Sunday, January 30, 2011

Local Idioms and Dialect work better: Indian Advertising goes glocal

Ogilvy Dakshin's success reiterates a truth a lot of people knew for decades, which is that the advertising created in Mumbai, never connected emotionally once it crossed the Vindhyas. There was a perfunctory South Indian version dub done in case of some national brand advertising where lip synch issues came to play. Cultural cues were given the wide berth. For instance a well known detergent brand used the "pagdi" or the head dress which was a symbol of pride in the North very effectively in its Hindi version, but this simply( zimbly) went over the South Indian heads, were the cues could have been different like an upturned moustache or the shoulder cloth which is part of the apparel.
There was also a rich treasure trove of local sayings, practices, songs and cues which were lying untapped. When the likes of Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi and the likes came to the fore romancing the Hindi language with rustic touches, the country responded and many advertising usages became part of the sub-culture. This however is yet to happen in the South where there is a history of conflict to do with language.
This initiative from Ogilvy to set up a Dakshin Division is insightful and well advised. Care should now be taken to now pay heed to the regional differences here. Malayalis have a sensibility which is self effacing and diametrically opposed to the loud dramatic themes that rules in Tamil Nadu and the Telugu idiom has its own flavour. What runs in Namma bengaluru may again be quite different:)

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