India is a country steeped in tradition and culture, with a rich history that spans thousands of years. Despite this, the country has rapidly embraced modern technology and advertising methods, leading to a fascinating intersection between old and new. In our previous articles, we saw how advertising is still ingrained in our DNA and traditions are still deeply rooted in our storytelling values. In modern India, we as advertisers must navigate cultural sensitivities and traditional values while still appealing to a growing, modern audience. In this article, we will shed some light on some key strategies for modern advertising in traditional India:
Localize Content: India is a diverse country, with many different languages, customs, and traditions. Advertisers must be mindful of these differences and create content that is tailored to specific regions and audiences. We’re already seeing the localization of content by brands like Zomato, Blinkit, and others who believe that local is the future global. This can include using local dialects, featuring regional landmarks or cultural events, and incorporating traditional music or dance.
Respect Religious Beliefs: Religion is a significant part of life in India, and advertisers must be respectful of different beliefs and practices. Walking on this plane is a thin ice that most brands try to avoid. However, there have been several pieces of advertising that have encroached on the controversial or offensive region by mocking certain religious outfits.
Use Humour and Storytelling: Yes, we all agree that humour is the need of the hour in today’s serious times. In a nation that’s hounded by political agendas, offensive lash outs, and delicate subject matters, somewhere humour and storytelling are losing their mojo. As advertisers, it is our sacrosanct duty to understand the important aspects of Indian culture and use these elements to create engaging content. By using relatable characters and situations, and incorporating traditional storytelling techniques, brands can create advertisements that resonate with audiences on a deeper level. We can relate to the recent meme of how a lady pleaded with Tinder at a cricket stadium via placard to match her with the current sensation in cricket – Shubhman Gill. Tinder was quick to acknowledge and the memefest began. Another one was the animated reaction of Virat Kohli after seeing the food arrive while he was having a serious discussion with Rahul Dravid. Myntra responded promptly.
Incorporate Social Responsibility: In recent years, social responsibility has become an increasingly important aspect of advertising in India. Sometimes, this aspect is overplayed and it is again caught in the eye of the netizen’s storm. Nevertheless, when advertisers incorporate messages about environmental sustainability, social justice, and other important causes, brands can build trust and loyalty with Indian consumers who are increasingly conscious of social issues.
Embrace New Technologies: ChatGPT might be a blessing in disguise to some, but the traditional media still needs to adjust to the new normal. The millennial generation might be taking some learning lessons on this from Gen Z but we’re still scratching the surface. While traditional media such as television and print advertising still play a significant role in Indian advertising, new technologies such as social media and mobile apps are quickly gaining ground. By using these platforms to reach younger, tech-savvy audiences, brands can stay relevant and reach a broader range of consumers.
Despite the challenges of navigating cultural sensitivities in traditional India, modern advertising offers significant opportunities for brands looking to reach this rapidly growing market. By respecting traditional values and customs, localizing content, and embracing new technologies, advertisers can create engaging, effective campaigns that appeal to modern Indian audiences while still honouring the country’s rich cultural heritage. There’s a lot to learn from the Indian history and mythology books that can surely be translated into award-winning advertising stories, but we’re only getting started.
At 3 Dots Design Pvt. Ltd., we’d love to strike the perfect balance between the best of both worlds by incorporating the best modern advertising practices into our daily jobs while still delivering top-notch storytelling ads for all our clients. Being one of the best ad agencies in Pune, we value every modern advertising strategy and our team of well-experienced content writers, graphic designers, creative artists, brand managers and digital experts ensure we do it effortlessly. If you wish to know more about who we are or what we do, please visit www.3dotsdesign.in or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org