It’s time to marvel at the vocal stylings of Virat Kohli (and also Rishabh Pant) in this amazing/awful pimple cream ad

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It’s hard not to feel that the role of ‘ambassador’ has been somewhat devalued in recent years by the marketing industry.

It used to be a high-ranking diplomat. But now…

“I am very excited to be a part of Team Himalaya and be the ambassador for their Men’s Face Wash range,” said Virat Kohli about his involvement in this quite magnificent ad alongside Rishabh Pant.

When we wrote about what it’s like to be Virat Kohli a couple of years back, we highlighted how Indian notions of coolness had evolved rapidly in recent years; how previously a cool person was just someone wearing a leather jacket and a pair of sunglasses on a motorbike whereas now it’s something a little more refined.

This ad is maybe a sign that the nation is still capable of the occasional false step.

As everyone knows, the definitive manual for coolness was produced by Marzipan in Kiri and Lou.

To summarise:

“Don’t be silly or pretend. Don’t fall about. Don’t sing and shout. Don’t play the fool.”

To Marzipan’s instructions we’ll add this: Under no circumstances make reference to, ‘walking like a dude, feeling all cool’.

Now, ‘Dude’ – that’s a name no one would self-apply where we come from. You might argue that Virat’s referring to “you” when he says that, but it definitely feels like the kind of “you” where he actually means himself.

So, all-in-all, a dreadful and incredibly fun ad. But before you get too great a superiority complex from laughing at it, we need to knock you down a peg or two.

First of all, please take a moment to imagine an American (any American) pronouncing a foreign place name (any foreign place name).

It’s horrible, isn’t it? Whatever it is you’re imagining, they’re guaranteed to say it so massively, irresponsibly, unrecognisably wrong, that it’s almost beyond offensive.

Now watch this ad again and ponder just how wrong you’ve been pronouncing “Himalaya” for your entire life.


  1. Why is he singing in English but talking in Punjabi? Other than it’s in the script.

  2. Daisy likes to pronounce the word Himalaya correctly, although she always puts on a “cut glass & port wine” accent when doing so, which makes her pronunciation sound uncannily like that of Mr Kohli.

    In other news, I have just published a piece on the origins of the tennis scoring system which is, if you like that sort of thing, just a little bit mind-blowing:

    There are one or two people around here who will get off on the exposition about sexagesimal, while others might enjoy links to genuine Renaissance books that tend to be freely available for isnpection on the web these days.

  3. An English person claiming Americans pronounce foreign words wrong is a black hole calling a kettle black

  4. I’m trying to imagine other captains singing to their players with pre-night out skin care advice. Border to Boon? Brearley to Boycott?

    1. I can actually jus tabout imagine Root singing it to Curran with a suitably gormless look on his face.

      Re Brearley to Boycs, I’ll raise you Athers to Hick. Bet that would have gone down well.

      1. I’m trying to envisage Douglas Jardine encouraging (or would it have been “instructing” in those days?) Harold Larwood to use pimple cream and/or to moisturise.

      2. “I’m trying to envisage Douglas Jardine encouraging (or would it have been “instructing” in those days?) Harold Larwood to use pimple cream and/or to moisturise.”

        It’s not hard to picture him pompously banging on about the proper use of a cravat or something equally cosmetic.

  5. I read somewhere that Alec Stewart was an early adopter of moisturiser in the England dressing room, but with him I imagine it would have been about maintenance rather than vanity – on a par with creosoting one’s fence or topping up the oil in the car. And I certainly can’t imagine him singing about it.

  6. Can we talk about Test Match highlights?

    7pm – 8pm on BBC Two – prime ‘Just Fucking Go To Sleep Or I’ll Tell Santa Not To Come This Year’ hour.

    Chances of day one appearing on the iPlayer before the end of the summer?

    1. Reckon it’ll be on sharpish. BBC far more on the ball than Channel 5, streaming-wise.

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