INTERNATIONAL: ME AND MY MARKET; David Dickey, art director at MAA Bozell, New Delhi

Before coming to India, I expected to see cows strolling down city streets. What I didn’t expect to see was political ads painted on their torsos. It seems advertising has worked its way into every aspect of Indian culture.

Before coming to India, I expected to see cows strolling down city

streets. What I didn’t expect to see was political ads painted on their

torsos. It seems advertising has worked its way into every aspect of

Indian culture.



This is partly due to a number of multinational brands racing to break

into the market. They obviously recognise the potential of a country

with a population of 940 million.



For the most part, Indian consumers are acquainted with western brands

and they usually flock to the latest market entries. But not all are

welcomed with open arms.



Recently, in the southern city of Bangalore, angry protesters ransacked

a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. The restaurant has since re-opened and

today police are stationed outside to prevent further rioting and

demonstrate the Indian government’s commitment and desire to lure

multinationals in spite of a few rogue groups.



All the Indian media are up to international standards. Take television.

In the past four years the number of channels has risen from two to 52.

And by next year that number is expected to reach 100.



Outdoor is a favourite medium for Indian advertisers, especially in the

southern city of Madras, where there are little or no government

restrictions. As a result, billboards line both sides of many city

streets, sometimes stacked three high, making a drive across town much

like riding through a bobsleigh course.



Creating advertising is no easy task here as there are 15 nationally

recognised languages and nearly 5,000 different dialects in India.

Similarly, adaptations of international ads don’t always work, so the

majority are produced locally.



Because of the language barriers and the many diverse religions and

cultures of India, clients have a tendency to be conservative. Even so,

some of the advertising created by Indian agencies is world class.



Although there are minor differences, advertising in India is much the

same as in the West. We use all the same equipment and face the same

marketing problems.



And, of course, the age-old debate over logo size is alive and well

here.



FACT BOX



30 seconds prime-time TV dollars 8,500



Full page ad in national daily dollars 25,000



Total adspend 1995 dollars 940 million (30 per cent growth)



TV penetration 91 per cent, geographic; 81 per cent, population



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