I couldn’t resist a headline which read, ‘Best Ever Commercials of India,’ jumping out at me on a popular aggregation website recently. Clicking through, I found myself on a strange marketing website that despite its lack of cohesion, as promised, had managed to accumulate six pretty wonderful Indian TV adverts. These include the wacky ‘Aliens Attack’ pitch for Fevicol glue, an overly-theatrical yet hypnotic Chlormint ad and the first in the adorable Vodafone ‘Happy to Help’ series that would tug on the heartstrings of anyone who has ever loved a dog.
After catching my breath, I was reminded that India’s culture is something unique and remarkable, and that no matter how much commercial influence permeates the nation, it remains unwaveringly distinctive in its feel and flavor.
So I’ll have to disagree with an article printed last week in the Economic Times, ‘TV ads in India do not employ visual technique,’ that critiques the TV commercial industry in the country, saying it could use an ‘overhaul,’ because it currently places a ‘deafening reliance on aural persuasion alone’ while forgetting other crucial factors like–the visual. I think that visually, the commercials coming out of India now continue to be very reflective of the diverse yet collectively eccentric nature of the culture, including things like traditional dance and attire and popular entertainment such as Bollywood. And in asserting the advertising quality of the country is sub-par based on models that have been set and followed in the West we actually risk sounding a little culturally imperialistic.