Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Advertisements and Paradox Thinking...

It is time for me to go back to talking about one of my favourite topics - paradox thinking. The new advertisement for Mentos (mint/breath freshener) involves some cool paradox thinking. It shows a college-going boy walk into the class late only to be kicked out. The next day, he pops in a Mentos and, lo and behold, he starts thinking fresh/better :). He takes a few steps in the backward direction into the class and motions as if going out (puts his hands and legs out in the opposite direction) just when the lecturer who is busy scribbling something on the blackboard turns around to see what’s happening. This time around, as expected by the ad-hero, the lecturer asks him where he thinks he is going and asks him to sit down. Mission accomplished. All it took was ‘simple’ paradox thinking.

Another advertisement that illustrates paradox thinking is LG. A boy watches a monk struggle to fetch a bucket of water on an extremely rainy day. The rain and wind tugs hard at the umbrella that the monk is holding and the pail of water drops and spills all over. The solution that the boy thinks of? A double-umbrella – a regular umbrella that has another umbrella which is turned upside down - minus the stick - on top of it. This takes care of the balancing, as well as rain water ‘harvesting’. :) Brilliant, eh?!

Another advt. that I like is, again, somewhat paradoxical in its thinking - the ‘Bajaj Avenger – I feel like God’ advt. A mobike (Bajaj Avenger) rider, as he rides through a beautiful-looking highway, recalls all those who have ‘wronged’ him and soliloquizes. He says he forgives them all, one by one till he finally says “I feel like God” - Just a second before he concludes that he feels like God, a localite collecting flowers (or whatever that is) from plants planted on the side of the road stretches up in pain but bends down immediately to get back to work as if it was the mobike rider’s blessings that relieved him of the pain. Impressive! The paradoxical aspects of the advt., to my mind, include forgiveness that is a rare virtue in today’s impatient and aggressive youngsters, and the name of the bike - ‘Avenger’ - has a ‘lot’ to do with forgiveness, ain’t it?! ;) Paradox thinking is no doubt attention-grabbing…at least; it is immensely appealing to me.


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