh Stocks Have Arrived’. I just woke up at 1.0 am, so excited that I thought my sub conscious has solved the ad mystery. I penned down the whole story of the past three days verbatim to publish it on my blog extolling the marvels of the subconscious mind. I had a good sleep after that.

     I woke up leisurely on the Sunday morning, but got alarmed seeing the ad still on the front page, at the same location, saying, ‘Still Curious, Go to The Last Page!’.
‘Hurrah!’ I said. Wife wondered. I straight flipped to the last page.

Bbb..utt..

    The ad read: ‘If the seemingly meaningless words of our ad last two days could induce and retain your curiosity so intensely, you need to be woken up from the effects of the Opium of consumerism.  Let the Vishwamitra in you not be shaken up. Be the change.. Visit www.indiaicare.org.”

Dilip Patel





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17 comments:

  1. very innovative :)
    All the best for BAT

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    1. Thanks Snuffles Jay. I appreciate your feedback.

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  2. Interesting Dilip! All the best for BATM

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  3. A very interesting exploration of the human psyche and a literal "curiosity killed the cat" interpretation :)

    I enjoyed reading this. By the end of the first para, I myself wanted to rush to the end to find out what the ad was about!

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  4. Thanks Mixi for finding the story interesting.

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  5. Yes... there is nothing that brings more peace... and is more exciting than to be awakened to your own truth.... LOL..Brilliant take, Dilip. Enjoyed reading this..!!:)
    ATB for BAT!

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  6. Very unique plot conceived dude. I thought you were heading for a mosquito ad. Very creative dude.

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    1. Thanks Maun. I am glad to find that as a reader, you too started speculating, as I did while writing. So, the basics of generating curiosity were achieved.

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  7. wow! a a superb take on the topic!! :)

    Akila

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  8. haha! Consumerism is just a part of the post but I feel the crux of the post still remains how little things can begin to stick with us merely because they're somewhat mysterious.

    I think this has been one of the posts that according to me stands out. Nicely done.

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    1. Thanks Richi. Yes, at a subtle level it is about human response to curiosity. Thank you for finding the post different.

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  9. similar experiences have happened to me as well . . mind can turn highly restless and demanding sometimes ! holding onto ones true self is always rewarding . . the narration has delved into the theme in all its depth . . nice work sir :)

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  10. Thoughts on rampant consumerism, the lopsided GDP based economic development model and the impending strife in to the society would argue against these advertisements.//

    nice write!! and how the marketing lures us!

    note : you have word verification turned on, which makes commenting a lil difficult! turn it off if you with too!! ;)

    Do stop by my write - Woman Hitler. Love to hear from you *cheers*

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