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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Portrayal of Indian family in advertisements

Harish Bijoor talks about the typical desi family as presented in Indian ads:

The ideal family in advertising lore for the last four decades is also a simple one. One husband. One wife. Two kids. The first kid is a boy. The second one is a girl. The ideal age gap: three years.

Want to show an even better-adjusted family? Brand executives have the answer here. Show this ideal family of four with a senior citizen as well...swinging happily on a jhoola! This is a senior citizen-friendly family. A family that in true tradition of Indian culture and living respects the elderly in the house and makes their life comfortable in the evening of their lives. How unlike what we see in the US!

The family is getting smaller and smaller. The husband-wife and one kid scenario is well nigh a reality. Bring in this aspirational set for sure. And how about that one kid that is a girl child?

Indian advertising will soon start showing the different kinds of families. It will start with the one-child family. And then the no-child family. And then just a nuclear family. Just a couple, no kids. And then probably same-sex couples.

And then will come the protest from the Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai!


  • Yeah, the family circle, the family size is all shrinking...I am sure pretty soon...just like the West..people will avoid having children.! But this is only in the middle/upper middle/Higher class.

    How about the lower/Lower middle classes??

    By Blogger Narayanan Venkitu, at 12:36 PM  

  • hi kaps

    what about the dog man !!!

    a family is not complete in US ads unless there is a dog in the picture.


    By Blogger Sundar Narayanan, at 2:52 PM  

  • There was a discussion about starting an EFF india, in the blogs. Thejesh GN created a group in google for discussions regarding this.


    As on now there are only two member - Myself and Thejesh. Would you like to join?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:41 PM  

  • Kaps,

    With this kind of imagination you can become a successful ad film maker ;)

    By Blogger Nallavan, at 5:00 PM  

  • And then the no-child family

    I don't think ads would portray a no-child family, many ads still rely on child senti a lot.


    By Blogger narayanan, at 7:09 PM  

  • Stereotypes and idealism sells. Who wants to use a toothpaste that is used by a family that where the father abuses his children?
    Its so deep rooted in our culture that ad execs just play to our cultural biases. After all they have a business to run, and they get paid for selling toothpaste and not for spreading social awareness.

    By Blogger Mousepad Marauder, at 11:47 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger 30in2005, at 1:59 AM  

  • Talking about stereotypes, there is a UK comedy series called Goodness Gracious Me' which finds the humour in how desi's have tried to adjust in the UK in the past few decades. One of the funniest sketches was a TV advert aimed at Indian families where the main product was 'Bharat Homes' a ready-made indian home complete with numerous fluorescent lights and every surface such as remote controls, TV and sofa's covered in protective plastic!! Very funny how we project ourselves, don't you think...?!

    By Blogger 30in2005, at 2:02 AM  

  • hey Why does a search with IIPM on blogger search show four of those IIPM-student blogs like realiipm,iipmindia in the top.. i have a posted a snapshot..

    By Blogger anthony, at 3:54 AM  

  • What is Raghuvaran doing here? Isn't that the guy holding on to his glasses and commenting on this blog? The guy who acts in tamil film. The guy who people mistake me, often, for? Ah well, never mind all that. Didn't know you were into advertising, also. Guess it must be the anantha connection. We used to work together. All of which, really, has nothing to do with this post. Speaking of this post, another time. Advertising gives us too much to talk about. Cheers. TDU

    By Blogger √úbermaniam, at 4:14 PM  

  • @Venkitu Sir,
    the shrinking is restricted to middle class and upper middle class. I don't see this happening in the lower middle class and the downtrodden.
    if the cost of bringing up a child goes up, this is impact all sections of the society

    I guess we are not yet there yet. Indians are divided about the concept of having pets. Further if u live in an apartment, having a pet is gonna be a problem for the neighbours.

    Thanks for the info about EFF....will let u know shortly

    I have just cut pasted the stuff....the credit should go to Harish Bijoor

    @Ranganathan St,
    I guess the author wanted to have a funny ending and hence tried to talk about no-child family.

    You are bang on target....thanks for dropping by

    that was really funny.

    I guess u already found out the answer

    Hv mailed u

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:40 PM  

  • There's also one observation - it is always the Son in the family, who is being sent to boarding school or begin sent to study abroad. Never the girl....
    (er.. talking about the ads)

    By Blogger TTG, at 1:50 AM  

  • @TTG,
    Some of the print ads by banks depict some women who go abroad to study. I guess this phenomenon is slowly changing.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 10:48 AM  

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