Ch20 Article 3 - The Infomercial Comes to Life In India's...

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Page 1 of 2 2009 Factiva, Inc. All rights reserved. The Infomercial Comes to Life In India's Remotest Villages --- Traveling Salesman Mr. Sharma Sings, Jokes To Spread Gospel of Global Consumerism By Eric Bellman 1,040 words 10 June 2009 The Wall Street Journal J A1 English BENIPUR VILLAGE, India -- Advertisers in India can't rely on TV, radio or even newspapers to reach the country's 700 million rural consumers. So they use Sandeep Sharma. On dirt roads across the subcontinent, the former wedding singer cracks jokes, gives demonstrations and stages game shows to spread global consumerism, one village at a time. He is one of thousands of traveling performers who bring the world's biggest brands to audiences of a handful in the remotest reaches of the nation. He offers free Castrol oil changes for tractors. He dishes out bowls of Nestle noodles in village schools. He pushes Unilever soaps and creams. He promotes tooth powder and condoms. "Stick to the countryside if you want to be successful," the 34-year-old says, beaming after a recent performance before a small crowd of villagers in stifling heat. "When we arrive, the whole village comes out." It's a good time to be a traveling salesman in India, relatively speaking. Insulated from the worst of the global recession, India's rural consumers are spending as never before. International brands -- eager for ways to offset contracting markets elsewhere -- are sending out armies of salesmen like Mr. Sharma. Overall
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2011 for the course MKT 337h taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Ch20 Article 3 - The Infomercial Comes to Life In India's...

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