Tele-marketing…watte hoot!

Home for the last two weeks almost, I find myself back at my good old favourite pastime of channel surfing. With the new set-top box at home, we’ve got more channels than I can take. We’ve got Australian, Russian, French and even a Nepali channel. But the most interesting one is the perpetual tele-marketing channel, which has been the source of man LOLs,ROFLs and ROFLMAOs over the last few days. Not only are the products terrible, the advertising methods are extremely hilarious, and weak, that anyone buying one of those products ought to have his/her noggin checked by a shrink.

One of the most awesome products is the ‘English Guru’; a package that contains books guaranteed to teach you English, with whose knowledge you can conquer the world. Alright, I believe that the package might help with a basic grasp of the English language, but it is in no way going to make you a king from a pauper. A couple of the tear-jerking (because it is so hilarious) stories are as follows:

i) “I used to be a peon serving tea at an office. I was tired of this lifestyle, so my wife ordered this English Guru package for me. I studied it day and night, even under candle light, thanks to the incessant storm that caused the electricity to be shut off. One day, no one was there in the office. The telephone in the boss’ cabin began to ring. Knowing perfectly well that I am a peon, and that normally peons do not pick up telephone calls, but my boss’ secretary and he were out for a cootchie-coo session, I decided to pick the phone up and tell the MD on the other side that my boss was not around. He was so shocked and impressed that a peon was speaking such eloquent English that he overlooked the fact that neither the boss nor his secretary were picking up the calls and that the peon had no right to pick up calls himself, that he promoted me to junior salesman. In less than a year, my boss was fired and I was made the regional sales manager. All because of my broken English and terribly fake accent that I picked up from watching too many Hindi movies”

ii) “I was always good at studies, I got admission into a top college. I was not used to this lifestyle of people speaking English. I felt desperate and did not have a girlfriend. (The dude actually said this). My brother ordered the English Guru package for me. With determination, I studied the package. (Scenes of boy pumping his fists in the air after reading the first page, followed by him sitting late into the night staring at a book looking quite perplexed, yet nodding his head) Today, my English is really good. And all the girls like me. I have many girlfriends now. (So basically, this dude learnt English to pick up girls….)

The sad part about all these ads is that the guys speaking English generally have really fake accents, by-product of watching too much American television. For a dude who barely knew a word, to a guy suddenly rolling the R’s….what a change! The part that always cracks me up is that the dude in the second case becomes a major player just because he learnt English. By that logic, Mr.Wren and Mr.Martin should have been the most happening people around, but I guess most of their evenings were spent proof-reading their own books. Maybe the English Guru comes with a handbook – How to impress girls with broken English. I am almost tempted to buy that, but the exciting lifestyle of Wren and Martin is far too tempting for me to waste time learning how to mess up my English for the sake of picking up girls. Obviously, the genius who made these ads appeals to a certain ‘stupid’ side of society who believe that a good command over the English language makes women fall head over heels. I know bad English is a turn off, I cannot certify for good English though.

Another hilarious feature of this channel is the brilliant way in which they have packaged religion and faith, put it into little boxes, pasted a price tag and are selling it. I always thought that religion and faith were personal matters and did not really have a price. The number of anklets, necklaces, rings, and other paraphernalia being sold with the promise that it would keep bad spirits, and ill wishes away, is mind-boggling. Another heart warming story –

“I had a huge trucking business. I used to work very hard and soon became successful. One day, I was carelessly counting my bundles of money when my friend Ramu walked in to say hello. I did not lift my eyes up and continued counting money. Ramu was staring at all the money I had. And suddenly ill luck fell upon me. I got a call saying that 3 out of my 4 trucks had crashed. Many of my clients cancelled their orders. My engagement got called off. My father fell ill at home, and my younger brother was not doing well at school. All this was Ramu’s fault.

I was watching TV ( with this really hot woman….who seems to be sitting a little too close to me for comfort….but then, we are good friends only, I was to be engaged to someone else. I must have got her after impressing her with my excellent English from English guru) when I saw this ad for Durga Maata’s pendent which was cast in the kailash mountain when she was fighting the Asuras. I decided to buy the pendant. (I believe this is how Sauron managed to market those rings of doom).

From the next day, my father became alright, my younger brother started doing well at school. My trucking business grew manifold….from owning 4 broken down Ashok Leyland trucks, I now own 25 18-wheel Monster Trucks (just like the ones in the US). And to top it all off, Lakshmi came back into the house. And I don’t mean money, I also mean that not only did I get engaged to this girl called Lakshmi, we got married soon after. I have not heard from the hot girl who was next to me when I made this life-changing purchase”

If it were only so easy, can someone cut me a slice of that pie please? Karan Johar can make a movie out of this....actually, let Sanjay Leela Bhansali do the first half where the guy loses everything, and Johar make the second half where everything is opulent and dandy!

Don’t even get me started on the products for weight loss. I am sure that none of them work. Besides, they always show these well-toned people using them and saying they lost weight. Why don’t you try the same on a Brontosaurus and we’ll see if you’re still talking then? I'm not looking to mock anyone who actually benefited from these products, all cheers to you if you managed to lose 30 kilos in 2 months while learning english after which you got a girlfriend and then bought some religious mumbo-jumbo thingie and became a millionaire. But honestly, is it so easy?

The devil does wear Prada…or a really good suit!

Heart has its reason which reason knows nothing of