Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Has anyone seen the recent ads for Tata Manza and Bajaj Pulsar? And am I the only one who find them in bad taste?

Okay... for those who haven't seen them yet, I'll give you a short summary - 

For Tata Manza, they have a bunch of Japanese people waiting with a Tata Manza for their CEO from some company called Nippon Motors (In reality, Nippon Motors sells used car engines from Japan and is based in California).They find the car amazing (what's new!) and he asks them the rhetorical question, "What should we do?" for which one cocky engineer replies that they should buy it immediately. For this, the CEO (Called Tanuka-san) locks the cocky engineer in the boot of the Tata Manza and drives the car home (presumed). 

(The Ad under discussion)

Here's what I find appalling in this ad:
  1. In the current scenario, the Japanese are some of the best there is in the field of automobile engineering. Sure, the Indian counterparts are good. But let's not forget that the Japanese spend more on R&D than Indians. And after having gone through this ad, I guess I'm beginning to understand where the Indian companies spend their money!
  2. Japan is an extremely hierarchical place and you will never find an employee address the CEO by name! Heck! I'm sure they call their CEO something like "CEO-sama" or "Sachou-sama" or some other thing along those lines! Yep! Japan's like that. Deal with it!
  3. Coming to the cocky engineer, it would've been marginally better if the engineer was someone working for Tata and the CEO decided he needed the extra brain to make better cars for his own company. I highly doubt if the CEO would actually pack his own employees into the boot for stating something that he must be thinking himself! I'm sure if the car is all that, the Japanese would buy one to reverse engineer, straighten the kinks and sell it right back to the Indians! Or... they might come up with a better idea altogether!
  4. The CEO from the ad looks and behaves more like some leader from the Yakuza than like the head of a multinational.
  5. Then again, when I did Google "Nippon motors", I got the website of a company that buys used engines from Japan. Hmmmm... maaaaaybe, the folks at Tata are saying that their car gives a better performance than a second-hand car with a second-hand engine from Japan? If that is so, I'm sure it isn't something to feel proud about! Ah... a self deprecating pun in the ad, eh Tata?

And now for the next ad that irks me!

The Bajaj Pulsar DTS-i. It has a couple of scenes where you have Japanese people in different settings exclaiming "Hontou?" and then the stupidity takes over with some puntz dropping a caption - 

"HUNTO = Unbelievable"

The first time I saw this ad, I was most unfortunately in the middle of drinking water. And without a doubt, I almost splurted it out!

(Only two words escape my mouth - Oy Vey!)

I am not going to list out the different things that's wrong with this ad... because it would be endless.

If there's one thing that ticks me off is when someone assumes they know the culture of a country and then butcher it with the ignorance that clouds their pea-brain. If I could meet the Baka who came up with this ad idea, I'll have him fed to rabid Mononoke without a doubt! Forget the bike specifications and how Bajaj is supposed to be better than the Japanese counterparts, why would you murder a language when you probably had more than enough resources to do your research to know that THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS HUNTO IN JAPANESE!!!!!? 
I mean, you have enough funds to film in Japan, show the Yakuza relaxing in an Ofuro, Japanese women in furisode (with their right lapels over their left - they only dress the dead that way... so, they're dead women discussing automobiles?! Seriously... research, idiots!) but you can't take a Japanese dictionary off the shelf of some book store to check if a word like HUNTO exists? (you don't even have to buy the god-damned dictionary!)

And then calling the Pulsar a "sports bike"! Ai Eru! I may not be the most auto-savvy person on the planet, but I know enough to say that the Pulsar is NOT a Sports Bike! I'm the one who drooled over a Hayabusa and THAT is a Sports Bike! Jeez... are they taking Indians for idiots? Or have the higher ups at Bajaj finally lost their noggins?! 

I think they should be locked up in the boot of the Yakuza CEO's car for punishment!

Disclaimer: Sure, I don't know much about bikes or cars. And yep, I still hate the ads mentioned above for the simple reason that they are inaccurate as far as the Japanese cultural aspect is concerned. I don't understand why we get so worked up about somebody showing India as nothing more than a land of the poor and the superstitious but we wouldn't think twice before twisting some other country's culture out of context!


  1. When I first saw the Bajaj Pulsar ad, I was downloading something on my PC. I heard people saying "Hontou?" on SONY Entertainment Television, so I switched on my PC's TV tuner to find out which ad it was. When I saw the ad, it said "Hunto = Namumkin", and I thought WTF?!".

    Only a few Indian people have realized that there is no Japanese word called "hunto", and the correct word is "hontou" which means "Really?".

    Look at this question: http://qna.rediff.com/questions-and-answers/whats-the-meaning-of-word-hunto/19859765/answers/
    Three people have answered it and they say "Hunto" means Unbelievable/Impossible.

  2. @Aftab-san: Yep... I noticed. It's really quite the sad thing when people are so easily influenced by TV and yet, the ones who should be giving out sensible content actually do the very opposite!

  3. I think the ad implicitly assumes that Japanese technology is advanced. It's normal for ads to exaggerate, so they choose the best auto manufacturers and pretend that even they are astounded.

  4. @Roshan-san: Yes, I agree. But what irks me the most is that they get the very cultural image wrong!