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Fastrack’s Ad: WTF?

23rd June, 2010

There. I said it. WTF. This is the first WTF on my blog.

I try to be a little decent around here. Posts are written in good courteous language. Images are of the appropriate variety. Maybe my first deviation from this rule starts with the post you’re currently reading.

First, I’ll use the three-letter abbreviation WTF.

After that, I’ll show you the following image:

Yup, I’m speechless.

Why would Fastrack do that?

Fastrack is a brand of sunglasses, watches and other accessories, a spin-off of Titan that targets the “urban youth” (their words, not mine). Their designs are somewhere between disgustingly-hopelessly-plain-ugly to just-plan-ugly, but there are some outliers. Some, if I may say so, look cool.

And that is what Fastrack wants to be. Cool. They want the owner’s-pride-neighbour’s-envy feel. They want to be associated with uber-chic. Apparently that means you’re the “urban youth”.

It’s implicit that they want their brand to “click” with their target audience. That brings us to the question: What does the “urban youth” do today?

Abuse like hell!

Okay okay, I over-generalize. I have no actual facts or figures, and am basing this point entirely on my childhood experience. But, my god, do kids abuse these days! You know the age at which they are first introduced to verbal abuses keeps on dropping?

There are a variety of sources from which kids learn abuses. Peers (the most helpful here), seniors, television, internet, and sometimes even lose-lipped elders.

On a side note, I feel there are only a certain set of abuses. A limited vocabulary. Each word is still the same, and it’s “impact” on usage hasn’t changed much. I’m a little upset that we haven’t innovated here. Compare the casual greeting phrase “what is up?”. So much innovation has gone into breeding this into shorter and more cryptic words/phrases, which sound much cooler than what was used before. All this innovation has happened in recent times, mind you. Where’s the cryptic form of the B-word, or the F-word?

But I digress.

Our advertising body feels the verbal abuse connects well with the “urban youth”. I will not disagree here.

But What About the Sanctity of Indian Culture?

(That was sarcasm, dear patrons of three-letter abbreviations representing political bodies that have self-appointed themselves as gatekeepers of what they call Indian culture.)

I just want to assess the impact of this advertising campaign, focusing on who it will piss off. I quite understand that.

I’m a twenty-something, and I get pissed off seeing ads of life insurance policies that were clearly not targeted at me. The ads have parents watching over kids learning cycling, or babies walking for the first time, or some wifey walking into a new house for the first time. How is that got to do with anything I do? No common ground, nothing, yet they shove it at my face every time I see the television. Pissing off!

Similarly, this Fastrack ad will piss off someone. There would be a section of society that will feel disconnected, a little lost. Any producer of publicly-consumable content must keep in mind who s/he intends to piss off. And then trade-offs have to be made.

But I’m surprised they haven’t done anything.

No-one related to this campaign had his/her face painted black. No girl (wearing Fastrack sunglasses) was pulled out of a club. No billboards torn down. Nothing.


I guess nobody paid them.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Priyanka the mazer permalink
    23rd June, 2010 8:33 PM

    Thought Provoking, really. The point is that the generation we belong to has been labeled – irresponsible. We are, if you think about it. And its not just about the abusive language, i think the whole approach is irresponsible!

  2. kabir permalink
    29th June, 2010 1:31 PM

    the advert is F*****cking awsome!

  3. Shantanu permalink
    22nd October, 2010 12:44 PM

    The point of advertising is to appeal to the masses and I think Fastrack get to their target group quite brilliantly with this one. Granted, there is very often a disconnect between the product and the target group. But if we made ads that appealed to people across all age groups, socio-economic and moral backgrounds, advertising as we know it would die a slow and painful death.

    • 22nd October, 2010 2:16 PM

      Shantanu, Thanks for dropping by!

      I just love the words you used –

      But if we made ads that appealed to people across all age groups, socio-economic and moral backgrounds, advertising as we know it would die a slow and painful death.

      I agree with you here. I guess I was disappointed that there was no backlash to this advertisement. (It was close to the time when the Mangalore-pub-girl-beating incident happened!)

      In fact, if you think about it, if you and I are still talking about an advertising campaign that ran almost half a year ago, it’s made its impact!

  4. 23rd October, 2010 1:06 AM

    The new fast-track TV ads rock too. The guy walks up behind the girl and leans over her only to look at a watch. Idealistic, but not a practical product. WOuld you like to walk around with those huge watches hanging off your belt? New fast-track products=fail.

    • 23rd October, 2010 7:51 AM

      Doesn’t it look very 18th century? Seriously, what were they thinking! We all wear wrist-watches, and that’s what you, Fastrack, should make!

      Thanks for dropping by, Nikhil!

  5. 7th June, 2011 9:32 PM

    I think they suck, I hate the whole relationships-as-products line they’re endorsing, it went beyond kids swapping accessories when the fuck-buddy/boyfriend excess baggage thing began with Genelia and the other guy. Where is the self-righteous hypocrite brigade, truly.

  6. 22nd July, 2012 10:05 AM

    i think ‘we the youth’ are culpable,
    we are obsessed with F-word…
    we can no more convey our feelings without its usage..
    we adore the movies loaded with it..

    they are just selling their product…wat-so-ever..

    nice post kartikay!!!!


    • 27th July, 2012 7:49 PM

      Interesting how such language is becoming more and more prominent in mainstream media.

      Well, that’s advertising!

      Thanks for dropping by Manashree!

  7. 13th December, 2012 3:45 PM

    Have you ever started reading random blogs and become excited because one random post by that random blogger is similar to yours?

    • 14th December, 2012 3:45 AM

      Wow! Super-awesome-connection-thingmie-happening! Fun reading your blog as well – though YOU NEED TO START BLOGGING!

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