The Changing Face of the Indian Advertising Industry

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Archana Muralidhar, Senior Account Manager

1/20/2012

TMP India is a wholly-owned company in India

The Indian advertising industry is witnessing a sea of changes in the last few years. From huge billboards and hoardings to irresistibly alluring offers—the advertising world has fast fine-tuned itself to appeal to the representatives of the changing face of modern India.

From a modest beginning of a few lines spoken on the radio to the flashy world of the Internet—the advertising world has come a long way. Initially, when the deodorant brand Rexona stepped into the Indian economy, it was faced with a mind-boggling problem of not being able to reach the youth through newspaper and television advertisements. This problem was extensively thought over and after a number of surveys, the conclusion reached was to advertise about deodorants on sites which encounter heavy traffic. It was suggested that the target customers were more likely to be Internet surfers than television viewers. The idea, earlier thought to be ridiculous, worked wonders for the company and was one of the most instrumental steps in helping the company create a consumer base in India.

When the world renowned ice-cream brand Haagen-Dazs announced that Indian passport holders are not allowed to enter its outlet in one of the places in Delhi, a huge furor followed. Raised eye-brows demanding explanations regarding this openly discriminating and insulting restriction were met with apologetic clarifications from the company saying it was merely a strategy for brand promotion. Whether or not it was a promotion tactic, it managed to engrave in the minds of the media and the public what Haagen-Dazs was.

The newest transformation observed in the world of advertising is how it is aligning itself to draw the attention of youth towards the brands. The advertisements are designed in a manner that the youth identify with the brand and relate instantaneously to it. Blackberry—one of the leading mobile companies has lately been trying to change its public image from being a phone for use by office-goers to a phone for everyone's use. The tag-line clearly states— "Not just for the office boys".

The Cadbury advertisements which were earlier targeting the general audience have now shifted gaze and are keenly concentrating on the young. The most recent commercial shows an exchange between a young boy and girl over the chocolate. These newcomers replaced the Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan in these ads and that goes to say a lot about what the companies are thinking.

The sudden change in the target audience of brands is considered to be a conscious decision following data expressing that the majority of Indian audience is between 16-25 years of age. The idea that India is seen to be an upcoming economy with a lot of potential is utilized by the makers in promotion of their brand. By projecting India as an imminent super-power, the brands give the consumers a feeling of being potent, sovereign and powerful.

Another arena tapped upon by the advertisers is the social networking sites which are the most hyped and read about media in these times. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular sites. On Facebook, the brands start by creating a page, "liking" which promises "exclusive gifts and goodies". The suggestion that a simple click could win you things which you would have to think about twice before shelling out money for— is both fantastic and tempting and thus, manages to thrive successfully.

Advertising has been an immensely crucial aspect of business—for what the society doesn't see, it doesn't buy. The advertising world has always been extremely dynamic and ever-evolving, but with the revamping of advertisements as per the economic situation of the country—it guarantees an industry that is more vibrant and vivacious than ever before.

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