If you are an advertiser trying to sell any product in Pakistan, what should be on your wish list? If you are smart and want to make your life easy, you would want Shahid Afridi as your brand ambassador/model/spokesperson. However some advertisers cannot even properly use a brand ambassador as universally adored as Shahid Afridi and screw up gallactically.
I think just about everyone has seen the latest television commercial (TVC) for Head & Shoulders featuring Shahid Afridi and Ramiz Raja. The concept is that a hot headed Afridi is practicing in the nets and is getting bowled on every ball. Ramiz Raja asks him to cool down and hands him a bottle of Head & Shoulders. Just after one hair wash, Afridi has cooled down to the extent that he can actually block a ball. Other cricketers celebrate an occasional sixer, but Afridi – for whom sixers are as commonplace as dot balls – actually celebrates successfully blocking a ball. The TVC, though kinda lame, is still bearable. It is the radio commercial that drives you crazy.
The radio commercial features Ramiz Raja in his real life role of a cricket commentator. He is talking about how Afridi is getting beaten by the ball all the time. The copy that follows is so gigantically fucked up, it’s unbelievable. It goes something like:
“Drinks break shuru hua, aur yeh kya, Afridi ne pani ki jagah Head & Shoulders ki bottle mangwai aur waheen ground mein apna sar dhona shuru kar diya, ab Afridi cool ho gaye aur unhon ne buhat hi achi tarah ball ko rok liya. Is baat pe poora ground ek sath chilla utha – Afridi cool cool.”
I mean seriously?
Who wrote that copy and the more important question is who approved that copy? Can you seriously imagine Afridi washing his hair in the middle of a cricket ground during drinks break? You realize what kind of havoc a scene like that would wreak? All the ladies – and quite a few men – would break all the cordons and battle the security to get up close and personal with the erstwhile skipper. They would also want to lend him a hand or two, to wash his hair, to hold the bottle of shampoo and the water bucket (I am assuming that Afridi would need a bucket of water to rinse off that shampoo). What I find most disconcerting is that no one else seems to be disturbed by a radio commercial as crazy as this one.
Another important question that needs to be answered is who, in the God’s name, is handling Afridi’s commercial endorsements? Anyone who allows our beloved Lala to feature in TVCs as lame as this one should either be lobotomized or banished to the deep dark dungeons.
PS: It’s a Saatchi & Saatchi advert. If anyone of my readers knows people in either Saatchi & Saatchi or P&G, make them read my post and tell them how awful their effort is. If anyone of you knows Shahid Afridi, ask him to hire me as his image manager, coz I am the best person for the job.