The Advertiser’s India: One Country or Many?
As the focus of global business shifts firmly to the BRIC economies, marketers and advertisers face an increasing need to understand the marketing environments in those countries. What brands do their consumers desire? What advertising resonates within their borders?
A recent Millward Brown Point of View by Sana Carlton titled "Ads That Travel: Planning a Safe and Profitable Journey for Your Campaign" discusses the challenges in creating advertising that can cross borders effectively. But the BRIC countries are such complex and colorful amalgams of languages, cultures, and ethnicities that they present challenges in creating advertising that travels even within their borders. And nowhere is this truer than in India.
India, with its sure and steady growth and its alluring size (in terms of purchasing power, it’s the fourth-largest economy in the world), has created a buzz within corporate circles. But those who want to understand what makes this large and diverse country tick may find themselves both fascinated and frustrated. For Advertising, There Is No One India
It may seem a cliché, but considering India as one country is akin to encountering a family with brothers named Giancarlo, Goran, and Gordon. Though it’s certainly possible, we’d take the odds against it! By way of illustration, Table 1, which compares India to Europe, clearly highlights the linguistic and cultural differences that exist within India. But do these differences affect the way consumers perceive and respond to advertising?
Our data suggests that the answer is yes, they do. We have tested close to a thousand ads in multiple markets across India. Only one ad out of seven is a strong performer across markets. Among ads that do exceptionally well in one market, more than a third perform very poorly in others. Thus there is truly no one India when it comes to advertising. About the Author
Shiv Moulee is Chief Client Officer, Millward Brown India [email protected]