Remember Cibaca Toothpaste? I do. Not the paste’s taste or how it helped make my pearly whites even whiter. I remember, as a child, I used to open the box for the tiny rubber animals that popped out as freebies. Despite the fact that all animals looked like dinosaurs even when they were meant to be something else entirely. Still, till the offer was ‘open till stocks last’, my family used Cibaca. Two members out of four were hooked to it, after all.
And that phase of 7Up challenges? You collected a certain number of those rings inside the metal caps, snail mailed and claimed goodies like magic coins and fancy straws. What a rage it was! I don’t remember drinking that much 7Up, but I do remember managing a museum of ‘collector’s items’, the biggest one in the colony. But Maggi I ate, all of it, for the empty packets got me fish stamps to feel like an unbeatable philatelist.
But today, my perception of the consumer’s world has changed. I view things differently, not because I am no longer a child but also because I am a mother to a child. And when you bring that role in, just about anything in today’s times transforms into a big warty ogre out to gobble up your little one’s mind. This, mostly through the crystal clear high-definition TV sets that make life flash before our kids’ eyes. And most irresponsibly through the strange advertisements that occupy a large chunk of our viewing time.
Today, it’s Honda City’s latest advert ‘Masha Allah – The Greater Drive’, which amazes me and scares me – for its nonsensical premise and its intent to influence my child’s mind, respectively.
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