Spray to Scream: Singh, Sins and Bold Care!

Sssh. Sssh.

No, slash that!

Shout it louder for the people in the back because it’s sexual wellness that we are about to discuss. For the longest time one can recall, taboo conversations like menstruation, orgasm, pleasure and desire have been subject to no discussions. As they are one of the most intimate acts of expression, it becomes almost strange to see that there lacks a centrality of expression around this. And whenever attempts have been made, they are done in such outlandish fashion that it appeared vulgar to the point it received massive backlash from the viewers and the entire purpose of the message got quashed in the expression.

Campaigns and advertisements regarding sexual wellness are pretty much a hit-and-miss but the ones that land are able to garner much appreciation from the viewers. The credit for conducting one such successful campaign for Bold Care, goes to Moonshot, an agency led by Tanmay Bhatt and Devaiah Bopanna and their team. As soon as the first advertisement dropped in February, the buzz around it resonated pretty hard, making it viral instantly. Also, let us all be honest, a Ranveer Singh and Johnny Sins collaboration was not on anyone of our 2024 Bingo Card. But, here we are seeing Johnny Sins in Kurta-Pyjama. Well, who would’ve thought!

For those of you who don’t know, Ranveer Singh is a renowned Bollywood actor who has multiple hits to his name and for those who don’t know Johnny Sins. First of all, there is no need to lie, your parents aren’t gonna be reading this. And if they are then well, aren’t you lucky to have parents who still like to keep it like the young ones? Secondly, Johnny Sins is your friendly next door neighbour who is also a plumber, electrician, pizza delivery guy and mechanic. Man carries a diversity which we all should be screaming for!

The second edition of the advertisement went live on YouTube on Wednesday and managed high traction within the first few hours of its release, with netizens flooding the X with tweets and Instagram with memes. The advertisement is shot in the traditional format of a teleshopping show with Ranveer Singh as a host dressed in flamboyance. Enters then is Johnny Sins who plays multiple roles like that of a scientist, expert and the husband who cannot perform sexually, leaving the wife arched with frustration.

This latest advertisement is the part of the #TakeBoldCareOfHer initiative which specifically focuses on their Bold Care Extend Spray, designed specially for men whose tank fires too soon, whose soldiers don’t march, or carry empty gun barrels etc. The imagery which in medical terms are referred to as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.

Employing techniques of humour and satire, the advertisement has managed to fuel a dialogue regarding the men’s sexual health in India. The societal awareness that the advertisement plays with, makes it rank further high on hilarity. Recently, the news of MBA graduates looking at unemployment became very prominent and the writers of the advertisement didn’t think twice before milking that punch. When Ranveer Singh queries Johnny Sins on the effectiveness of the spray, Sins is quick to respond that the spray indeed works unlike an MBA.

Looking at the first advertisement, it was shot in the regressive setup of a typical Indian soap opera featuring a joint family. The style of shooting is extremely accurate with shit VFX, slow-motion shots and jump cuts. The recipe for the success of this advertisement, you ask? The placement of sexual wellness products in a daily soap opera format starring a pornstar and an A-list celebrity who also happens to be the co-owner as well as the face of the brand Bold Care.

In the first advertisement, Johnny’s wife is all set to leave the house and when confronted by Johnny’s brother Singh about why she wants to leave, her reasoning for the same shocks everyone. But, the problem solves itself after the intervention of Bold Care and the hardness prevails, leaving Johnny’s wife satisfied.

The brilliance of the advertisement lies in the pairing where it is as intriguing as it is unexpected. Known for his ecstatic performance of the silver screen, Singh enhances the glamour factor on the screen while Sins’ presence, on the other hand, serves two fold purposes. On the surface, it is for shock value and a more nuanced reading reflects the larger problem of men’s sexual health issues where someone who’s bread and butter depends on their woody goodie can also be staring at performance troubles. Further reducing the hesitation that men feel about taking a pill for their sexual problem.

If we look closer and further strip the layers to bare the advertisement, it is almost immediately noticed that the commercial has put forth significant pointers such as the cruciality of female desire and why it can’t be shrugged off and the sheer necessity to destigmatize dialogue regarding sexual health. These concepts are laced in modernity and for them to be placed in regressive settings like a sasu-bahu serial is an elegant way to employ subversion via dramatic dialogues to get the message of difficult conversations being held in the public spaces across. Also, it shatters the shackles that exist around women’s pleasure and makes the woman boldly voice her dissatisfaction.

The advertisements did excel in their primary objective as well which was to create a buzz and get people talking about the advertisement. The advertisement additionally informs us that four out of ten men face this problem but what they miss is that it is very common and easy to solve. Most men can’t accept it because of the apparent “manliness” attached to but if they were educated enough to understand that there is no shame in it, reaching out for relevant help would become easier for them.

If you remember some of the previous attempts at expression of sexuality in the condom advertisements of ManForce and KamaSutra, you would find soft porn there. So, for Bold Care advertisements to take the idea of “sex sells” in a humorous approach and not baring bodies is something that calls for appreciation.

Irrespective of whether the advertisements are liked by all or not, it has served the aim for which it was set out for. Now, the real test lies in whether the sale of the product is as successful or not.