The U-turn to tradition in the world of Indian advertisements



Every moment in a person’s life sees a change and everything undergoes some sort of metamorphosis. Likewise, along with a lot of things, the forms of advertisements too have changed over the years.

Not going back very far, the advertisements of the same products of the days when our television sets started catering to us, the world through a coloured lens has changed today. Probably it is a demand-push of the era or the overall advertising scenario that has changed. Whatever be the reason, the change is evident.

If you are thinking we are going to talk about the introduction of sex and sleaze in advertisement or the unnecessary use of women, then you are wrong. Ad-makers have long come out of this false belief and have actually started making meaningful and touching ads.

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In earlier days, when sex and sleaze had not dared to creep in to the ad world, 90% of the advertisements used to be family-oriented, more like an embodiment of the Indian culture. Remember the old advertisement of Cadbury where a girl dances in a cricket stadium? Or the simple Pepsi ads so to say? Innocence-filled, those ads were soothing and inevitably cute. However, with time, cheap inclusions had to be made in order to get the products sold. But this did not help for a long time. Sex and sleaze did sell the advertisements but not the products. And this was realised by the ad-makers before it was too late.


If we carefully watch the ads of today, it is evident that a certain amount of personal touch, not the traditional value system, but a focus on an individual’s needs are being included.

Talking to Aniruddha Biswas, who heads Mezzanine, an advertisement agency in Mumbai, it becomes all the more clear as to why the ad-makers shifted from the idea of sex and sleaze.

“There are two Indias I believe. One that believes in cheap fun and the other that still likes the traditional history of India. Indians are basically very emotional and thus even in today’s world there is some place for emotion and that is exactly where ad-makers are trying to hit,” says Biswas.


One can only hope that more and more of these ad-makes come up with time as this is what India is — emotional, simple, yet forward thinking. In the words of Biswas, even today some youth find amusement in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s movies and not in movies like Housefull 3 and this is exactly what India is made of.

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