Cerebral Shangrila

Friday, September 09, 2005

Visa Ad - Richard Gere

Its ubiquitous in Singapore in the last few days. The new Visa Ad (commercial) starring Richard Gere and shot in Jodhpur is superb .
Here is more info on it from Visa's website . Wish there was an online video version of the same.

Filmed in the beautiful city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, the commercial brings together a cast and crew that is a blend of the best of East and West and reflects the beauty, scenery and the imagery of India. The central theme of ‘Birds’ is based on the spirit of generosity and the giving spirit demonstrated through the ritual of letting birds go free to bring good luck to a relative or friend embarking on a journey, a ritual that runs across several different cultures in the Asia Pacific region including Singapore.

Mumbai-based Ranjit Barot composed the earthy and rhythmic music for the commercial, which was produced and developed by Visa’s advertising agency BBDO.

The commercial opens with a breathtaking view at sunrise of the mystic Jawant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jawant Singh II in Jodhpur. A little girl sees her brother packing for a journey. She runs through the village streets of Jodhpur, stopping at a stall to buy birds, to bring good fortune to her brother, who is embarking on a journey. Hoping to buy five birds but only able to afford one, she leaves dejected with her bird. The visiting tourist - Richard Gere - overhears this and after she has left, takes out his Visa card and buys all the birds from the stalls. As the little girl is about to bid her brother farewell and release her single bird into the air, hundreds of birds suddenly soar into the sky behind her. The commercial concludes on a warm and humorous note, as Richard Gere and the bird sellers look away innocently, disclaiming responsibility.


  • i've seen that ad... such a classical ad! love it... i like the way u have written abt it as well! :)

    By Blogger PreethZzZ The Original, at 12:00 PM  

  • Nice info...I'll watch the video..not sure if it is out in the US TV yet.!

    And I think the makers were RKSwamy BBDO if I am right? One of my best friends from college days works for them in HYD for a long time now...I'll write to him tomorrow.!

    By Blogger Narayanan Venkitu, at 11:13 AM  

  • I have seen the ads quite a number of times on the Indian tv circuit and never really fathomed the significance, so qunitessentially brought out in your blog. It now makes a lot of sense on the expressions of the actors in the episode. So much so that we take time to understand our own diverse culture

    kumar Mama

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:40 PM  

  • Preethi -- Most of what u say as "Written" is from Visa Website :-)

    Venkitu -- Guess this ad was done by BBDO Australia .

    Kumar mama -- Thanks for your comments.Its great to note that u read my blog ! Yeah, the ad is a nice reflection on our culture .

    By Blogger Cogito, at 1:46 PM  

  • The music too which is quite good adds to the viewing experience...a very nice ad indeed!

    By Blogger Ram, at 7:54 PM  

  • Dont know to whom the ad is targeted to, but being able to use a visa card in a middle of a fair in rajasthan just does not buy with me...or am I being too picky?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:10 AM  

  • Ram -- The music is by Ranjit Barot (MD of tamil movie "VIP")

    vin -- The ad conveys the universal acceptance of Visa cards .Probably they added the human touch to compete with the Mastercard's successful tagline :-)

    By Blogger Cogito, at 10:05 AM  

  • Interesting to hear what you think...I personally hate the ad. While I agree that it is beautiful - I think it portrays India in that exotic way that Westerners always look at non-Western countries and cultures. To me it also has the imperialist ring of a white man coming in and helping the poor black girl out. Btw, I'm a Sri Lankan born and raised in New Zealand.

    By Blogger Shiranthi, at 2:41 PM  

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