This commercial for Indian telecommunications service MTS is one of the strangest, most terrifyingly delightful things I think I have ever seen. India's take on the CGI baby is currently the most viral ad ever in the country, and it's not hard to see why.
Seconds after being born, the baby crawls up to his mom's chest, straight up snatches his dad's tablet to look up "How to cut the umbilical cord?" and CUTS HIS UMBILICAL CORD before accessing a bunch of other devices and social media platforms. Also the newborn survives a three foot drop and starts walking like a champ 30 seconds after being pushed out into the world. This whole situation is made complete with a spruced-up "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross (which by the way has a history of weird commercials like that Levis one with the singing bellybuttons) is playing. So clearly there's a lot going on here.
Well, after the Cannes Lion contender got a write up at AdWeek, Sarjan Raj Kurup, founder of the agency that created the spot emailed Tim Nudd at AdWeek to explain things. You can read the whole e-mail here, but here's an excerpt:
Today, India is the fastest growing telecom and Internet market. Beyond the economic benefits, there is huge social upside to it. Internet and telecommunications has perhaps been the greatest social leveler in my country. It has begun to empower even the most socially backward Indian in the remotest corner of the country with information, with access, with knowledge, with education, with true power.
I would like to hope that this empowerment continues. And it transcends age-groups, caste, religion and social standing. I would like to hope that every baby born in my country is born to the Internet. The Internet that empowers him or her to start life like any other baby in an urban Indian home, European or an American home.
It's clear that the concept of the internet baby makes for quite the debate, particularly in light of the global digital divide, the gap in tech between developing and developed countries.
The internet baby certainly represents a complete integration of technology into our lives, but I don't know. A baby flipping through Instagram filters after taking a selfie with his delivery nurse doesn't exactly scream power of education. Kurup's email definitely puts things into perspective, but at the same time LOL CGI BABY.