Fastrack’s Ad: WTF?
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:
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.
WHERE ARE OUR GUARDIANS OF CULTURE NOW?
I guess nobody paid them.