Ad Nauseum, or, I used to love you; now I can’t stand the sound of your voice.


When I signed up for a packet of channels from India a while back, my immediate favorite of the group was NDTV 24/7.  

In addition to the round-the-clock news coverage, they also offer a quasi-Entertainment Tonight show six  days a week, every Sunday morning Barkha Dutt takes on some current topic of controversy and referees a panel and audience discussion of the same, on Friday morning Anupama Chopra’s Picture This gives reviews of the day’s releases, followed by segments  on films of particular subject  and actors interviews, and then there’s Srinivasan Jain’s Bombay Talkies, and Shekhar Gupta’s Walk the Talk.   So much to love, na?

But an additional sweet element in the mix was the TV ads from India:  the stewardess schools, the stirring Amitabh Bachchan UP ad, Kajol flogging mobile phones, Irrfan doing likewise, the AMEX ad with AB 2.0 calling Bachchan père about being mistaken in a restaurant somewhere in East Asia as “The Big B”, and on and on and on.   It was a fascinating not-so-little pop culture window into contemporary Indian consumer society, and what people were buying and selling.

And then something happened.

First, I started to notice the same old ads for NDTV’s own shows running more frequently, soon, so frequently that I could recite the snippets of them in my sleep:   Saif saying “It doesn’t  really matter to me  if people think I’m cool”, Vasu saying “This is the true story of a fake encounter”, Vikram Seth: “If I’m gay, or at least partly gay, then it would be very cowardly of me…”, Sanya Mirza: “The dresses I wear are not exactly right”…

Ad nauseum.

And then it hit me:   Where were the goofy Javed Jaffrey ads for Maggi sauces?   The Om Puri voiceovers for that paint company?   SRK’s Compaq spots?   Saif and Rani racing their cars?   Saif selling Taj teas?   The housewife beaming because her hubby and kids were loving that Maggi soup she had made?  

They were all gone.

It’s definitely affected my viewing.   Before, if I were home on the weekend having a coffee and reading the paper, or tidying up around the house, I’d have the channel on, and if something caught my attention, I’d stop to watch.   Now, I Tivo the shows I like and I fastforward through the ads.

Like everything else, I’m sure there’s money behind this.   Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re on in Europe now too.

Whatever the reason, if you get NDTV 24/7 overseas and you miss the ads too, you can write to complain at [email protected]

2 thoughts on “Ad Nauseum, or, I used to love you; now I can’t stand the sound of your voice.

  1. Hey Nic, thanks for the tip.

    I don’t get Good Times, or any of the new NDTV channels (they’re not offered as part of the package), but they do run that One Life to Love show quite often on NDTV 24/7.

    They did a similar story a few weeks ago, who was it they were talking to… Rituparno Ghosh I think….

  2. if you are lucky enough to get the relatively new channel from NDTV – “NDTV Good Times”, check out this week’s episode of “One Life To Love” for an interesting discussion on how Indian men are evolving and what women want, which had a rather surprising conclusion.
    P.S. – it also featured some interesting ads, films and paintings of SRK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *