Comple(x)city: The Ad(d) on

In a way, advertisement probably offers an intriguing version of a mirror. It brings the user face to face to a reality that it created through creating a need that s/he knew to have existed, but did not necessarily feel about it unless being shown. Advertising is that sort of mirror, a mirror that works upon premises of feeling - lust, longing, scare and so on.

In short, it's about creating a opt-in reality.  

Nothing in the world of advertisement is straight forward. It has to incite something in you. You could be perfectly fine in your own apartment unless you see the glossy billboard of a real estate ad. You probably would not have thought about the possibilities of sending your kid to a class that uses tablets to teach history lessons unless you have seen an appealing ad about that on your way to the office. The idea of going to the good old grocery store may suddenly seem to be a waste of time once you see the comfort of ordering grocery through just a tap on a mobile app. Your car is probably giving you the perfect mileage and comfort and you would not have thought about the comfort associated with extra leg-space unless and until you had seen a car ad that focuses just on that. I can just go on and on, but you get the drift.

You see, advertisements are twisted. And often deviously so because they have the power to implant something unnecessary as being an absolute necessity into our urban psyche.

And that is why advertisement is a completely urban phenomenon. It's the glossy super-code of the comple(x)city. It cannot work in villages, small towns, or even smaller cities where these kind of psychological possibilities, or subtlety of emotions are non-existent. And so, in places like that the purpose of advertising gets reduced to simple informational channels that are created out of direct needs (like "get coaching classes," "get all medicines"). 

But the equation changes the moment you step into any of India's teeming, monstrous metros where aspiration, desire, ambition, fear and all the other emotions are entangled with each other.

To create the perfect playground for a series of assaults on our very senses and ideas about life. And that is how the comple(x)city works.  

The opt-in reality distortion mirror 

*I could pull out zillions of such examples. But that could be a really long post that could turn out to be documentary in nature. So for sanity's sake, let me end with a particularly weird one that did the rounds a month or so ago across India's urban spaces. Something that gave the whole notion of contextualization an entirely new spin...