indian consumer kaun hai.pdf - Journal of Macromarketing http\/jmk.sagepub.com Indian Consumer Kaun Hai The Class-Based Grammar of Indian Advertising

indian consumer kaun hai.pdf - Journal of Macromarketing...

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Journal of Macromarketing The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/0276146712442547 published online 8 April 2012 Journal of Macromarketing Julien Cayla and Mark Elson Indian Consumer Kaun Hai? The Class-Based Grammar of Indian Advertising Published by: On behalf of: Macromarketing Society can be found at: Journal of Macromarketing Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: What is This? - Apr 8, 2012 OnlineFirst Version of Record >> at University of New South Wales on June 5, 2012 jmk.sagepub.com Downloaded from
Indian Consumer Kaun Hai ? The Class-Based Grammar of Indian Advertising Julien Cayla 1,2 and Mark Elson 3 Abstract Advertising proves to be a particularly useful source of images, stories, and vocabulary, to study the globalization of the Indian economy and the construction of Indian identity. The authors analyze how advertising executives and other cultural producers, such as magazine editors, try to answer the question ‘‘Indian consumer kaun hai ?’’ (Who is the Indian consumer?) while trying to develop narratives that can represent Indian ways of living. In a country as diverse as India, this is an extremely difficult task. Draw- ing from a content analysis of the Hindi and English versions of India Today as well as interviews with Indian advertising executives, the authors detail how cultural producers imagine Indian consumers. This work illuminates the striking differences, between the imagined cultural world of the English speaking elite, and their vernacular counterparts. By showing the importance of the English language, and Western cultural references in indexing the ‘‘modern Indian,’’ this work contributes to macromarketing efforts to study globalization and its effects. Keywords advertising, advertising history, India, Indian advertising, globalization, social class Introduction Indian consumer kaun hai ? Who is the Indian consumer? It is a question that pervades the hallways and meeting rooms of Indian advertising agencies. And yet, given the staggering abundance of languages, communities, religions, and social distinctions in the Indian context (Venkatesh and Swamy 1994), finding a suitable answer is a complex endeavor. Conse- quently, trying to elaborate national campaigns or a national publication requires dexterous semiotic work, navigation of a vast and perilous vocabulary in seeking to articulate ways of being and living that can resonate with such a diverse nation. Our study looks specifically at the ways Indian advertising executives and other cultural producers such as magazine editors try to solve this riddle.

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