Recently the central government has proposed to the Supreme Court for monitoring the Internet and for strict regulation and punishments with regard to postings on various social networking sites. The government appealed to the Supreme Court saying that unlike the print and television, the internet does not have any institutional mechanism to check or pre-sensor the content. I think it was also premature on the part of the government to say that the reach of internet is wider as it is reaching millions of people. As more than 70% of the Indian population still does not have the internet connectivity. The government rather regulating the content on the internet should seriously think of regulating the content on television and especially with regard to advertisements that we see every day repeatedly on television. Much of the content and especially the advertisements that we watch every day acts at conscious and subconscious levels.

The present advertisements have lot of humor that not only attract the audience but also sell the products. The advertising agencies in the recent have gone one step ahead in also incorporating the slang. May be the advertising agencies and the companies must be of the opinion that people would not notice or that they take for granted. We can find a clear distinction in the use of language compared to the past, in the recent past we have been seeing and also hearing the slang slowly but steadily making its way into small screen that was earlier confined to movies. This latest trend of using slang has been taken for granted by many, as we see no reactions to these advertisements. But in reality it may harm in the long run or maybe, we are getting used to such slang that we do not find any offence. Many of the slangs that are used in films and now in television are ignored by the censored board (silver screen) and this in my opinion has done more harm. Slowly the slangs like (Aabay, Sala, Kameena, S**t, f**k) have become very much part of our Jargon, the kids and other teens who watch these movies and who come across such words frequently, have been found to use the slange specially when they are angry. Many other words are put in indirect a way in films (double meaning).What we see today is the open use of these slangs in film and television screens across Indian. More than the film the television has a huge impact on its viewer’s/audience as they are exposed to these words very frequently on a given day. And this happens especially when the people are glued to the television during the cricket matches. The following three advertisements are found to be in use of the slang, and I think this is just the starting, if we are not going to keep silent, we are in for many more such advertisement that may use these words.
The slang Aabaythu Match dekna from Kotak Mahindra

Take for instance the Kotak Mahindra Advertisement that also promotes the use of twitter, (product placement) the advertisement is to attract the younger generation as it portrays the youth. In the advertisement we see a group of students vacating their rented house and moving to a new, in the process they not only show the use of mobile internet banking and other such facilities that the bank has to offer including the use of twitter to access other things, the audience come across the slang that Kotak Mahindra avoided in much of its earlier advertisements. The earlier advertisements were more meaningful and attractive when compared to the latest that we see on television. The use of the slang like Aabay in the end of the advertisement is disturbing as one of the guy who uses the mobile for solving problems uses the slang, as he says Aabaythu Match dek na.

The slang Kyon Bay and Aabay thera problem kay from Snickers

In the Snickers advertisement we come across the slang like Kyon Bay and Abay. Many of the Snickers Indian advertisements are found to be unimpressive and boring. The advertisements that have Rekha and Sonam Kapoor have been found to use the slang. In one of the advertisement we find Rekha fuming and shouting at the other guysin the car, when one of the guy hands over a Snicker chocolate and ask her to eat she uses the slangKyon Bay,while in another advertisement where Sonam Kapoor does not want to push the jeep (vehicle), one of the guys at the driving seat uses the slang saying Aabay thera problem kay. In both the advertisements one of the guy turns into a women when they get angry, Man + Hunger = Woman (Rekha, Urmila and Sonam) this could also be demeaning to the other sex.

The slang F**k from Savan Application Advertisement with Ranbirkapoor(SavanKa No Gali Cricket Abhiyan)

There is no doubt that everyone wants to cash in on the Cricket World Cup fever, the companies and advertising agencies try to maximize their popularity by airing the advertisement especially when they know that millions of people are watching the television during the world cup. In thelatest Savan advertisement that is on air during the live matches, the Advertising agency has used the least spoken slangs, out of the three slangs that Ranbir Kapoor uses, and that the audiences could easily makeup/understandthough it is censored.TheslangF**K is more prominent out of the three that he uses. Though the advertisement says that this Cricket World Cup match’s should be free of swearing/slangs, the irony is the person (Ranbir Kapoor) in the advertisement who says that one should avoid using such slangs uses them on screen. The use of the slang in the advertisement is more visible (though not audible) unlike in the cricket matches.

Some of the companies with their advertising promote peace, freedom, national integrity, institutional values, and also taking care of people’s sentiments in the society. But few companies and advertising agencies have been of late ignoring these fundamental ethics in order to attract the younger generation or to be more creative. But the creativity should be not at the cost of people’s sentiments and hurting or degrading the others. We hope the companies and the advertising agencies will be more socially responsible which they are to a large extent.

About the Author: The author is a faculty (Assistant Professor) in the department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Tezpur University, Assam, India. Having nine years of teaching experience and specialization in Electronic Media, Television Production and Editing. [Read More]


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