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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Worst commercial of 2014: Lufthansa

There have been commercials; and there have been horrible commercials; and then, there have been those eerie commercials that leave you thinking: is the advertisement good or bad for the product?

Tired of making clichéd lists for the year, I thought of identifying the most irritating television commercial of the year. That award should go to the Lufthansa commercial below.

 I own a Star Alliance membership card (warning: this is when I start showing off) that it has Lufthansa written on it. I came close to discarding it.


Let me give an introduction on what the advertisement tries to do: it tries to convince the Indian audience that the airlines is more Indian than German, which means it tries to pass inedible microwaved yellow goo as daal. The authentic German Lufthansa would ask “chicken or pasta?” and serve dry rubbery mush and call it chicken.

Let us look at the video. It involves a kid. They have named him Aryan. They must have tried to send a message across by calling him Aryan; unfortunately, I could not grasp it. This may be some very authentic Indo-German joke that eludes me.

The grandfather and grandson start in a room, walk over a bridge, and stroll past a park to bad-mouth Germans. The punch-line-in-apparent, of course, is “their movies are always gray; probably they have not even heard of Bollywood!”

Erm, the last time I had heard, Indian producers send movies to win awards at Berlinale. It does not work the other way round. I have never heard of German movies competing for the Filmfare.

There is also disapproval about food, though they are not going to stay in Germany. They are going to New York, and, in all likelihood, they would at most have a stopover at Frankfurt. So why prejudice your grandson before he reaches the age to take his own decisions?

They are going to USA (they also ride a Japanese car, but let us not get into that). Should the discussion not revolve around American food and movies?

Let me put myself in the old man’s shoes. Suppose I am flying KLM the first time. Will I try to form an idea of Dutch movies before I fly? Will their Bollywood-awareness become a condition?

Here is a list of what I will try to find out:
1. Whether they are usually punctual.
2. What I can and cannot carry (the list is usually the same).
3. The dimensions and weight of the check-in and hand-baggage.
4. The stopover time.
5. A Google Images view of the air-hostesses (or female flight-attendants).


But even that is not my point here. They are namaste-ed by an attendant; the grandson is obviously confused, given his grandfather’s moronic inputs. They get seated.

Lufthansa plays an Indian movie. They also serve Indian food (I know they are flying business-class, but what airline serves six colour-coded gulab-jamuns?).

Whatever you do, Lufthansa, do not make them diabetic; and why are they colour coded?
 The poor child has every right to be confused. He even looks out of the aircraft for some unfathomable reason. Then, unable to control his confusion anymore, he blurts out: “grandpa, we’re in the wrong plane!

This expression has to win an award of some sort; I wonder how short the air-hostess's skirt was
Then, the grandfather takes his glasses off in what he probably considers the most reassuring gesture in the history of mankind, and utters: “no, no, everything is fine.”

Think of the child. Think of the poor child.
1. He was told what to expect on flight.
2. He finds that things are ridiculously different from what his idiot of a grandfather had taught him.
3. He obviously thinks there is something wrong.
4. His grandfather tells him that everything is fine, without offering an explanation.

If I were that kid, I would have grown up as the most confused individual ever. I kid you not.


  1. this is some brilliant read! i wish someday someone gives me those color-coded gulab jamuns too! not 6, 2 should be enough!

    1. Thank you, mademoiselle. Indeed, we can all do with colour-coded gulab-jamuns. :/

  2. It was their last meal.The flight disappeared mid-air. But then,even Bose could still be alive.

  3. Excellent observations Ovshake!:-D Still grinning. Enjoyed.

  4. I would agree it is a bad commercial. But I know grandparents can be rather 'old-fashioned' in their thinking. And I didn't realize the kid was called Aryan... Can't be a coincidence, can it?!

    This one, I believe, is the ultimate Bad Ad of 2014 at so many levels (what is worse it plays on the kiddie channels- Hungama and Disney and such).

    Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly - Jelly Ki Duniya (Bench TV…:

    1. Thank you for introducing me to this one. Deeply honoured.

  5. Someone finally writes about it. I agree with each and every letter in this post. Even the commas and fullstops.

  6. My list of things to look at in an international flight involves:
    1. Price of ticket
    2. Do I need another visa to stop where this flight is stopping?
    3. What is the total number of hours from start to destination

    If I get the best deal on these, I don't mind whatever inedible mush they provide as food. I can handle it for the small number of
    meals involved (I do not fly internationally that frequently)
    About the gulap jamuns: You should be worried twice over, once because they are colour coded and once because of the number
    But I am sure I have met or heard of the name Aryan, can't quite place where. So, you might not be able to prove much there.

    1. I would agree with you on this. But Aryan. The word. Aryan. Nudge nudge. Wink wink. Aryan. Get it.

    2. It is not that I did not get it at all, except there are multiple associations that one may use for this to be suggestive. I am just not sure whether they were trying to use any of those or simply unaware of of what they were raking up. To me at least, the fact that people name their kids Aryan, and I know for a fact that they do, suggests that they are unaware of at least some of the associations these words may carry. Given the irritating nature of the advertisement, it would either be entirely clueless, or intentional ... as it got people talking. You see, you came close to discarding your card, but you did not ... and I will admit that if Lufthansa works out to be the best airline for my next travel, their advertisement would not stop me from traveling Lufthansa.

    3. Aha, RGB, since when have you been this serious?

  7. :D and now I keep grinning every time I see this ad.

  8. Good grief, what an ad! It's a terrible choice of many things.

    Currently seeing Federer losing a match to Seppi :(... after Seppi has won more sets in this match against Roger, than he has won in his previous ten matches :(. This ad at least brought a smile to my face :). (And yes, I've never flown Lufthansa to date - or as using names like "Aryan" would suggest I call it - Luft-"hamsa".)

    1. You will be missing out. There will be six gulab-jamuns, colour-coded and all.

  9. I don't really think those are gulab jamuns ...seems more like big grapes to me. I've flown Lufthansa a few times, that is before they stopped their flights to Kolkata. Have had no problems.

    1. They have to be gulab jamuns. They want to show they are Indian. Also, why would someone serve six colour-coded grapes?