In India Colgate means toothpaste, Xerox is used for photocopy while in actuality Colgate and Xerox are companies. these are just a couple of many many words we used to describe everyday objects. Well, the credit for this goes to the advertisements for these products. These brands have become synonymous with the product and their advertising and are still used interchangeably. Street hawkers calling out customers, or the vendors in the local buses represent the oldest ways of advertisement. The melodious tone of the ice cream man in the summer made us instantly recognize and crave it.
The history of the Indian advertisement industry is filled with ads that are still remembered today and take us back in time with just a jingle. We used to sit through ads that were at least 1minute long but today we promptly skip through the ads on TV or YouTube. Today ads are snack breaks rather than advertisements trying to lure you into buying something.
Partho Dasgupta , Ex-CEO of BARC India and Presently Managing Partner, Thoth Advisors shares “Ads in the 80s-90s were not only targeted at people’s wallets but their hearts as well. Brands truly wanted to make a connection with the audience for the long term. A good Ad is an amalgamation of great cinematography, a hard-to-forget jingle, and a great script that puts a point across in 30 seconds.” The Nirma Ad, Santoor Ad, and the Dhara Jingle are great examples of ads that truly spoke to the audience which made them indelible.
The advertising industry was limited to TV, print, billboards, etc. a few years back, but now it has revolutionized in the past few years. According to EMR, in 2020 the advertisement industry was valued at INR 670 Billion and the growth of the industry during 2022-27 is estimated to be at a CAGR of 11%. Even though the growth is not highly impressive, it is steady and firm. With the growth in internet connections the social media platforms, the advertisement industry has forayed into new spaces with social media marketing and online advertisement. “No one today can claim to be a social figure or a brand without having social media representation,” says Partho Dasgupta, Ex-CEO of BARC.
Google Ad words, Search Engine Optimization, Blogs, etc. are used as a part of online advertisement by big brands as well as small entrepreneurs. “Earlier a small-scale, home-based entrepreneur could not even think of reaching hundreds and thousands and even lakhs of people, but today with the internet they can advertise and promote their products online with such ease that it’s amazing! “shares Partho Dasgupta BARC ex-CEO.
Ad agencies today use a plethora of psychographic data and other data to target their audience. Color, people, and images speak more to a person than words as they are subconsciously accepted by the brain in a certain way. Partho Dasgupta, the Ex-CEO of BARC says, “Notice how different the products that are targeted at men, women, and children are. The colors, the images used to advertise men’s products are mainly black, blue, and brown while the products targeted towards women are softer pastel colors.” The children’s ads are filled with cartoon characters and bright colors as the bright bold colors hold the attention of easily distracted children.
Humor or a great punch line is another way of attracting the audience. The latest CRED ads featuring Rahul Dravid, Neeraj Chopra, Kapil Dev are a great example of infusing humor in scripts. These ads were a great break from the monotony on TV and were widely shared. Tapping into the common shared experiences of the people is one of the easiest ways to evoke emotions at a mass scale. From making public announcements in the streets to spread awareness about their products to using color psychology, the industry has come a long way. With so many platforms connecting billions of people the smallest entrepreneur today can showcase their product. We do not have to sit in front of the television to watch an ad, it’s on our phones across all platforms. With this ease of access comes confusion. We as consumers today are spoilt for choices!