Yes the public are idiots

I love Tata Sky. They keep making ads that I can keep writing about.

First they claimed to revolutionize home entertainment, never mind that what they are providing is just improved signal fidelity on what the local cable guy anyway has been providing us for decades now, with an ad depicting people throwing out every home entertainment device they had (including television sets??!!??). Then they thought that a man dressed in grass along with a Hrithik Roshan was a funny way to depict the public’s affinity with cricket. Then it was the cartoons trying to bundle a Tata Sky box with a television set in an unbreakable bond. Never mind that those who threw out their TVs after seeing the first spot are still wondering where the picture appears on the new Tata Sky box they bought. Then it was the education campaign with the little Einstein spots – which was cute and made a good connect. And somewhere in between were the nice, simple and classy endorsements by the likes of Boman Irani and Kiron Kher – remember them standing on a stage in front of curtains reading a feedback letter in a microphone? Then came the 1500 /1499 kasamm se ad, which was hilarious and made an instant connect.

I thought they were improving. Then suddenly, we hear a jingle – “inke saath rahne ka raaz…” in an ad targetting family with choice-led togetherness (!!??!!) And after boring us with that irritating ad in a variety of lengths, they are back with the education focus. After that lengthy intro, let me describe the ad to you.

A kid who is happy to see bubbles, a ferris wheel and to get quite a handful of lollipops comes to share his glee with his father. In each case, the father connects the kid’s activity with some facet of education – like “colors batao…”, “ginke batao…”, “shape batao…”. Every time the kid gets a little disappointed and sad, and finally breaks out into tears.

A voiceover tells us all that kids should have fun in order to learn. Ergo, we should all take a Tata Sky to let our kids learn while having fun.

But I thought learning how to count was more fun if I was counting real soap bubbles rather than counting with a badly-designed interface with numbers in comic sans! 🙂 And learning about shapes was more fun and done better with seeing shapes in real life. And that making the child learn in the real world is preferable to binding your child to the “idiot-box”.

And anyways, the child in the ad was not crying because he found this way of learning wrong, but because he did not want to learn while he was having fun. So what are the odds that he would like to “learn” with the television? The “solution” proposed by the ad is not really a solution, it just transfers the problem from outdoors to indoors.

Thanks to Tata Sky for reminding us that the public are idiots…

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