Mirror Magazine
17th October 1999

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Featured in our fashion spread is lissome model Anusha Fonseka who displays creations by Sonali White for the Haddai label. Mirror photographer Mettasena captured these shots at the Gallery Cafe. Ruwani Herath of Ramani Fernando Salons handled Anusha's hair and make-up.

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The good, the bad, the ugly

By Laila Nasry and Ruhanie Perera

Be it in the middle of an important cricket match or an interesting movie, our concentration is interrupted and attention diverted on numerous occasions by advertisements. We are bombarded with ads, ads and more ads. Sometimes with or without our knowledge, these ads influence us into buying a product. At other times they annoy us to the extreme and make us turn totally away from the product advertised. Teenagers who are accused of either being glued to the radio or television are those most exposed to advertising. Here they give their opinion.

Shane Silva, (17):

Our advertisements are not that classy. We badly lack quality ads. Some ads are excessive-they advertise the product too much. Now I wouldn't want to go for a soap that makes me hyperactive in the toilet.

My favourite ad (After much umms.. ers..and long pauses) is the Rugby World Cup ad and Benson and Hedges. Ads like the Lion ad are clever because they bring out other aspects.

I would take part in an ad only if the concept appealed to me. It would also depend on the product. Our ads could learn a lot from foreign ads like "Nike" and "Reebok". More foreign ads should be introduced so that there will be competition between the local ads and the foreign ads. The competition will do our ads good because they will have to try hard to keep up.

Indrika Gooneratne, (19):

Some of our ads are o.k. but some are rather weird -like one where a girl changes from her night dress into a green cape and tries to get rid of mosquitos who are dancing in her kitchen! The "Lion' ad is extremely creative. There should be more ads like that.

There is a vast difference between our ads and foreign ads. Our ads sometimes put a person off . To improve we should have more "oomph" in them.

Rajindh Kiridena, (19):

Our ads are good. But some aren't that interesting_ not catchy enough to sell the products. Some are not even clear on what they are advertising. I don't mind taking part in ads but it depends on the product. Any food ad would be just great.

The standard of our ads should be improved. The message should be clearer and the ad must be short and sweet.

Charini Perera, (17):

Well some of our ads don't bring out the message properly. Some ads are totally stupid like a certain mosquito coil ad and some are not suitable. I feel the Lion ad is one such ad. I find the Cream Soda ad very interesting. Now that's a good ad because it's full of young people and is extremely catchy. It's really horrible to have so many ad breaks, there should be a limit to them. Just because a brand is advertised doesn't mean that people are going to buy it.

Ads should strive to make a difference and be of a good standard because the end choice is upto the people. Ads shouldn't exaggerate a product's qualities because people are not going to fall for it. They should be believable, short and to the point.

I wouldn't like to take part in an ad because I wouldn't want to watch myself on television everyday.

Arrvinda Salwatura, (17):

Our ads are okay - you can watch them, but they certainly don't make you want to buy the product. That's the biggest problem. Sometimes our ads are a bit obscene - especially radio ads can sound obscene even if they don't mean to be, like a certain condom ad.

I don't mind taking part in an ad - actually I think it'll be rather a new experience. I don't even mind being in a condom ad - as long as it isn't in bad tatse.

Vimali Mananwatte, (14):

I think that advertisements play a very important role because they tell you what products are available. Advertisements should always stick to the point. That is what is wrong with some of our Sri Lankan advertisements - they are irrelevant and don't make sense. I think the "Lakspray" ad is a really good advertisement because it really makes sense and it has class.

I might take part in an ad - but it depends on my school rules and on the type of ad it is.

Gavin Ludewyke, (19):

The standard of advertising in Sri Lanka is improving, but there are advertisements that have absolutely no meaning at all. They totally defeat the purpose of advertising, which is to get a certain idea across and convince your audience to go out and get it. Most of our ads have a lot of unnecessary detail in them and they take away from the main point. Some, though, are lively and unique - like the Lion Lager ad. Ads which are funny also have an impact on the audience. The child labour ads are extremely natural and succeed in retaining a very Sri Lankan quality.

I have no problem in appearing in ads. I also have no problem in promoting different products it wouldn't matter even if the product happens to be condoms. Because it's no big deal and through ads you are not advertising your personality but just a product.

Marisa Gnanaraj, (18):

The advertisements in Sri Lanka are 99% of the time absolutely irrelevant. There are a handful of nice ads like the 'Sunlight' ad and the 'Astra' ad but some others make no sense whatsoever.

I find some, like the 'madhuru coil' ads rather silly, but I guess, they appeal to the respective target audience.

I think the people who make ads should think about making a few different ads for a particular product, because when we watch the same old ad every ten minutes it gets a bit annoying.

It puts us off not only the ad but also the product. I will never take part in an advertisement ... unless I'm directing it. Even then it depends on the product.

I wouldn't, for instance take part in an ad for jam, but maybe I'll take part in advertisements for holiday resorts, restaurants and for the protection of the environment.

I also won't mind taking part in advertisement for a motorcycle or a car - but I'd like to drive them not stand by them.


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