Written By Agastya Sharma (Grade 7)
Advertising. Ever wonder, what it actually is? Ever wonder, what the process behind those bright, colorful ads you see, every day?
Well, you’re in luck. Because I’m here to tell you all about it.
India has accomplished a lot since that fateful day of 15 August, 1947. We’ve remained a democracy till date, become the fifth largest economy in the world, even built Asia’s first nuclear reactor. At the core, of all these achievements, was the media.
Media now is an integral part of our lives, to say the least. You can’t turn anywhere in Delhi without seeing multiple billboards advertising a new high-rise building, or a recent release on Netflix. Advertising has now become a widespread concept, and not one of us is not affected by it.
It all started with, well, Ashokan times. Even the great kingdom had its small hoardings on the frescoes of the Ajanta-Ellora caves, depicting multiple religious scenes. Now that doesn’t sound like something really, let’s say, flashy, or it didn’t have any of the modern flair, but it was an advertisement nonetheless.
We fast forward to the independence fight. The agency culture becomes part of India, but it didn’t do well against British and American companies. The really big jump occurred well after World War 1, when advertising companies gained momentum. Ads started appearing in newspapers, and this proved to be beneficial for both the advertiser and the brand. Still prominent newspapers like the Times of India were the first to publish ads. India’s very first newspaper, The Bengal Gazette, published ads to inform the public of general events. This caused large growth in the industry.
Foreign companies like JWT bought into the Indian market with brands like Horlicks and General Motors, names you would still hear in the modern era. The Swadeshi Movement and India’s first printing press in Calcutta in 1907 are considered the advertising industry’s largest propagators. The acquisition of British companies by Indian businesses were also major steps in the development of Indian advertising.
The growth of India’s advertising industry can be attributed to the progression of recent technology. The expansion of ads from the television to viewing a website on Google, you always run into an ad. Technology has played a large part in the advancement of the industry.
My parents have both worked in advertising, and I’ve heard multiple stories from them about the job. Here’s a small excerpt of an interview I did to learn more.
Question: How would you describe the work?
Answer: The working hours went late into the night, with you turning up to the office at 10 A.M. and not leaving until 2 in the morning, needing to be on-call for designs and approvals. There were tons of meetings for clients, and now, I’d say that the client themselves supply you with the material to work with. Lots of party-going to meet with people, and according to me, we had a lot of fun on the job too. Advertising has progressed a lot.
According to my parents, the work made up for a lot of downsides, like the hours. The industry, as they said, has progressed a lot, and quite a bit has changed. But, as they say, all change is for the better. And I sure hope that the change in this industry is too.
Well, that’s all from me today! Hope you enjoyed, and stay safe!
Featured Image Courtesy – Evolve and Co