Lingerie: your choice, not salesman's

RAMESH NARAYAN | Updated on January 20, 2018


Addendum is a weekly column that takes a sometimes hard, sometimes casual, sometimes irreverent yet never malicious look at some of the new or recent advertisements and comments on them.

I’ve often wondered why many (and in earlier days, all) lingerie shops had salesmen. What I mean to say is, why not saleswomen? So women shopping in the smaller shops need to put themselves through the embarrassment of asking “salesman bhaiyya” for details about range and fit which could leave them a trifle red-faced. And since traditionally, men rarely shop for women’s lingerie in India this is something women have had to live with.

Zivame and Famous Innovations now give you, my lady, the option of shopping for your lingerie online. And they have created two interesting TVCs to illustrate the point. The first one addresses the issue of fit by very insightfully asking the simple question, would you stuff your left foot into a “right”-foot shoe? Then why even consider a forced fit when buying a bra?

And the second film talks about the possible awkwardness when asking for either racy lingerie or a particular fit. The actor says it rather nicely. The salesman’s eyes widen and he begins to mentally become very judgmental. So, very often a customer meekly accepts the choice of the salesman instead of going through the ordeal of discussing exactly what she wants with him.

I love the way this film ends with the actor saying, shop comfortably on Zivame, or wear the favourite bra of “salesman bhaiyya”. That should do the trick.

Just mango bango

Remember the earlier Frooti TVC that had the mantra Suck-it-a Lick-it-a? No? Neither do I. But Frooti thinks we do. So there we have Shah Rukh Khan unsuccessfully trying to open a door that says Frooti Life. Finally he remembers the mantra, says it, actually licks the door handle and is teleported into a mangolicious world where everyone and everything, including a cute little Tibetan monk, is the colour of golden mangoes and is dancing the Mango Bango. So SRK joins in with his normal energy, and then finds himself suddenly back on an aseptic, colourless film set. A sip of Frooti brings some colour back into the frame and SRK exhorts you to ‘live the Frooti life”, whatever that means.

Why the little Tibetan monk, why the gold colour goat, why the funny characters in the Frooti world? Why the need to lick the door handle? The only answer could be “why not?” Suspend belief and logic. Enjoy the presence and charisma of King Khan and don’t think too much. It’s summer and a mango drink is most welcome. Remember this is not mumbo jumbo. It’s mango bango.

Taste the feeling

There’s a new TVC for Coca Cola. A local rendition of a global campaign. That means an Indian adaptation of a foreign TVC. That means a copycat ad. But let me say I saw the American version and I saw the Indian version. Siddharth Malhotra is hotter and the shop assistant is definitely cuter than the actors in the other version. Apart from that? Well, it’s the same old story. Drink a Coke and you can actually taste the feeling. Ho Hum!

Bilkul Pakka

Flipkart has two little gems from Lowe Lintas. One TVC highlights the fact that you get only original products on Flipkart and the other the fact that you can easily exchange goods you have bought. The casting and acting of the cast is superb. The script is tight, almost staccato with dead pan looks through the film and hint of emotion toward the end. The use of the familiar question that seeks reassurance, “Pukka?” and the reply “bilkul pakka” is a great insight to build a creative idea around. It does its job well. I smiled broadly. And so will you. Bilkul Pakka.

Ramesh Narayan is a communications consultant. Mail your queries to

Published on April 07, 2016

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