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India's Consumers Can be a Gold Mine - If You Can Get Into Their Heads
Bureau West Research Group: Advertising Tailored to Indian Consumers Yields Success
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - August 3, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- American companies are
discovering the appeal of marketing their products in India. With a population of
approximately one billion, and a middle class that's larger than the total population of
the United States (300 million and growing), there's definitely money to be made.
However, foreign companies have learned that marketing in India is not easy. Despite
Indians' familiarity with the English language and exposure to Western culture, foreign
companies, like Pepsi, were disappointed when they tried running their existing
advertising in India.
Multi-national companies have been far more successful with advertising created
specifically for the Indian market:
- Pepsi's sales increased when they ran advertising featuring Indian movie star
Shahrukh Khan, and popular cricket batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
- An ad for Fair & Lovely face cream (owned by Unilever) had a woman saying "I
wish I had a son!" This raised hackles among Indian intellectuals. But the ad
talked about the marginalized father-daughter relationship and connected to
Indian emotions. People saw the ad as a celebration of the daughter's
subsequent empowerment. Sales shot up.
- ICICI Prudential Life Insurance uses the "Sindoor" (the red mark in the
parting of the Indian married woman's forehead) as a guarantee, capturing the
essence of this powerful age-old metaphor for insuring the future.
Political themes can be successful... but should probably be left to local companies.
When Onida televisions (an Indian company) ran an ironic "border" story after a skirmish
over the disputed state of Kashmir, it was highly successful. But when Cadbury's ran an
ad related to Kashmir (with the line "It cannot be shared"), they faced such strong
criticism that they withdrew the ad hastily. As they say in India, "it is OK for the
daughter to criticize the head of the family, but not for the daughter-in-law!"
How can American companies create advertising that will resonate with Indian consumers?
By talking to them! Bureau West, a Los Angeles-based market research company, has
partnered with Piyul Mukherjee of Proact Research in India to conduct research with
Indian consumers. Ms. Mukherjee has overseen research all over India and truly
understands the diversity of Indian attitudes.
Contact Bureau West for a free report,
"How to Conduct Focus Groups in India." For a copy of the report, send an email to
Organization Website: www.bureauwest.com
Source of News:
Bureau West Research Group
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