LEVERAGING THE CULTURAL SHIFT – speaking the unspoken

It won’t surprise me if someone says that we are at the advent of a new advertising era. India is witnessing a huge cultural change where the less talked about matters are taking the maximum footage and the advertisers are using taboos to connect to the audience. India, where once “cool” was designated as a clean shaved person riding on a scooter, taking the burden of the family and projecting himself as the hero has been totally chamfered. The new definition of “cool” without a doubt is the lady today who wants to take up responsibilities, wants to talk about stuff which she was never allowed to talk about in public. Advertisers are leaving no stone unturned to talk about women empowerment, LGBT rights, women based crimes etc.

According to the leading advertisers, “People today want to see ads not just for the information of the product (I think they are the least interested in it) but for the story and the connect it makes to them, which in turn builds the brand. Focusing the product has become secondary.”

Let’s talk about some ads to get the actual feeling of what is hot in the market. I am pretty sure that everyone is aware about the “bold is beautiful” ad campaign by Myntra but what you might not be aware about is that the ad realised least you tube skips in the duration it was launched. It says a lot about the transforming mindset of the people and whispers silently to the advertisers that it’s time to enter the “no talks land”.

Titled 'BOLD IS BEAUTIFUL |The Visit', the latest advertisement conceptualised by the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather in Bangalore for Myntra is making waves on the social media by taking a positive stand for LGBT rights. "We tried to avoid the stereotypes associated with gay people. We tried to give it a candid feel like it is any other couple being apprehensive about meeting the parents” said one of the members of the production house.

Interestingly, this is not the first Indian advertisement that has taken a positive stand for LGBT rights. A couple of years ago, an ad by Fastrack also slyly hinted at a lesbian couple making out in a closet with the tag line, 'Come out of the closet' and the list goes on. A recent hit “Jaago re” campaign by TATA tea was ranked 1 by AFAQS which talks about waking up before the rape happens.

These were all the ads which have marked the highest you tube hits and Facebook re-
shares. The ads were produced by different advertising agencies at different locations for different clients and on different topics but they sure have one thing in common. The people are smart enough to guess that.

Ayush Agarwal
IIM Raipur

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