Do Advertisements Dictate Culture – A Case on Indian Advertisements
India as a country enjoys its diversity. Every nook and corner of the country has its own diverse features like language, religion, dance, music, etc. The Indian culture often labeled as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced by a history that is several millennia old. The consumption behavior of an Indian consumer is often entwined with the dynamic culture prevailing in the country. Culture includes all aspects of the society. The impact of culture is so natural and ingrained that its influence on behavior is rarely noted. For example, the IT boom in India has brought in a natural cultural transformation in Bengaluru, which was not noticed initially. Now there is a public outcry on the ill-effects of this transformation. Beliefs of past slowly are being replaced by the newer ones, which reminds us of a metaphor that says, if you want to enter a new life, you must die in another. The so-called revolution in technology coupled with globalization has brought a radical change in mentalities of people and ways of conceiving world.
A country, which had a history of successful cross-cultural interactions in the past is now under the threat of extremism. The superficial understanding of other culture fostered through the virtual world of internet, television and electronic media compels people to behave differently. This has also reduced the rural-urban cultural divide in the country. An AC Nielsen survey has found that the sale of noodles, sanitary napkins and shampoos in the rural India surpassed the urban India. Young girls from rural India wearing jeans are not a rare sight in India today. They watch channels like MTV and visit McDonalds and KFC regularly.
The biggest irony in the Indian culture is that despite the advent of modernization religious bent has witnessed an increase. The public outrages happening now in connection with the meat ban is an example of this. Some festivals like the Rakshabandhan, Karva Chouth, etc., which were regional once is celebrated throughout India. Indians still wait for auspicious time for important purchases and also rely on advices of astrologers on major decisions in life. Consumer behavior is directly affected by religion in terms of products that are symbolically and ritualistically associated with the celebration.......................