Two advertisements on Thursday newspapers in India make for an interesting read. The first is for recruitment by an Indian budget airline and the other by a company that is coming up with a public issue of equity shares, subject to regulatory approval.
The first one is rather weird. Inviting young men and women to apply for jobs in the company, the airliner stipulates a rather unusual dress code for aspiring men when they come for the walk-in interview: "Male – shirt with trousers."
Now, when on earth did men in India appear for an interview wearing something other than trousers? Did they ever wear lungi (sarong), dhoti or pyjama? One could still understand the company asking male jobseekers to wear a tie. Is it not a given that jobseeking men will wear formal outfits for interviews?
The second advertisement – for a probable initial public offering (IPO) of equity shares – is a bit strange, given that such companies usually embark on an advertisement blitzkrieg to talk about the company's financial results, achievements and profile. Rarely do they project someone else's achievements. But in this case, the company in question – Infibeam Incorporation Limited – talks about the box office collection records of a recent Salman Khan blockbuster "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo", or "PRDP".
The first half of the full-page advertisement by the online retailer talks only about the movie's box office collections – opening day, weekend and worldwide collections – with the bottom half refers to the launch of a men's line of clothing "inspired" by "PRDP".
To be fair, the company launched the promotional website for the film in collaboration with Fox Star Studios ad Rajshri Productions, so the connection is understandable to an extent.
To cash in on the prevailing craze for a film is one thing, but to issue a pre-IPO advertisement promoting something else instead of talking about its own credentials appears to be a first for a company in India.