No one knows a culture better than a good marketer.
Once you know what appeals to the heart of a culture, you can get them to do (or buy) nearly anything you want.
In some cultural training programs I put together for a specific culture, we would often show advertisements and then discuss the embedded cultural values and themes that emerged. Participants would learn four to five significant cultural truths from one commercial alone. Ads not only show the major values of a culture, they also show trends of how these values are changing.
I recently came across an article that talked about some of the best advertisements of 2013 in India. Here are four of the best ones that are very reflective of both longstanding and new cultural values.
Warning: if you are prone to crying at emotional-packed ads, you may want to have some tissues on hand.
#1 – “Reunion” from Google India
This one peeks into an old theme of India’s partition and the creation of Pakistan. Make sure to turn on the captions for translation.
#2 – “Remarriage” from Tanishq
Here’s a bold statement for India about second marriages, which have generally been a taboo subject. Maybe it’s simply a new market for gold jewelry, but it still reflects a shifting acceptance. Many of the comments also talk about the actress being “darker skinned”, which is a huge deal in India.
The last line translates to something like “Can I call you Daddy now?”
#3 – “Boxer” from Cadbury Bournvita
This one is very reflective of one of the biggest pressing issues in India today, but I won’t ruin the surprise.
Translation of the voice over from this blog:
We will prepare ourselves with better prepared ones Since it will keep reminding us how capable we really are Habits are neither formed in a day, nor easily Because in life, competition is unparalleled But for that, we will prepare ourselves to be two steps ahead
Women’s safety and empowerment have become two major issues in modern India, and this ad does a great job of capturing both. I won’t comment on whether or not a powdered “health” drink will allow you achieve your goals, but the message behind it is a powerful one.
#4 – “Gundappa” from Lifebuoy
This one might be the topper for inspiration. (Translations are already embedded.)
Staying up with the leading marketing means staying up with culture and how it changes. If you are in a new culture, don’t forget to let the marketer be your teacher.
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