12 Bizarre Vintage Indian Ads
Sexist, offensive, titillating, inaccurate, and downright confusing
NEW DELHI: This collection of Indian ads is a mix of offensive, titillating, inaccurate, and downright confusing. Can you guess what the following lines from the ad are advertising?
“First of all, you need to know a little about your body and its sensitive zones. There is one part of your body which is the most sensitive of all.”
“I’ll always remember Short Bob and the soft approach. It was a night for memories.”
“It is so safe and simple that even a girl of twelve can [use] it.”
“Made for each other.”
“The taste of your tongue is packed in this bottle.”
“Indian girls love to correspond with you on interesting rare subjects. Let your interesting be anything. Friendships? Love? Romance? Marriage? Broadminded correspondence? Stamps? Viewcards? Tapes? Gifts? or Sex?”
Here at twelve ads from India’s advertorial past that are worth another look.
1. This ad for hair oil featuring India’s most revered baldies.
This advertisement for Jai-Hind Amla Goonnidhi Hair Oil features five of India’s most prominent political figures: Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. A very patriotic move by the brand, mayhaps, but none of the prominent folk featured were known to have an enviable crop of hair. In fact, all, with the exception of Maulana Azad, were bald(ing)!
2. This advice, to get you “tingling.”
“Let me tell you about a fantastic new way of enjoying yourself. It’s called Tingling… Tingling brings a kind of attractive gleam to your eyes and highlights the fluttering of your eyelashes. Tingling is irresistible… First of all, you need to know a little about your body and its sensitive zones. There is one part of your body which is the most sensitive of all… After some practice you will learn how to make the Tingle spread to other parts of your body.”
“I’ll always remember Short Bob and the soft approach. It was a night for memories. Candlelight, corner table, soft music. And Short Bob. My first mistake was reckoning without Short Bob. A perfectly innocent collar till it got closer. And began working on me. Working on me - in combination with those devastating Liberty checks, stripes and coloureds. Mesmerising me. Till the hours chimed on. And it got me where he wanted.”
4. This ad that has an interesting take on water conservation
5. Can someone tell us why this woman is lathering herself up in the ocean? More so since the brand calls itself “toilet soap”!
6. “My name is Bond, James (said with an Indian accent) Bond”
7. Use “Cock” matches, whilst an adorned dancer performs nearby. ‘Nuff said.
8. Prestige. Meant for housewives, and even girls aged twelve.
9. Why would you want to taste your tongue? Ew.
10. This cigarette ad that uses food to prove you’re made for each other. Wait, aren’t cigarettes reason enough?
11. This ad that knows biscuits are the secret to religious harmony .
12. We are not entirely sure what this ad is advertising. A magazine, or Indian women?