Some of the advertisements that we have seen on television and in print are genuinely thought-provoking. Some of them are just blah, and really donât compel any action.
With that being said, there are a few instances where advertisers went a little too far and had our imaginations running wild.
From the ones selling deodorants to the ones selling condoms, there have been a number of advertisements that were a little too hot to handle, especially for the time when they were launched.
Obviously, most of them were pulled down almost immediately, because of the number of police cases and social uproar that they caused. Still, they remained in the zeitgeist through the ages.
Here are some of the advertisements we have seen on television and print, that pushed the envelope a little too far when they were trying to sell us some basic fashion & grooming products. Apparently, the copywriters followed the proverb, âSex Sells,â a little too religiously:
1. Amul Macho
Back in the day, Amul Macho had a number of campaigns with the catchphrase, âYe To Bada Toing Haiâ.
In one of the raunchier ones, a newly-wedded bride takes some clothes to a riverbank where the women of the community meet, bathe and wash their clothes.
What follows is a sequence of the bride orgasming and performing some gratifying innuendo like actions while washing the boxer, while the onlooking women look in disbelief. For the early 2000s, this was obviously a little too hot to handle.
2. Axe Deodorants
Okay, this one just had to make the list. This notion that *** sells is perhaps best embodied by most of Axeâs advertising campaigns.
For the longest time, no matter what the variant of their deodorant was, all of their campaigns had one basic message - using our deodorant will make women lose their sense of inhibition and chase you like wild animals.
Hoards of scantily clad women, in bikinis or tattered clothes, would chase a guy all throughout a place, a city, a jungle or whatever you will, eager to âdevourâ him.
3. Set Wet Zatak
This was another deodorant advertisement that was a little too hot for national television.
In this one, a newly-married woman is shown to be waiting for her husband on their wedding night, when she sees her neighbour using a deodorant. The bride starts taking off her ornaments and jewellery in a very suggestive and sultry manner and ultimately takes the wedding ring off, further suggesting some rather raunchy things.
Obviously, this advertisement was not taken well and was pulled, after a huge public backlash.
Fastrack has been pretty forward with their branding, where the focus is essentially on the younger generation.
Back in the day, they featured a TVC where Virat Kohli, as a pilot, is being hit on a stewardess portrayed by Genelia DâSouza. The two get a little busy in the cockpit, after a rather raunchy back and forth. This, the ad says was the reason why autopilot was invented.
Well, whatever the intent was, the TVC did not sit well with the masses, and certainly not well, with anyone who was a pilot, or a stewardess.
5. Wild Stone Deodorants
Yet another deodorant TVC that pushed the envelope too far, Wild Stone had run this campaign, albeit for a brief period of time.
Here, our âhunkâ steps out after applying the deodorant and bumps into a married Bengali woman. What follows is the woman, imagining the two of them âpassionately huggingâ each other, and making love. Although the sequence was shot rather artistically, and without getting vulgar, it still was considered a little too steamy for the regular television watching audience.
We simply cannot mention Calida, and their print ad from 1998. Calida is a Swiss inner garment manufacturer who tried to establish themselves in India.
In the ad, we see Bipasha Basu, and Dino Morea getting a little amorous. Considering that this was before the turn of the millennium, and India still a rather conservative society back then, the advertisement did not sit well.
7. Tuff Shoes
Finally, we have the poster boy of controversial Indian advertisements, the one from Tuff shoes, printed back in 1995. The print ad featured supermodel Madhu Sapre & Milind Soman and was shot by the ace Indian photographer, Prabuddha Dasgupta.
In the advertisement, the two models are wearing nothing but the sneakers, and have wrapped a snake around them. Apart from the hullabaloo from the self-appointed protectors of Indian culture, there was also a long drawn court case over the use of the python.
We can only imagine the horror that would terrorise people when they were sitting with their families and these popped up on the television. Yikes!