Friday, March 24, 2006

A mountain out of a molehill?

Do you know who Hari Sadu is? No? Right now, he is very famous. ;) Remember that ad for naukri.com? The ad where a tyrant boss called Hari Sadu is having trouble spelling out his name to a caller, and his junior offers to spell it out for him, and says "Write down, Hari. H for Hitler, A for Arrogant, R for Rascal and I for Idiot" - all this bravado because he has just landed a job, thanks to naukri.com. I thought it was a cool ad. But now I hear that a 11-year old boy called Hari Bhanot has sued naukri.com because his classmates have been harassing him and making fun of him because his name is Hari. Naukri.com has issued a press release here

This made me laugh out loud. Yes, LOL in the true sense of the word. Though I feel really sorry for little Hari, because I know how demeaning it is to be laughed at, especially at that tender age, I think he has over-reacted. How many ads, how many movies exist that have made fun at fat people, thin people, bald people, dark people, bespectacled people, nerdy people, physically challenged people, people of certain regions, and what have you. And simultaneously created stereotypes like, this-guy-is-fat-and-so-he-has-to-be-laughed-at. Going by Hari Bhanot's example, 90 percent of India should be busy suing film-makers and ad-makers.

And all those of you who want to challenge me and say that "No, no, movies and ads do not influence people and make them laugh at 'different' people" can take a trip. I know what I am talking about.

And no, I absolutely do NOT subscribe to what these ad-makers do. I think ads which ridicule somebody are in terribly bad taste. I do not buy products that demean a trait or a character or looks. But the naukri.com ad was making fun of just one particularly obnoxious Hari, and so, it did not fall under my category of bad ads. Well, apparently some people do think otherwise!

24 comments:

Global Indian said...

I think Hari Bhanot did the right thing. I haven't seen this ad, but according to what you told, this ad not only makes a bad acroynm for HARI but also publicises it. And remember, the acronym is for HARI and not for their imaginary HARI SADU.

I think now I can also sue the directors for naming the baddies in their movies after my name. I remember Ravi Patwardhan(Anil Kapoor) in My Wife's Murder. Ram Gopal Varma, Anil Kapoor and Jijy Philip.. get ready for a lawsuit.

Shruthi said...

Ravi: Ha ha :) Going by what you say, the rest of my life will be spent in just slapping lawsuits against all and sundry.
See, I agree that it was wrong, and its cause for a frivolous lawsuit ;), but my point is that there are too many such demeaning ads around, which makes fun of real weaknesses of real people, and these are coolly ignored. Taking offence at one such harmless ad, that too an imaginary person and an imaginary situation is uncalled for. Anyway as I said, different people think differently :)

LAK said...

Hey, kids are cruel. They make fun of their classmates,in some way or the other. The ad just gave them another idea. Kids can turn anything into a teasing match. I still remember, when the movie Julie released(the older one, starring Lakshmi), each day in school, I had to endure calls of "Julieeee....aaa--aaa---aaa!" behind me.
Little Hari can easily retaliate by making up acronyms for his tormentors, and add that he doesn't need to ride piggy back on any ad for his ideas!

Shruthi said...

LAK: That's so right! I think you should write to Hari and tell him this :))

Sachin said...

Hey there, I feel the problem these days is that ever since India TV came along with their sting operations and all these reality shows, people have been exposed to the fact that if a big hullaballoo is made out of any small incident, they will be the better for it.

Come off it guys, think of the difficulties the ad makers will be faced with if they needed to make any spoofy ads with names that don't belong to anybody? Obviously the ad can't have the guy named Voldemort Sadu!!!

As Shruthi has rightly pointed out, yes the ad was poking fun at the name "Hari" but it is not to be mis-construed into something terrible that augers a major insult to all people named "Hari". It was a good ad and thats all there is to it. Don't people have enough problems in life to complicate them further?

As for that kid Hari, am sure it was his elders who are suing the company. i can't see the kid wanting to do that when his peers tease him.

Sangita said...

Yeah I ahve seen that ad and fins ir damn cool..Even I remeber that full fomr by now (Evil Grin) and I belive it is more of a parent gimmick than for an 11 yr old boy

Surya Ragunaathan said...

The naukri.com will certainly not fall under your category of bad ads, true and I agree. And I am shocked that people actually support what Bhanot did. Bhanot is a small kid and he is rather im maured I would say, but what's wrong with his parents and the rest of his supporters? I think what naukri did was to simply put across their point that you dont have to take crap from your boss(irrespective of whatever name he goes by, Hari Sadu was just an example) and can deliberately quit, coz naukri is here to give u another job. Simply and beautifully told, I dont see any wrong in it.
In fact, I read there's going to be a sequel to the ad. Next time, they can use the common(est) of names - like Rahul, Ravi, Vivek, Nishant, etc. and I guess we can all come out with innumerable bad acronyms for all of them. So, will people with these names take offence and sue Naukri?

chitra said...

The lenghts up to which ad-makers are reaching to endorse these products are ....sheesh ! Very few 'good' or inspiring ads like Airtel.

Raj said...

Slowly, India too is turning into a country where people sue people for anything n everything. Surely, it could not be the 11 yr old Hari who decided to sue the admakers. It was probably his parents or relatives who just wanted their 15 minutes of fame or money or both.

These people need to get a grip on themselves.

Anitha said...

Shruthi, well I agree with you that the little boy Hari Bhanot should not have made a big issue out of this ad...after all it is just an ad ..

But .. can you imagine the situation if Naukri would have expanded "KHAN" in a way that it has done with "HARI"...

Sometimes I feel media/advertisers takes a particular section of the society for granted just because they are more tolerant....

Shruthi said...

Sachin: Yes, thats the first thing I felt too, that it was someone else behind this. As Lak put it, kids always tease other kids. Taking this to the level of lawsuits was quite uncalled for.

Sangita: :) Yes, that ad has great recall value - what else does an ad-maker need!

Surya: A sequel! That's interesting :) I hope they have a good bunch of lawyers ready and waiting? ;)

Shruthi said...

Chitra: Making good ads is very very difficult. Ot takes a genius to make a good ad without affecting people's sensibilities!

Raj: It's not that easy for India to turn into a lawsuit-slapping country, but this trend is interesting indeed!

Anitha: Hey you have a very valid point there! Absolutely right!

Anonymous said...

just read this, and i think it's quite ridiculous. waste of everyone's time, imho.

ano

Anonymous said...

oops...meant the lawsuit, not your post!

ano

Shruthi said...

Ano: Relieved! :)

Anonymous said...

The post precisely talks about the ridicule of a name and the irrational case on the Advertising company.

Indian Lawyers, having learnt from the west, are finding new frontiers and exploring new avenues :D

However, I would not support digressing into a new issue of what would happen if it was 'Hari' or 'Khan'. Unless we stop these unwanted speculations, we won't progress as a nation.

We should slowly try to grow religiously broad minded everyday, little by little, if we want to have a successful and peaceful country for our future generations.

Anitha said...

"We should slowly try to grow religiously broad minded everyday, little by little, if we want to have a successful and peaceful country for our future generations. "
********

Ano: ... This kind of broad mindedness should be shown from both the ends (which unfortunately is not happening)... or else one religion (you know which one I am talking about) .. will cease to exist ...

I would like to stop here as it is deviating from the "post" ...

Shruthi said...

Anon: Moving into the issue of Hari and Khan is certainly a digression. But it is an angle which I had not thought about. Anyway, that's not the point of the post, so lets leave it at that.
Just goes to show that such an ad would have needed a lot of thought.
By the way, I also heard that the admakers ran the name Hari Sadu through Google, and all the major telephone directories, and did not find anybody by that name, and so stuck to this name :)

Nirwa said...

C'mon! It was just something creative! However, instead of "Arrogant" I think "Annoying" would have looked better.. :P (they're referring to their boss! :P)

If I could have had my ways, I would sue that MDH wale ads.. that old dude is so annoying.. and whenever he comes on screen, my dad tells me, "Nirwa, your favourite person is there!" :P :P

I could have also sued Vicco ad makers for making such annoying jingles and ads! :P

I think that this lawsuit is a waste of time and money!

Nirwa..

sudhanshu said...

It's stupid alright, but for the point that when I was 11-year old, class 6 maybe, I had absolutely no idea that I could sue the ad, just like that. :-)
Kids are smart these days.

Shruthi said...

Nirwa: Heh heh :D From your blog, I gather that there are a lot of people you would love to sue :D

Sudhanshu: Ha ha! Like a lot of ppl have commented, I think the boy's parents are behind this :). But then, hey, you never know!

ANKIT said...

hey i agree with you.....
if hari wins the case,,,i can only think of half the world sueing the other half....!

i can think of "pappu pass ho gaya ..!" add at present,,,i mean there maybe countless no. of pappu's in india itself.....cadbury would have a really hard time settling them...!

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the boys father today released an advertisement in the Chandigarh edition of the Hindustan Times asking other Hari's to join him in his crusade

reghu nath thooran said...

India is catching up with US in terms of frivolous lawsuits. At an age of 11.

Dude, at 11 I did not think of anything but play, food and sleep - in that order.

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