Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Deleted Scene of a TV Ad

Creativity is expensive and creative advertisement is one of marketing means to boost the sales of a product, or even to persuade people to vote for a certain candidate in the case of an election competition. Thus it is no wonder that advertisement needs huge and expensive budget.

Indonesia's tobacco industry, for example, must have set aside huge amount of budget to advertise its products. Apart from sponsoring various activities, from sport events to music concerts, the industry has also roped in different personalities in their expensive ads, both through electronic and print media. The industry hopes that this aggressive marketing through various types of advertisement would provide greater opportunity of reaping better gains through increase of sales of its products.

Of these many ads by tobacco industry, there is this ad on tv which tickles me to write this post.

The ad shows a young man who is returning home from a backpack trip just to find out that his flight is canceled and delayed for good period of time. On realizing this situation, the young man keeps his cool and starts to unpack his backpack to erect a tent for him to enjoy the delayed trip while other waiting passengers are curiously looking at him.

The interesting part in this ad is when the young man unloads almost everything from his backpack, from shirt, t-shirt, a boxer, a chicken and even a woman's bra.

The ad ends with a scene where the young lad is joined by other waiting passengers in a bonfire and a roasted chicken to be shared for dinner. They enjoy the moment.

The matter that tickles me to write this post is that when the first time I saw the ad, it was shown that the young man pulls out a woman's bra and a young lady on a phone looks at him disapprovingly. However, the second time I saw the ad, the bra scene was deleted while the scene of a disapprovingly looking young lady stays. This edited ad continues to be shown on tv.

My questions about this ad is that why the bra scene in the ad was aired in the first place if it has to be deleted later? Why shouldn't it be scrutinized and edited by the censor board before being aired for the first time? What is the harm of showing a bra in the ad when scantily clad stage performers are allowed to be screened on tv, even on prime time?

In my view, the ad is quite creative and hits bulls eye, especially on the poor performance by Indonesian air carriers in delivering their services. This is a direct criticism on Indonesia's low-cost air carriers which regularly delays the flight without due explanation thus causing disappointment and dissatisfaction among the passengers.

It should be a wake up call for them to improve their service.

Besides, the ad surely reflects the joyous mood in a distressing situation, a message which is compatible with the motto of the product being advertise.

As for the bra scene, I have no problem at all with it. No harm has been done.

A bra is an essential garment for women and there has been continuous tv advertisement on healthy bra. No objection has been raised on the bra show and thus the ad which contain bra scene should be treated the same. I would prefer the original ad with the bra scene to be aired without any editing.

If there should be any objection, other similar ads or show should be treated the same.

There should be no discrimination that might hinder creativity and creative minds in expressing their creative thoughts within agreed boundary line.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Rain and Traffic Woe

Jakarta has long been known for its "macet" and there have been conclusive study that predicts a possibility of total traffic jam in Jakarta in a couple of years from now if the government cannot solve this problem. This situation becomes worse when rainy season sets in. A brief downpour would certainly add to the misery of motorists and other city travelers. I've just born witness to this situation this couple of days.

I've just returned from Kediri to visit my little angel, Aurora, last Monday to find out that the rain poured in the city and created havoc throughout. Soon the traffic went into a virtual standstill as roads were flooded with water. Everyone was so eager to reach home sooner but the heavy traffic jam and water-logged roads forced them to stay longer on the road.

As a regular user of Trans Jakarta Bus Service, I was not spared from this misery. The usually traffic-free corridor 6 from Latuharhary to Ragunan came to a standstill that evening and it took me almost two hours to reach Ragunan. I was exhausted and drained, both physically and emotionally.

With the increasing number of vehicles and poor and limited road in the city, this problem will not go easily anytime soon.

I wonder when the "Ahlinye Jakarta" will ever solve this problem. I wish that they will really come with the best solution to end this misery sooner rather than later.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Good Turns... Ugly

Recent incident on alms distribution in Pasuruan by a local rich Pak Haji has really shocked me. For the sake of the alms to be given by Pak Haji, poor and innocent people have lost their precious lives.

I could not believe that the good will, which shall turn into another, had, on the contrary, brought pain and grief to poor families that lost their beloved one in the incident.

My deepest condolence to those victims in this incident.

I think better management of alms' distribution would have saved these precious lives. Distributing the alms directly to the poor in their own homes/place of living would have resulted in better distribution process. It would be much safer and effective.

What happened in Pasuruan should become precious lesson for us. Adherence to our religious duties is good but exercising safer, effective and efficient way in performing these duties is much more important.

One good should turn into another, and not the other way round.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Corruptors: Please Stand Up!

For hip-hop lovers, Eminem is no stranger. In one of his hit songs, Slim Shady, he coined an interesting expression: "For the real Slim Shady, please stand up!". In relation to this, the KPK's new move could bring some respite to the ordinary Indonesians and thus "For the real corruptors, please stand up!".

In a bid to shame Indonesia's legions of corrupt politicians, officials, bankers and businessmen, Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) recently came up with a novel solution: a special uniform for the bribers and the bribed - preferably pink or orange color, so that the offenders stand out from the crowd in prison or in court. Even though debates are on going about the conformity of this plan with the Indonesian law, but this novel idea should be welcome so as to produce deterrent effect to corruptors.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had been elected in 2004 on promises to tackle rampant corruption in Indonesia that regularly ranks among the world's most corrupt. However, in his fourth year as Indonesia's president, news of some bigwig being caught, sometimes red-handed, or carrying a briefcase with a large sum of cash are not strange occurance. It is pathetic.

If letters to newspaper reader forums are any example, the general public is tired of the lack of progress on this front, and the lack of a shame gene among the elite. Some have even written to the local papers suggesting that the death sentence, which is given to murderers and some drug traffickers, should be handed down to the corruptors.

Corruptors, especially in Indonesia, are shameless. The only thing that might work in fighting corruption is consistent, non-political prosecutions and long jail term, or even the implementation of death penalty for corruptions, starting at the very top.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Election Fever

With 2008 is closing in, the political temperature in Jakarta is heating up. 34 political parties which have passed the tight screenig process by the Election Commission and thus eligible for April 2009 general elections are all gearing up and preparing the best strategy possible to win seats in Senayan. By posing their best cadres for the legislative elections, they are hoping to reap the best possible result, and pass the parliamentary threshold at the very least.

At the same time, debates over independent candidacy and younger blood for RI-1 continue to fill the headlines of both the electronic and traditional media. Individuals like Fadjroel Rahman, Sutiyoso, Tifatul Sembiring or Rizal Mallarangeng are emerging to challenge the "old timers" like the incumbent president, SBY, ex-presidents Megawati Soekarnoputri and Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, ex-generals Wiranto and Prabowo Subijanto.

On the contrary, life is getting harder for commoners, both in the cities and rural areas alike. They seem to be neglected and their problems are put in the backseat by these "outstanding individuals". Their importance as the decision makers in the "pesta demokrasi" (democratic party) seem to be forgotten. These people are the one who will decide who goes to Senayan and who does not; who becomes the RI-1 and who does not. The voters are the king makers.

Thus, it should become the concern of these individuals and their respective political parties to understand the situation and start using their skills and resources to serve the people. As the pillar of representative democracy, political parties should play the vanguard position to build and establish democracy in Indonesia. Failure to perform this important task will only lead to further alienation of the public and their apathy towards democracy.