There’s hope for me still. By now, the handful of you who read this blog have figured that it is my abiding passion to get into page 3 – by hook, preferably, since I can’t afford the by crook bit. Now, at last, I see light at the end of the tunnel.
Today’s Business Standard (April 3, 2006, to be exact) carries a story that says that Omega, the famous brand of watches, will rope in not-so-famous faces as brand ambassadors. The president of the company stated that they will rely on the personality cult a bit less, and will look at people who may share the perceived qualities of the watches without necessarily being famous.
That’s the stuff. That’s exactly right. Finally, the company has understood the folly of its ways – there’s no point in wasting millions of dollars paying famous people so that the aam janta remember Cindy Crawford, without remembering Omega at the same time. They can spend a fraction of that kind of money hiring me – people who see the ads will remember Omega, without remembering me. That is, the charitable among them. The rest, of course, will wonder for a while why in hell has Omega wasting their money hiring me, while they could have hired even bigger non-entities. Ah well, the world is full of churls, carpers and cavillers. We shall not waste our time thinking of them.
I am a huge football freak, and have always wondered why Christian Vieri, the Italian no-hoper of a striker, was such a star. I have seen him miss a sitter from 3 yards in front of an open goal. I mean, even I could score from there, at my advanced age (to elucidate, I am at present a spritely fifty-four). Then I figured it out – nobody else in the world could have missed from such a close range, which is why Vieri is a star. If you succeed spectacularly, you are a star. Conversely, you can be a star if you fail equally spectacularly.
Let’s examine my credentials as a brand ambassador for Omega. What are the ‘perceived qualities’ of Omega? Expensive, rugged good looks, perfection, quality. That should do as a good list to begin with. Do I share them? Let’s see. Expensive – well, I am certainly not rich, but if Omega hires me as a brand ambassador, I should be reasonably well off in the near future. So, while I can’t buy a Porsche on the money they will pay me, I guess I can buy a Honda City. So I will call myself rich, though well within the dreams of avarice. Let’s move on to rugged good looks. Rugged yes. Good looks – I am a member of that rare breed of men described by P G Wodehouse as “the less you see of us, the better we look”. You don’t stare at a damn watch all the time, do you? So there! As long as you don’t stare at me all the time, I shall pass that test. Perfection, quality – that’s me all over. I am as close to perfection as you can get and still live. Remember James Stephens, who wrote, “Perfection is finality. Finality is death. Nothing is perfect.” And I am quality – in the same way as one of ESPN football pundits talk of Liverpool being able to beat West Ham because Liverpool has quality. You can’t really define this quality business, but I know I got it. So do my wife and my son, and indeed even my parents. I got what the sainted Wodehouse used to describe as ‘je ne sais quoi’.
What’s the competition like? The same newspaper article mentions that after wasting their money on the likes of Nicole Kidman, Ernie Els, Michael Schumacher et al, they have roped in Sonali Bendre. Phooey!! She has been described as ‘a one time Bollywood starlet, who flickered only in brief patches and has settled down to matrimony and occasional appearances in plays.’
I got her beat. I didn’t get to become a Bollywood starlet (can a middle-aged male with his own hair become a starlet? Is there any way of finding out?). I have never flickered. Even when my friends are blind drunk, they see two or even three of me, but they have never seen me flicker. I still have my own hair, most of it, so ‘patches’ don’t apply to me. I have also settled down to matrimony. I make constant appearances in plays that take place daily in my house. These are all experimental in nature – there are no pre-written scripts, we improvise them as we go along. One evening it could be about the advisability of writing blogs, anon it could be about how adding Rooh Afzah can kill the taste of vodka; from such simple beginnings to Shakespearian soliloquies about youth wasted on an undeserving husband are but simple steps.
I seriously think that Omega can find no better candidate than me for their new not-so-famous-faces ad campaign. Since I had spent a quarter of a century in advertising, they can even take advantage of my knowledge of that arcane art by hiring me as their brand ambassador. This is what we marketing men call a banded offer.
And when I become a brand ambassador for Omega, they will have to feature me in their ad and PR campaign, opening stores, cutting ribbons, admiring their latest additional to the line on my wrist (do brand ambassadors get free watches? The whole catalogue, I shouldn’t wonder). Naturally, I will have to be featured in page 3 of all the big newspapers; however much the editors may dislike having to do so, they cannot afford to displease Omega. That’ll learn them, that’ll show them that they can’t keep a good man off page 3 forever.
I know that after reading this, many of you will think of throwing your hat in the ring, and send off cvs and photos to Omega. I have stymied the lot of you by sending in my application early this morning.
Heh heh heh!!!
(Posted on sulekha.com on Apr 3 2006 )