Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Incredible India

The Incredible India Campaign has been playing on several TV stations in the US. It's a beautiful, visually enticing and well crafted ad. The slogan at the end says "Atithi Devo Bhava" - which is a line from the Hindu scriptures that means "The guest is on par with God".
Feels like a not-to-miss ad: But at the same time, I feel its such a stereotype. It doesn't portray any of the advances India has made in technology or everyday living. It still shows these culturally rich images that most people in the West imagine India to be made up of.
Hit the play button to watch the ad.


brian said...

No place is going to advertise, "Come to Elbonia! We're the same as you are!" I mean, the point in getting someone to travel somewhere is to offer something different to escape to. If I want what I have, I can stay here and have it for free. :-)

And as much as India is as technologically advanced as the US and Europe and has the strong economy, educational systems, etc., when it comes to offering something different, that's all there, too. I know India isn't all about snake charmers and free roaming cows and all the trappings of the traditional culture, but the truth is you easily find all that when you go.

I've heard this kind of complaint or worry from not just you that Americans (and others maybe) need to see India for what it is rather than being stuck on preconceived perceptions. Perhaps that's true to some degree, but I think that those who made the Incredible India promotions recongize the value of all that India has to offer that would entice those who are able to plunk down a few grand to see it in person.

poornima said...

You hit it right on the nail. And I agree with you. You do get to see all of this and more if you visit.
But at the same time, I wish I could see something new in a "Welcome to India" promo. These are the very same images I remember seeing as a kid in travel magazines and tv and nothing much has changed, except the ads seem to have gotten a lot slicker today.