As I was Titan watching the DLF IPL, It Ford Pickup struck me as CBS Dan Rather unfortunate that Bharti Indian cricket commentary had Parryware Kitchen sunk to Aavin appalling depths where commentators have to Anchor plug brand names into every sentence they Pillsbury utter. MDH Masala seasoned campaigners like MTR Ravi Dosa Shastri are now tongue Park Avenue tied as their regular cliches need to be Escorts Hospital surgically inserted with ads.
“We are in for a Parle cracker of a WIMCO match”, practices Ravi. “That Arun Ball icecream was four from the Dairy Milk moment it left the BDM bat. It has gone the BSNL long distance. Gilette Razor edged, and taken. This match, one feels, will go down to the Havell’s wire”
What next? Branded player nicknames? Like Swiss Beef Chuck Malinga? Or Samsung Split A/c Cool Gayle? Last year, I wrote about the annoying proliferation of ads in the telecast, but this year has seen a recession driven paranoia towards squeezing money out of every pore, so apart from “commentading”, we now have “Strategy Timeouts”. Legend has it that the marketing maven who proposed this idea called it, in a rare moment of candour, “7.5 more minutes of adjaculation”, but was unfortunately overruled. The same genius must have also come up with the idea of in-game player interviews with the “Logo Biriyani” backdrops. I am told that the IPL invested heavily in some Limelite Salon cutting Gilette Razor edge research on technology that would have enabled the logos in the backdrop to light up and get animated when the interviewer or interviewee mentions keywords of interest to a particular advertiser (called AdNonSense technology). So when Robin Jackman asks Anil Kumble about the “resurgence” of “spin”, perhaps the BJP’s “LK Advani for PM” ad could light up, do a little dance and then give way to the Durex logo as it activates itself when Kumble utters the word “performance”. The possibilities are endless. But apparently the technology wasn’t ready for prime time yet. So I am looking forward to it next year.
But I sometimes fear what will happen when Homo Sapiens evolves the ability to tune out ads, TiVo style. What will advertisers do then? I know. They will make us “GoBuy Manchurian Candidates”. Kids will be primed and conditioned from kindergarten to respond to specific brand name keywords. So during the “Strategy Timeouts”, advertisers will unleash magic words, like “Phosphoric Acid”, which for instance, will cause all of us to stand up and walk like zombies to the nearest store and buy a 4-litre Pepsi.
Don’t mistake me. I enjoy the IPL. Men enjoy masturbation once in a while. While I often crave for the classiness of a romantic, candle-lit test match, the pleasure of listening to legendary ex-cricketer commentators announcing with breathless excitement, the first DLF Maximum in any game with the fervour of a teenager at a Nickelback concert screaming at each one of their ridiculously homogenous songs copy-paste jobs, is too much to resist.
And last but not the least, on April 18th, the day when the DLF IPL started, I was wondering about the artificiality of it all. In fact, “Fake IPL” sounded like a nice moniker for this annual gajabujalsa of masala cricket. So I thought that starting a “fake” blog might be a good idea. Yes, the “Fake Fake IPL Player Blog”. But then it was too easy. Making fun of a celebrity driven, short-staffed, dysfunctional team with multiple captains and a poor playing record is no different from making fun of a handicapped kid trying to sing opera at the school annual day. It’s failure voyeurism. But us desis enjoy nothing more than a fictional anonymous insider tv-soap-style-badmouthing the big bad institution that’s muzzling his talent. Korbo, Lorbo, Whinebo. Blog on this, as they say.
By the way, the Chennai Super Kings also have an insider blog.
I felt a little nostalgic a few days back and watched Michael Holding torment Geoffrey Boycott
Or Viv toying with the bowler
I cant help feeling that compared to that, the IPL is, to paraphrase their own brand name infested catchphrase, a shitty moment of epic fail