The man whose very style of saying – Bond, James Bond – gave a ring to the character, can now be seen advertising a little can of Pan Bahar masala in a dapper style in India. Yes, this is not a joke! When elaborate tall hoardings and full page advertisements in national dailies show the much admired Pierce Brosnan aka Bond endorsing Pan Bahar, you know that capitalism has made progress. In a one-minute video of the advertisement, ‘Bond’ can be seen in a black tuxedo getting out of a Scissor door with flamboyance and of course a female companion. He enters a luxurious hotel and performs various stunts with the can of Pan Bahar, making it seem like a neo-boomerang.
In a lobby full of people, he knocks a guard out of his senses with a finesse move. Later he enters an assembly of men wherein he throws his ‘adorable’ can up in the air and within that time, he is successful in knocking out four more guards. And of course after this, a woman claps for his Pan Bahar ‘moves’ and the throne is vacated for him.
Notably, not even once in the ad does he eat the contents of the can. It seems like Bond is advertising an all new use of Pan Bahar with should be tag-lined as- Shaken but not stirred. In India, people remember products more by the face who advertises it rather than the face value of it.
While the government plans to ban such products from the market altogether, here comes the ‘Omega’ man endorsing a product which will not just be restricted to those hoardings but will also make inroads in small pan shops as posters and as an ‘inspiration’ for those who consume it. After all, they might say, “Wo jo Bond khaata hai wo dena, bhaiya.”
And when an international figure becomes the face of a brand like Pan Bahar, how can the Twitterati not poke fun at it?
— atul kasbekar (@atulkasbekar) October 7, 2016
Can advertising and brand experts tell us if going viral but becoming a laughing stock is good brand strategy? #PanBahar
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 7, 2016
— Sonaleeian pranit (@meepranit) October 7, 2016
Thank God, Brosnan started Pan Bahar after doing Bond movies.. it’d be weird watching “My name is Bond..aakthoooo..James Bond” #PanBahar
— JD ???????? (@IdiocreLife) October 7, 2016
— Jwala Daku (@jwala_daku) October 7, 2016
— shashank rawat (@Just_Shashank) October 7, 2016
One has gathered from Bond’s movies that he “enjoys learning new tongue,” however, when instead of saying Pan Bahar’s tagline- Pehchan Kamyabi Ki in his British accent, he says “Class never goes out of style,” hinting at a certain grace and splendour that can be associated with it.
And when an Irish actor endorses a product which otherwise should be banned, it’s not just a windfall for the company but also a subtle hint that there is probably nothing wrong with the product.
Nonetheless, it is a relief that Pan Bahar did not choose the tagline ‘Die Another Day’ for Bond, otherwise, who knows after Fawad Khan and Mahira, he might come under censure.