Who travels now to make calls?
When almost all of the estimated 600,000 army personnel stationed in J&K are provided with mobile communication facilities to be in constant touch with their kin, an advertisement by an online portal shows an Army man travelling all alone into a Kashmiri village to use a local youth’s phone to call his family.
A recent advertisement film by OLX, a buy and sell website, titled ‘Keemat Bhi, Kuch Keemti Bhi’ projects an unrealistic and expired logic to try to get their message across.
Designed and conceptualized by Lowe Lintas, an international marketing communications company, the film showcases an army officer receiving the news of him becoming a father via phone at a local shop near his camp (never mind the concept of STD shops ended years back) set somewhere in meadows of Kashmir. The officer could not see his daughter’s image as he does not have a mobile phone. Realizing his pain, the local shopkeeper upgrades his phone using OLX and travels all the way to the army camp to show the photograph.
Even though the advertisement tries to portray Kashmir’s hospitality and a bond of friendship between the two, the credibility of the entire subject is dubious, most of the local viewers say.
“An Army officer coming out of his camp all alone without any sentries to make a call back home from a Kashmiri’s phone, the whole scene is way far away from reality and logic, besides can’t he afford one,” says Sibtain Haider, a media student who specialises in advertisement.
The last scene shows the local shopkeeper, clad in Pheran (cloak worn mostly in winters), running towards an army camp.
“A dangerous affair, you don’t want to run and that too wearing a pheran towards an Army Camp, 9 out of 10 times you are sure to get shot even before reaching the camp gate,” says, Mohammad Younis, a local who lives near an army camp in south Kashmir’s Awantipora area.
Specialists in advertising find this ad confusing and snappy. Adrian Mendonza, Independent Creative Consultant and Proprietor, Rain 7 Creative in one of his online statements says that “the production, casting and music are right but how come a military officer comes so far to receive a phone call. Army camps have all such facilities and gone are those days when such situation used to prevail.”