Mass Communication Course -Vernacular Advertising Thesis Report

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Mass Communication Course -Vernacular Advertising Thesis Report

  1. 1. Thesis Report Submitted to: By: Megha Gupta PGDPC XV 15-4151|Page
  2. 2. Vernacular Advertising2|Page
  3. 3. AcknowledgementThe way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch ofindividual stars in the world, but if they dont play together, the club wont be worth a dime. It’salways a team- whether supporting you internally or motivating you from outside, workingtogether and achieving the objective in real sense.And hence, I would like to extend my warm gratitude towards the people who helped me growand supported me in my thick & thin. I would like to give a word of gratitude to Prof. RamolaKumar, Dean, The Delhi School of Communication, New Delhi for providing the opportunityto work on this intriguing project and for her constructive criticism during project evaluation,which helped me to make necessary improvements.Thanks are due to Miss Rupanjali Lahiri, Miss Sony and Miss Piyali for all their assistance andreminders which helped me in completing my project on time. I am deeply indebted to all thosewho gave their valuable inputs in my primary research and guided me towards a conclusion.Finally, my greatest regards to the Almighty for bestowing upon me the courage to face thecomplexities of life and complete this project successfully. At last but not the least I would like tothank my family for everything I’ve achieved till date.3|Page
  4. 4. Table of Content S.No. Topic Page no. 1. A-B-C of Vernacular Advertising 5-7 2. Current Scenario of Vernacular Advertising 8-12 3. Vernacular Content in India 13-29 4. Bi-lingual Advertising in a Multi-lingual Country 30-36 5. Identity constructions in multilingual 37-38 advertising 6. Vernacular advertising: Are we doing it wrong? 39-45 7. Advertising in the vernacular: global speak v/s 46-56 local is lekker? 8. Straight from the horse’s mouth 57-64 9. A Step Ahead 65-66 10. Advertising decision making in Asia: "Glocal" 67-74 versus "Regcal" approach 11. Response , Analysis & Conclusion 75-88 12. Questionnaire 89-914|Page
  5. 5. A-B-C of Vernacular AdvertisingJust like Vernacular Literature is literature written in the vernacular- the speech of the "commonpeople", Vernacular Advertising means using a local language or dialect native to a region orcountry rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language. It aims at company’s goal of gettingin touch with their desired target audience by using the local language of that particular countryor state to ensure a better and a long lasting impression. The world is now becoming a globalmarket for an ever-increasing and varied number of companies with a common aim: to sell theirproducts to as many consumers as possible. However, the globalization of the market also meansthat companies nowadays are addressing an incredibly varied target, with many differentlanguages and, more importantly, cultures. International advertising in the 21st century is notabout ignoring or overriding cultural differences, but about understanding, accommodating andharnessing them in the service of global brand building.5|Page
  6. 6. Vernacular advertising includes: - A sign of progress - Dont just talk, engage - Speaking to the target audience: Ads are generally an intrusion in ones life, so I believe the approach to creating work should be as simple as what audiences want to see, dont be the interruption. And one of the ways to achieve this is by packaging our messages in a way our audiences just might want to engage with - Hondas live TV ad, Cadburys Gorilla, etc. - Tap in, tune in: There are many insights in any country that we can tap into to help us create relevant and memorable advertisements that not only solve our clients business problems but deliver in the creative stakes. Insights that maybe weve become desensitized to but the world is probably waiting to lap up and its high time we took bigger advantage of that.There are many insights in this country that we can tap into to help us create relevant andmemorable advertisements that not only solve our clients business problems but deliver in thecreative stakes. Insights that maybe weve become desensitized to but the world is probablywaiting to lap up and I believe its high time we took bigger advantage of that, from a relevance6|Page
  7. 7. and effectiveness point of view, is a godsend in a time where budgets are tight and advertising isbeing called upon to become more accountable as a business solution. Perhaps, what we see asobvious does not work. When I talk about vernacular advertising, it is just not traditional radioadvertising that I am aiming to discuss. There is some conventional thinking which suggests thatradio (due to its specific reach) is primed for advertising in the vernacular, and the commonassumption is that vernacular radio advertising makes sense and works in harmony to promotebetter brand value. Unfortunately, radio spend still constitutes a very small piece of the media piewhen TV is added into the mix.7|Page
  8. 8. 8|Page
  9. 9. Vernacular Content market in India9|Page
  10. 10. A brief overview India poses a unique challenge in terms of diversity in languages spoken. There are 22constitutionally approved languages spoken in India and over 1600 regional dialects. Even though Hindi is the official language, many people in India do not speak it at all. Almost every state inIndia has more than one dialect. Most languages have their own script. This diversity in languages spoken across the length and breadth of India indicates that Indian language content/technology is not synonymous with any one language. There is a need for promoting different languagesacross regions in order to reach out to the masses. Understanding of the language diversity is not complete without an understanding of the potential of these languages.10 | P a g e
  11. 11. Out of the total literate population in India, 37% are English literate in urban areas and 17% inrural. The remaining (i.e.63% in urban areas and 83% in rural) are not familiar with English. This11 | P a g e
  12. 12. population is spread across different socioeconomic classes and speaks and read differentlanguages. Their non familiarity with English has alienated them from using technology tools suchas Internet and mobiles. This opens an opportunity for vernacular content to increase and tap thenon-English knowing literate people.“...mistake one would make, is in equating India as a localized market to another localizedmarket, say Russia, or China, or even Brazil. The dynamics are completely different, and in thatperspective, India is pretty much unique. The only geography that comes even close to what Indiais would be the European Union...” - A localisation expert with a Large Software Company12 | P a g e
  13. 13. Pattern of Print Vernacular Content Consumption in IndiaTraditional media have been successful in generating a mass appeal by offering content in Indianlanguages They have recognized the potential of Indian language content as a tool to reach out tothe masses and increase their user base. In fact the popularity of these languages is so high thatthey surpass the user base of English. If we take into account the top magazines read in India thelist includes only one weekly magazine in English. The others are all in vernacular language. TheHindi television channels have achieved exceptional success compared to their Englishcounterparts. For example, Star TV, which came to India as an English channel has now slowlyconverted into a completely Hindi one.The preference of Vernacular over English or any other foreign language is clearly depicted by thetable that follows:13 | P a g e
  14. 14. Not only Hindi newspapers, but other regional language newspapers such as Marathi, Tamil,Telugu and Bengali have surpassed English newspapers in terms of readership. No English14 | P a g e
  15. 15. newspaper has been able to match the subscriber base of the regional dailies. Apart from contentanother success mantra of these top newspapers is the huge user base in India. Vernacular Content Consumption in Radio and Television Television seems to be the most evolved medium of communication and access in India, in recent times. Various organisations andpublic institutions that intend to communicate their messages to individuals have used this15 | P a g e
  16. 16. medium effectively. Similarly, seekers of information and entertainment have always tended touse television as one of their preferred sources. Radio has enjoyed a similar success, albeit inlimited ways. Historically, radio is the one of the oldest form, of mass communication in India. Thespread of this medium is wide and all-inclusive. Radio is popularly known as the most personal ofall media. It seeks to reach the individuals and not the masses. Although in existence for a longtime and expanding to all sections of our society, Radio’s role in including different formats ofcontent has been quite recent.In 1990s, due to liberalisation, India witnessed introduction of satellite television. Graduallychannels were introduced and by 1996 there were more than 60 television channels. Presently,there are more than 300 channels available for viewing on television in India. The strikingdevelopment during these years has been the audience’s clear choice of watching regional andlocal content than foreign content. The number of hours of television programming produced in16 | P a g e
  17. 17. India increased 500% from 1991 to 1996. From 1996, this number has been growing at evenfaster rate. Following such demands, television content is increasingly being provided that haslocal information such as local community news, prices of agricultural produce for farmers,climate, and local entertainment programs. Such content is being provided in languages anddialects the locals are familiar with. As a result, there has been spurt in regional and localisedcontent on the television.17 | P a g e
  18. 18. Radio, due to its earliest introduction in our society, has primarily focussed on localised andregional content for quite some time. This is evident from the fact that AIR has 215 broadcastingcentres covering almost 100% of the India’s population. Liberalisation policies in this mediumhave been a gradual occurrence. These policies have been initiated since 1999 where in thegovernment decided to privatise the FM radio sector. Recent policies (in 2003 and 2005) haveallowed operators to air diverse program formats and have also eased up regulations to includeradio programs aired by not-for-profit organisations such as universities and civil societyorganisations. The radio industry is projected to grow to INR 17 Billion by 2011. The mostcommon factors in widespread deployment of the above medium are spurt in consumption andprovision of local and regional content as well as liberalised initiatives by government. Audiencegroups in India are varied in characteristics due to demanding and contextualised patterns ofcommunication. It has been well described in previous sections that India’s languagecharacteristics are extremely varied as can be found anywhere else around the globe. Further,these groups are located in different geographical conditions as well. They also belong to differentsocioeconomic classes causing a different perspective and outlook of the society. Television andradio have recognised these and are responding to such demands. The content on thesemediums, as a result, are regional and localised in deliveries – resulting in high penetration.Internet can take cues from such development and gear its content towards these specialised18 | P a g e
  19. 19. markets if it expects to increase its penetration rates in the country. It is with this premise thecurrent report explores the viability of regional content over the Internet. Regional content consumption19 | P a g e
  20. 20. Mass Entertainment Hindi and regional language channels attract almost 80% of the total TVviewership in India. Not only this, even the Hollywood films are dubbed in Hindi and other regionallanguages to tap into the maximum potential market. In addition, a deciding aspect in ensuringwidespread penetration of television has been the fact that the government in the past ensuredthat they provide regional and multi-lingual content through state-sponsored television channels.Television ownership has been increasing in the past few years. Penetration of television stands atmore than 50% on a national basis as per recent National Readership Survey (2006). In urbanhouseholds, this penetration is at 75% and in rural areas the penetration is at nearly 40%. Insum, for television, content and infrastructure has played an important role in ensuring highpercent of penetration in the country. Penetration of Internet and its services, similarly, can beprovided a fillip by providing appropriate infrastructure and relevant content to citizens of thecountry.20 | P a g e
  21. 21. Consumption of Vernacular Content over the InternetThe consumption of content available over the Internet is quite restrictive in nature. The table,besides, illustrates various applications used in vernacular language by active Internet users. Inspite of the high popularity of Indian languages in the traditional media these languages do notshow a significant performance when it comes to the World Wide Web. Email and News are thetop 2 applications used in Indian languages.21 | P a g e
  22. 22. Consumption of Indian language content is high among the Internet users in the Non Metros. Thetown class wise growth of the Internet users in India shows that even the smaller cities are seeing22 | P a g e
  23. 23. an influx of Internet users. People in the non metros have a higher propensity towards using locallanguages in their daily lives as compared to their counterparts in the Top Metros. This growthcoming from non-metros is a good sign for the Indian language content over the Internet as theneed for Indian languages increase with increase in the number of internet users from nonmetros. As evident from the graph, the geographical market for online vernacular content islargely concentrated in the Non Metros. While at an overall level 45% of the Indian-languageaware people translate into actual users the conversion is higher in the Small Metros and citieswith less than 5 lakh population. Out of every 10 Indian-language aware users in these cities 6people have translated into actual users. Even though the awareness of online vernacular contentis over 80% in the Top 4 metros the awareness to usage ratio is lowest in these cities.23 | P a g e
  24. 24. Although most of the Internet users in India are familiar with more than one language, it is onlythat users in smaller cities are avid users of applications and services offered in local language.The table below enumerates applications utilized in various town-class.All applications have a higher usage in the cities beyond the Top 8 Metros. These cities arewitnessing a high growth of Internet users; resulting into higher demand for Indian language24 | P a g e
  25. 25. content over the Internet. Email is the most used application across all cities. However there is amarked difference between the usage of Indian language email and across cities. Online news,followed by Text chat is the next sought after application in Indic language. The awareness v/susage is low for applications like Online ticket bookings, Online banking, Online job search andMatrimony. Less than 3 % of the people who are aware of these Indic applications translate intousers of these contents. Usage of search engines in Hindi is driven by the relevance of the contentsearched.25 | P a g e
  26. 26. Bi-lingual Advertising in a Multi-lingual CountryCode-Mixing in Indian Language AdvertisementsIn the Indian subcontinent, there is a large consumer base for which English is not the dominantlanguage. Advertisements targeted at this population frequently incorporate English words, inBangladesh (Banu and Sussex , 2001) and India (Bhatia, 1987, 1992, 2001, 2006; Bhatia andRitchie, 2004). Figure 1 is an advertisement for a medication. The text is predominantly Hindiwritten in the Devanagari script but English words, such as tablet, cough, and fighter, occurwritten in Devanagari. In addition, the product name, Kuka, appears on the bottle and box in theRoman script.26 | P a g e
  27. 27. As is the case with bilingual advertisements in the Expanding Circle, this advertisement usesEnglish words to convey a modern impression. However, as Bhatia (1992) points out, this mixingis not confined to English for Indian languages are relatively ‘open’ and borrow from otherlanguages, including non-Indian languages. Hindi, for example, permits mixing from threelanguages Sanskrit, Persian, and English.27 | P a g e
  28. 28. Code-Mixing in English AdvertisementsThe second type of consumer base reads material in English but also knows an additional Indianlanguage. Advertisements here have to walk a fine line between incorporating Indian languagesand avoiding the stigma of ‘poor language’. However, the past decade has seen an increasing useof bilingual advertising in India.Figure 2 shows the slogan from a lifestyle product.Code-mixed Slogan: Hungry kya?Literal translation: Hungry are you?Meaning: Are you hungry?28 | P a g e
  29. 29. Here are some features of this slogan:  Code-mixing. Two languages have been mixed within a single slogan. Hungry is an English word, whereas kya is Hindi.  Matrix Language. The matrix language is Hindi, with English words inserted. This can be deduced from the word order, which follows Hindi word order, SOV.  Script. The slogan is written in the Roman script.  Lack of italics. Foreign words are usually written in italics but neither of the words in this advertisement is italicized. This slogan is only an illustration; in the section following further examples of such code-mixing in English advertisements have been listed. Degrees of Code-Mixing in English AdvertisementsCode-mixing between English and Hindi has become a common advertising strategy in India. Morethan 900 advertisements were examined from the following categories: beverages (100),household products (109), food (63), household durables (262), business products (76), and29 | P a g e
  30. 30. media (303). With the exception of advertisements for business products, most of theadvertisements in the remaining categories used code-mixed slogans.English matrix with Hindi words: The matrix language is English with Hindi words inserted in theRoman script. There are very few examples in this category.Example:Ford sells the Ikon car as ‘The Josh Machine’ (‘The powerful machine’).Hindi matrix with English words: The matrix language is Hindi with English words inserted;however, the entire slogan is written in the Roman script and no words are italicized. This is, byfar, the most common type of slogan.Examples:  Tata tea : ‘Taste kaamyabi ka!’  Coca-Cola: ‘Life ho to aisi!’  Pepsi: ‘Yeh dil mange more’  Revive starch: ‘Super kadak’  Haldiram’s: ‘Taste mein naya twist’30 | P a g e
  31. 31.  Harvest Gold Bread: ‘Bakwaas advertising, First class bread’  Kissan Ketchup: ‘Just lagao. Kuch bhi khao’  Radio City 91 FM: ‘Relax ho jao. City mein kho jao’  Radio Mirchi: ‘Doosri ladki pe maari line, Girlfriend boli "I am fine". Mirchi sunnewaale, always khush’  Nestle: ‘Taste bhi health bhi’  Nature Fresh oil: ‘Khao light, Jiyo life!’  Himani honey: ‘Yehi Asli Honey’  LG refrigerators: ‘Life jum jaaye: Raho healthy, Badho jaldi’  Godrej washing machines: ‘Banaye Life Haseen’Code-mixing between English and Indian languages has become a common advertising strategy inIndia. As Bhatia points out, Indian languages are ‘open’ and borrow words from other languages,including non-Indian languages, and we now see a similar trend in English advertisements inIndia.31 | P a g e
  32. 32. As the examples in this paper show, code-mixing in English advertisements is highly creative andnot a sign of linguistic deficiency. Code-mixing is a marketing strategy that appeals to urbanyouth in metropolitan cities by using the language they use—a mixture of English and Hindi. Forsociolinguists, the shifts in bilingual advertising may provide a more accurate picture of languageuse than we get from educational and government policies.32 | P a g e
  33. 33. Vernacular advertising: Are we doing it wrong?The topic is a bit controversial and a lot of people might not agree (even if they are bereft of aproof) with what follows. Although, there have been opinions and articles promoting Vernacularadvertising but are they just a surface study of a much deeper concept? The topic is highlypoliticised and - depending on the reader – it is bound to be branded either a complete trash or awell reasoned opinion.In her 2005 Marketing Web article, head of the language laboratory at the Vega School of BrandCommunication, Noluthando Xate wrote: "Its an established fact that consumers respond betterto communication in their mother tongues."There are over a 100 such articles, all expounding the importance of mother tonguecommunication, all citing the mushrooming number of vernacular print publications, all citing thestaggering listenership radio commands (which, by the way, is actually in decline), all quotinguTatu Mandela and his famous, "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes tohis head. If you talk to him in his own language it goes to his heart".33 | P a g e
  34. 34. Well, anyone can understand the logic behind this sentiment. People do feel a stronger affinity tothose who speak their language. People like to stop and eat at a place offering ‘their’ food in acompletely foreign location. How about gol gappas in Malaysia? You feel a profound sense ofbelonging and delight when someone greet you with "Namaste" and people respond back with"Namaskar".But this often does not translate well in a commercial context. I do not find telemarketers any lessirritating when they speak to me in my own language. I dont find their "great deals", "exclusivepackages" and "today only" offers any more persuasive because they are delivered in my region.It depends on what youre selling; which, in the advertising context, means it depends on theidea.Idea trumps languageLets examine some consequences of an over-emphasis on language:• Fuelling TranslationIf people respond better to communication in their own language, simply translating an Englishconcept into a vernacular language should have the desired effect, right? Translating an English34 | P a g e
  35. 35. concept into Hindi or any other regional language for that matter should be as good as building abetter mouse trap.The disclaimer often used to negate the possibility of translation is that "ad campaigns often usenuance and wordplay and when this is translated the subtleties of the language tend to get lost intranslation". This is simply not true. I cannot think of an ad in recent memory that has suffered abad translation job. The industry is so hyper aware of this potential pitfall that, over the past twoyears, translations have been immaculate. Translators are brought in from the word go, and thenew catch phrase is "translating concepts, not words".A lot of articles follow this line of thinking; praising bad ideas for delivering bad concepts in acertain language. If the idea doesnt matter - if all that matters is an effort to look politicallycorrect by producing ads in vernacular - than its a tacit approval for ads to be translated.• Boxing in CreativeThis is the point where this can create major conflicts in opinions. But putting emotion aside - canwe accept that sometimes its possible to get a really good concept aimed at people in a "foreign"language? In this current climate, any popular or not so popular advertisement campaign would35 | P a g e
  36. 36. probably have been translated in Tamil, Telugu or Gujarati with the language Subtitles. It getsridiculous, but thats what you get when you prioritise language over idea.Conversely, by asserting that people respond better to communication in their OWN language, weconsign vernacular communication to only those brands that speak to the region specific.Currently, when targeting Indians, the default language is English or Hindi. Since majority of theforeign brands are already investing so much on campaigns, its unlikely well see a vernacular adfor a Blackberry, BMW or the Westcliff Hotel, because of course, the majority of that populationwill respond better to communication in their own language – English, Hindi or Regional.• Boxing in Regional CreativesBecause of this emphasis on language, many regional copywriters are hired based on their abilityto write in the vernacular and not on their ability to develop creative ideas. They are hired asglorified translators - excluded from certain projects, their non vernacular ideas dismissed anddisregarded; their vernacular executions bought because they are not fully understood.36 | P a g e
  37. 37. And, of course, if mother tongue communication is so important, we need to reach the largestsector of people in their mother tongue. Since we are unlikely to have 11 TV executions on air,the regional writer is unlikely to ever see his mother-tongue work on television.So what is the essence of this?• Lets brief in the right ideas not the right languageUnless were talking to a region specific or going on AIR radio, lets ask for relevant ideas and notvernacular executions.• When we agree that a concept is right, lets not debate languageLets not bomb a script because its not in vernacular or English or French or Spanish ... if itworks. Lets go ahead with that without trying to bring changes which might spoil or kill the ideacompletely• Lets consider the brand history, personality and tone of voiceTheres something disingenuous about LOreal Paris speaking in Haryanvi versus an Indianfavourite; especially when there has been no effort to "regionalise" the idea.37 | P a g e
  38. 38. • Lets get real about the issuesIn his 2009 article titled "Vernacular advertising comes into its own", copywriter atTBWAHuntLascaris Kamogelo Sesing "wonders" how the Asian and Latin American countries getit right at Cannes every year with work done in their native tongue. The answers pretty simple:Could it be because theyve got Asian and Latin American mother tongue copy writers working intheir agencies?If we agree that there is a paucity of good vernacular work in India; if we are worried aboutEnglish hegemony and losing the diversity that makes us a rainbow nation; maybe we shouldhave agencies that look more like "rainbow agencies".We hide behind mother tongue communication, asking for more vernacular work when what wereally want to say is that we want a representative industry. It seems to me were a bit scared ofstating the obvious and justify the need for transformation with spin about the importance ofreaching people in their own language. A more representative industry will naturally result inmore mother-tongue communication, with no forced fake translations.38 | P a g e
  39. 39. Tackle the issue not the symptom. As discussed above, by creating a furore over mother-tonguecommunication specifically, weve actually created more problems for ourselves.• Lets stop having ‘special awards for vernacular advertisingIt smacks of the disabled Olympics. The Gold award for the SABC New Voice Award for non-English Radio this year went to Draftfcb Johannesburg for the Vodacom campaign "Bua FM Part2". According to Biz-Community, the campaign was also a winner in the "main" Radio category,whatever that means. The fact that this years new voice winner was also awarded in the "main"category illustrates the redundancy of the new voice award as a whole.If you have listened to the Doom commercial that won last years award, you too might find it asbrilliant. Why was it judged as the best of the vernacular ads? What does this mean? Why it wasnot judged on the strength of its concept beyond language?39 | P a g e
  40. 40. Advertising in the vernacular: global speak v/s local is lekker*?*local is lekker popular slogan promoting South African culture, produce, etc which otherwise means pleasing or enjoyable.The easy answer would perhaps be yes: when consumers watch, read or listen to a commercial,they want the communication to be in their home language. The answer is not all that simple,however, and there is no magic formula...Taking a step back and reflecting on the past few years it is undeniable that a plethora of mediaavenues have suddenly mushroomed, these have created a dizzying myriad of options available tothe average marketer and offers a bouquet of interesting alternatives, including among others,mobile marketing, branded taxis and busses, road shows, social network sites and the largeuntapped potential of more conventional internet avenues.However, has anyone given any thought to the language they use in their adverts? There is someconventional thinking which suggests that radio (due to its specific reach) is primed foradvertising in the vernacular, and the common assumption is that vernacular radio advertisingmakes sense and works in harmony to promote better brand value.40 | P a g e
  41. 41. Unfortunately, radio spend still constitutes a very small piece of the media pie when TV is addedinto the mix. As such this paper aims to explore the value of using vernacular advertising in TVadverts... Specifically exploring whether or not consumers can recall vernacular ads, if so whichare top of mind and as a secondary objective looking at drawing conclusions as to whether or notvernacular advertising aids relevance, brand appeal, persuasion and understanding.Let us have a closer look at it with a study based in South Africa!41 | P a g e
  42. 42. Two-phase studyEmbarking on the journey to discover how important language actually is, two phases of researchwere conducted.The first, in August 2008, was a qualitative phase which consisted of five two-hour focus groupscomprising one English, one Afrikaans, one Zulu, one Xhosa and one mixed black vernacular(Venda, Sesotho, Tswana). Respondents aged 25-35 were recruited and groups were mixed maleand female. The limited number of groups was a result of limited budget; however a spreadacross language, gender and race was achieved and as such the findings are valid in terms of"formative" research (i.e. the findings were used to inform the design of the quantitative study).These findings also helped to gain a better understanding of the quantitative results as well ashelped explain quantitative findings.The second phase was a quantitative ad hoc study in which 400 consumers spanning LSM A andLSM B, 18+; male and female in the greater Gauteng were interviewed. [LSM: Living StandardMeasure]42 | P a g e
  43. 43. It is also important to note up front that language is merely one piece of the creative pie and thatmany other elements drive overall resonance (music, character selection, cultural references etc),as such this research offers only a topline view into vernacular advertising and in all likelihood thistopic could be explored further.So what did the research uncover - just how important is language?Overall the answer is not all that simple. Consumers found it difficult to separate their viewsaround vernacular programming and vernacular advertising. Qualitatively, African languagerespondents singled out the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) as doing much toaccommodate all 11 languages on television, and news was cited as a prime positive example.Furthermore, a sense of justice prevailed in these groups about language issues on TV because“everyone is paying the same TV license fee”.Some responses included:“What comes to mind is that there is provision for all the languages in the country and as we allget to pay the same license fees, people are getting what their money is worth, especially interms of addressing all the languages”, LSM A: Zulu-speaking.43 | P a g e
  44. 44. “I think that they are trying; there are more languages that are used now, although the time islimited. They probably will increase the slots as time goes on”, LSM B: Xhosa-speaking.“Yes there is Swati and Ndebele now; they are trying to accommodate everyone”, LSM B: Nguni-speaking”.However, the other side of the coin does not look as shiny: Afrikaans respondents felt particularlydisenchanted about the diminishing levels of their language on television these days and find thatboth African languages and English are becoming more and more dominant. Both English- andAfrikaans-speaking respondents felt that there was little justice in paying television license fees asthere is little for these language groups to watch.“I think that paying TV licenses is ridiculous because I cannot understand 90% of the stuff thatthey show on those (channels)…you cannot really watch anything else because its normally allother languages”, LSM A: English-speaking.44 | P a g e
  45. 45. Exciting discoveryWhilst the grumblings about program selection continued throughout the groups for bothAfrikaans- and English-speaking respondents, there was an exciting discovery to be made aroundthe resonance of vernacular advertising amongst consumers in general…When respondents were questioned about whether or not they could remember TV ads in theirhome language, top of mind vernacular advertising was almost non-existent.“I dont think there are any Afrikaans ads, I havent seen one yet”. LSM A: Afrikaans-speaking.“One normally sees only English ads, one is so used to seeing English advertisements …. That onecant actually think of an Afrikaans advertisement”, LSM A: Afrikaans-speaking.“Non-existent to me”, LSM A: Nguni-speaking.“I dont have any in my language”, LSM B: Nguni-speaking.45 | P a g e
  46. 46. It did emerge that perhaps consumers found it difficult to remember the language used inadvertisements, as many advertisements use a mixture of English and vernacular advertising, oruse township slang.“There are so many ads with African people but they are in English now”, LSM A: Nguni-speaking.“I like it, it carries a lot of township style, you cannot it is Zulu or Sotho. It is a crossover thing”,LSM A: Nguni-speaking.An eclectic mixWhen a few respondents did mention ads top of mind, these executions were not completely inthe vernacular, but were rather an eclectic mix of languages.“If Im not mistaken there was a Hilux advertisement with two guys, a white guy and a Africanguy, and when they had to change tyres, and he has the African guy from the back of the bakkiesit in the front of the bakkie, and when they got a flat they had to change the tyre, and when theyhad business they changed the sticker on the side of the bakkie, so when they go out to a white46 | P a g e
  47. 47. guy, or a African guy”, LSM A: Afrikaans-speaking.“She spoke about that one of the ice just now, and I actually forgot about that Klipdrift one, thatwas one, you know, that type of advertisement, because it is quite Afrikaans, they should producemore advertisements like that, that is what I would say”, LSM A: Afrikaans-speaking.Quantitatively, the results are not very different, with only 46% of LSM A consumers able to recallthat they have seen vernacular advertising, but when asked to verify these ads, almost half couldnot remember what ads they had seen. Vernacular ads that did manage to break through theproverbial clutter include, amongst others, KFC (30%), Cell C (17%) and Chicken Licken (22%).A similar picture can be seen in LSM B, where half (50%) of respondents remembered seeing adsin the vernacular. The vast difference here however, is that almost everyone who remembered anad could recall what brand the ad was for (87% could recall what brand advertised in thevernacular).In LSM B, the list of brands that consumers could remember stretch a little further than the onescited in LSM A. These include, amongst others, KFC (46%), Cell C (19%), Chicken Licken (18%),47 | P a g e
  48. 48. OMO (14%), Vodacom (14%), Domestos (14%), Dawn (11%), Nedbank (10%) and Vaseline(10%).The language used must relate to the targetWith such little recall, are vernacular ads all that important then? What do they in fact add tooverall brand perceptions? The answer? A lot and then nothing…Looking at ‘a lot: generally LSM B consumers feel that ads in the vernacular are more appealing(67% agree), relevant (77% agree) and persuasive (62% agree). However this means nothing ifadvertisers do not get the cultural mix and the language nuances right:“The Xhosa must relate to someone that you are targeting, speak the township Xhosa. If you areselling All Star tekkies and you speak Xhosa, speak the Xhosa that I can relate to the Tsotsilanguage”, LSM B: Nguni-speaking.“Again, the script should be originally in that language, dont try and bring an English script andthen translate it. You should have the script in Zulu originally, because you find a lot of things that48 | P a g e
  49. 49. come out in English and they try to translate it to Zulu and it doesnt have the impact that it issupposed to have”, LSM A: Nguni-speaking.“I think also they need to try and understand the people that they are talking to. If they want totalk to Tswanas, they must first understand the culture of Tswanas and how best to portray that”,LSM B: Nguni-speaking.A shopping list, but no magic formulaLSM A consumers are mostly indifferent to vernacular advertising, with no clear feelings eitherway. Whilst some consumers agree that vernacular advertising is more appealing (48%) andrelevant (54%) the majority of consumers are not persuaded to purchase brands based onlanguage alone. Some 72% actually disagree that language will drive their purchase decisions.Everyone does however, unanimously agree that English ads are equally as good as advertising inthe vernacular (65% of LSM B consumers agree with this message as do 78% of LSM Aconsumers).49 | P a g e
  50. 50. So what can advertisers and marketers do to ensure that their brands really benefit fromvernacular advertising? Ticking off as many of the following might help:• Dont translate from English, create proper vernacular scripts instead• Use the right dialect• Simple language is best - dont confuse consumers• Use the right characters• And make it catchy/entertainingThe above is certainly a shopping list of elements that one would need to consider, butunfortunately there are no hard-and-fast rules creating powerful ads. There is no magic formulaand as such marketers will need to continue testing and refining concepts to ensure they resonatewith consumers.50 | P a g e
  51. 51. Straight from the horse’s mouthA question on Vernacular Communication was posted on a Social Networking Site by an expert.The excerpts are as follows:51 | P a g e
  52. 52. 52 | P a g e
  53. 53. 53 | P a g e
  54. 54. 54 | P a g e
  55. 55. 55 | P a g e
  56. 56. 56 | P a g e
  57. 57. The opinions of experts on a much debated topic further underscore the ambiguity around it.Although, the outlook is quite subjective, but there are firm believers as well. Speak the local languageOne sensitive approach to international image is employed by J.P. Morgan: It runs its overseasadvertising in the language of the country in which the ad appears. Though research shows thatbetter than 90 percent of their primary target audiences in Europe read and understand English,Morgan has preferred to talk to a French CEO in French, a German Controller in German, anItalian businesswoman in Italian, and so forth. The company feels this emphasis the indigenousnature of Morgan offices abroad while also underscoring the bank’s internationally.Bruce Roberts, former Morgan Vice President, said,“We set out to maintain consistency in the graphic appearance of all our ads, including those runoverseas. When we prepared an ad to announce the opening of a new office or move to a new57 | P a g e
  58. 58. location, the corporate format was used. And when an office in a particular country needed an adto describe its capabilities in that market, it was designed to bear the distinctive Morgan look.A single basic format, in the proper language and context, respects local needs and says, “This isa J.P. Morgan message.”58 | P a g e
  59. 59. A step aheadNew Multilingual Advertising Portal LaunchedUntil now there have been many advertisement portals in almost every country and language andthere have been many portals in English language.Commercus.com is the first multilingual portalwith built in translation support where the advertiser post his/her advertisement in local nativelanguage and then can select a number of target languages to have it posted in. This uniqueadded value will make it possible for everybody to buy and sell domestically and globally withoutmultilingual competence. Commercus.com eliminates the language barriers that exist today.About Commercus.com:Commercus.com is a unique web-advertising portal, which offers everything what other webportals of this kind do. So what makes the commercus.com unique then? Commercus.com has anexclusive added value - a cost effective translation support for all posted advertisements.Thanks to this extraordinary service your advertisement or a message might be posted, viewedand understood in as many languages as you, as an advertiser select.59 | P a g e
  60. 60. But the question which arises is that a mere translation of an advertisement would do justice to itscreative or its planted idea?Well, the answer still remains yes or may be no!60 | P a g e
  61. 61. Advertising decision making in Asia: "Glocal" versus "Regcal" approachThe concept of "Glocalization" started with the realization that Asia was not westernizing but infact was modernizing. The key to modernization of consumer markets is their ability to adaptincoming influences and blend them into the fabric of their identity, not adopt the foreigninfluence wholesale. Glocalization is much more than the simplistic "think global, act local" butrequires identifying the degree to which needs and the stimuli which trigger them are universal orlocal (World Executives Digest, February 1997). Due to higher income and education levels,greater travel opportunities and exposure to different cultures, individual Asian markets arebecoming much more similar in terms of personal aspirations and spending behavior. Manymultinational firms are applying regional strategies across Asian markets. Some scholars alsoemphasize "plan globally and act locally" (Blackwell et al., 1991) and "think globally, act locallyand manage regionally" in the Asian markets. Regionalism is becoming a significant trend andit is therefore important for multinationals to rethink their Asian strategies. The advertising61 | P a g e
  62. 62. environment in Asia is also moving its focus towards Asian as the Asians make up over 50% of theworlds population. India and China alone contribute approximately 41% of the world’s population.As Asian markets grow, multinationals need to gain a better understanding of these marketsbefore formulating their advertising strategy. The major objective is to propose new advertisingprocess categories to be included in the traditional "Global-Local" continuum approach which willbe useful for researchers and practitioners in understanding the decision-making structure in Asiaand also to provide them with a new conceptual framework for future research. Other objectivesare to investigate: (1) the degree to which a multinationals headquarters is involved in theadvertising process for an Asian market, and (2) the relationship between the degree ofcommitment and the extent to which advertising is standardized in the region.Many multinational companies, which consider the Asia-Pacific to be an important part of theirglobal business, tend to delegate some of their managerial functions to the region by establishinga regional office or headquarters in Asia. The degree of decentralization affects the extent ofregionalization as decentralized companies are more likely to have a local or regional presencethan highly centralized ones (Hulbert and Brandt, 1980). Peebles et al. (1978) suggest that themultinational needs to have a certain degree of control over its subsidiaries in order to fully62 | P a g e
  63. 63. implement standardization. It is also agreed by Rau and Preble (1987) that the degree ofstandardization is determined by the extent of the multinationals control of internationaloperations. If the foreign and home markets are similar, with close headquarters-subsidiarycommunications, marketing techniques tend to be more standardized.Hulbert and Brandt (1980) point out that the extent of control by the parent company over itssubsidiaries depends on the degree of delegation, and the level of formalization and supervision.The need for better communication and control stems directly from the motivation for integrationor coordination, which is in turn a function of the extent of interdependence within the system.Martenson (1987) also emphasized that better coordination between the headquarters and asubsidiary is more important than standardization of operations. The best way to exploit aresource optimally is not through centralized direction and control, but through a cooperativeeffort. Bartlett and Ghoshal (1986) conclude that the headquarters should look upon theirsubsidiaries as sources of information and expertise to create competitive advantages.Kirpalani et al. (1988) investigate the factors influencing the degree of control the headquartershas on a subsidiarys advertising strategy decisions. The degree of an MNCs head office controlcan be described by a combination of nine major variables: advertising objectives, budget, main63 | P a g e
  64. 64. theme, market research, copy layout, test market decisions, final decision, control of advertisingbudget and media selection. High head office control over subsidiary advertising is mainlyexercised in strategic decision making. In contrast, low head office control is found for mosttactical advertising decisions, such as copy layout and media selection. There is a relationshipbetween the extent of headquarters control and the MNCs origin. For example, there is atendency for Canadian firms to have a high degree of control, US firms to have a lower degree,and European firms to have a medium degree (Kirpalani et al., 1988). It is generally agreed that agood coordination between the headquarters and its subsidiaries is the major driving force behindthe formulation of a standardized advertising strategy. The headquarters management tends tohave a significantly higher level of participation in establishing advertising objectives and budget,but is less involved in creative strategy and media selection decisions which are consistent withthe findings of Wills and Ryans (1977). As the subsidiaries mature, in regard to strategic resourceplanning, the head offices ability to control the subsidiaries strategies is greatly reduced(Prahalad and Doz, 1981).Global Approach (Centralized Decision Process, Standardized Advertising Approach): A firm with ahigher degree of centralized decision making is more likely to adopt a standardized advertisingapproach. As a result, all strategic elements are kept consistent with the home market, while the64 | P a g e
  65. 65. tactical ones are adapted to the local environment of each market. The Swiss company LOrealS.A., a producer of personal-care products, determines its positioning strategy and main messageat headquarters level for three Asian markets. The main reasons for the centralized process are tohave consistent offers available to consumers world-wide and to keep both advertising agenciesand clients working more closely together. For all three markets, most strategic elements followthe same strategy as for the home market while tactical ones, such as talent, language and mediabuying, may differ.Local Approach (Decentralized Process, Differentiated Approach): Some food brands are morelocalized in terms of advertising, but the local subsidiary is still required to obtain final approvalfrom their headquarters. For example, Sara Lee Inc. has all advertising decisions made jointly bythe headquarters and the local agent (except for the budget and media buying), as input fromboth parties is essential for obtaining a balanced view in each of the three Asian markets (theirproducts are not marketed in China yet). Sara Lee Inc. also appoints a local advertising agency ineach market. As a result, except for the advertising objective and main message, all otheradvertising elements such as positioning, target audience, creative execution, use a differentstrategy from that of their home market. At the American company Welch Food Inc., alladvertising decisions are made jointly by the headquarters and local distributors in all three65 | P a g e
  66. 66. markets. The team approach is used in order to utilize the expertise of both Welch Food Inc. andlocal distributors, and to ensure better coordination between both sides. Apart from the targetsegment, which is kept the same as the home market, all other advertising elements in the Asianmarkets differ from the home market. For Fuji Photo Film, the total demand and market sharevaries from market to market, so the local subsidiaries are left to decide their own advertisingstrategies. This is because they have a better understanding of the local market. Theheadquarters usually decides the world-wide themes. Each subsidiary also appoints its ownadvertising agency locally. Except for the determination of the target segment, all otheradvertising elements use a different strategy from the home market. Honda Motors leaves thefinal decision to the local distributors who are in a better position to target the appropriateconsumers in the Asian markets.Regcal Approach (Centralized Process, Regional Approach): The "Regcal" approach ismade up of "reg" (regional) and "cal" (local); that is, it uses a local adaptation on aregional basis. Some firms which have a centralized process may adopt a regionalapproach. For example, Nescafe, from Nestle NA, carries a world-wide branding policy66 | P a g e
  67. 67. adapted to a local context. Most strategic decisions are determined by both partieswhile the tactical ones are left to the subsidiaries. Apart from the target segment, alladvertising elements employ a regional strategy. Another brand, Carlsberg beer, runs acorporate image campaign in Asia and carries out world-wide sponsorship activities.This means that strategies regarding target and positioning are usually formulated bythe headquarters, leaving other tactics to be determined by the local subsidiaries. As aresult, all advertising elements are standardized. Each of these examples reflects theimportance of adopting a regional strategy in the Asian region.Glocal Approach (Decentralized Process, Standardized Approach). This approach is a combinationof the "Glo" (global) and "cal" (local) approaches. A successful global brand like Coca-Cola adoptsa "Glocal" strategy, allowing most decisions to be determined by local subsidiaries or distributors.The headquarters develops global campaigns for its major brands (Coke, Fanta and Sprite) andthe local offices may or may not follow these proposals because they are responsible for their ownprofit and loss accounts. The headquarters has declared that advertising standardization is not acompulsory company policy, but a consequence of their joint headquarters-distributor decision67 | P a g e
  68. 68. making. The main reason for the local offices to adopt a standardized approach is mainly due tothe identical target groups and attitudes in some markets. Henkel KGaA distributes its productsthrough a third party with most decisions mutually agreed upon by headquarters and distributors,particularly those on the advertising budget. The target segment has to be locally modified owingto different pricing strategies in each market. However, the decisions on product positioning, mainmessage and creative execution are determined by the headquarters. All major advertisingdecisions are standardized except the decisions on target segment, advertising objective and thelanguage used.68 | P a g e
  69. 69. Responses (41)Gender Male 20 49% Female 21 51%Q1) How many languages are known to you? 1 (Just 2 5% Regional) 2 (Hindi & 3 7% Regional) 3 or more 35 85% (Hindi, English & Regional) More than 5 1 2%69 | P a g e
  70. 70. Q2) What do you do when an advertisement comes while you are watching a programme? Zip the channel 7 17% Put the medium in mute mode and start doing my work 5 12% Watch the advertisements 13 32% Watch the advertisements if the product is meant for me 16 39%70 | P a g e
  71. 71. Q3) When did you last see an advertisement in your regional language? Today 10 24% Few days back 5 12% A week back 2 5% A month back 6 15% Dont remember 18 44%Q4) Which medium did you see/hear it on? Radio 7 17% Print Media 3 7% T.V. 23 56% Internet 2 5% Outdoor 4 10% Other 2 5%71 | P a g e
  72. 72. Q5) Advertisement in local language as per you, is most suited to- Radio only 7 17% Print media only 4 10% Radio & Print media 9 22% Radio, Newspaper & T.V. 21 51% Other 0 0%Q6) How often do you come across such regional language ads? Quite often 14 34% Once in a while 13 32% Very rarely 14 34%72 | P a g e
  73. 73. Q7) What would you prefer- Regional language ad 2 5% Standard language ad 23 56% Both 16 39%Q8) Which advertisements grab your immediate attention? Hindi 10 24% English 11 27% Local dialect 1 2% Amalgamation of two 15 37% or more languages Any of the above 4 10%73 | P a g e
  74. 74. Q9) Would you prefer seeing advertisements in your local dialect? Always 4 10% Sometimes 17 41% May be 17 41% Never 2 5%Q10) Which advertisements do you think are more reliable? Hindi 5 12% English 6 15% Regional 1 2% Language 29 71% doesnt matter!74 | P a g e
  75. 75. Q11) What are you likely to remember more? Foreign model endorsing a brand in English 10 24% Local model endorsing a brand in regional language 4 10% Indian model endorsing a brand in Hindi 22 54% Other 5 12%75 | P a g e
  76. 76. Q12) What according to you persuades more?Talking in foreign tongue but still fulfilling your needs 11 27%Talking in your dialect to try and understand you better 16 39%None of the above 14 34%76 | P a g e
  77. 77. Q13) Whom do you think the advertisements in regional languages target? All 11 27% People who just know their regional language 28 68% Illiterates only 1 2% No one, complete waste of money 1 2%Q14)Which genre of advertisements fit better in regional language bracket? FMCG 13 32% Technical product 3 7% Agricultural or agro 22 54% based products Lifestyle products 1 2% Other 2 5%77 | P a g e
  78. 78. Q15) Living away from your home town, would you still like to hear or seeadvertisements in your language? Definitely 12 29% May be 25 61% Never 4 10%Q16) a. Regional language advertisements for you symbolize? - Reflection of culture 1 9 2 7 3 12 4 9 5 378 | P a g e
  79. 79. Q16) b. Regional language advertisements for you symbolize? - Better understanding 1 13 2 10 3 7 4 5 5 4Q16) c. Regional language advertisements for you symbolize? - Higher degree of association 1 8 2 10 3 11 4 8 5 179 | P a g e
  80. 80. Q16) d. Regional language advertisements for you symbolize? - Sense of affinity 1 4 2 7 3 9 4 17 5 2Q16) e. Regional language advertisements for you symbolize? - Other 1 3 2 3 3 2 4 0 5 3080 | P a g e
  81. 81. ConclusionVarious Global giants entered Indian sub-continent and realised that the tool forpenetration in this geography is adapting to Indian culture whether in terms of taste,pricing, packaging, naming or language. Big Daddy’s like Google and McDonald too hadto reformulate their strategies to cater to Indian market. Following their footsteps,there is a brigade of companies who have understood this fact well.But, Vernacular Advertising- to be or not to be typically depends upon two majorfactors: 1. Target Audience 2. Brand ImageThere are no set rules for Vernacular Content in Advertising and a vernacular ad can failas badly as a non-vernacular for its content. Language is only a medium and has no rolebeyond that. Image is a function of where, how and with whom, the brand is seen. It’show the brand chooses to conduct itself across all the touch points; it’s not limited tocommunication.81 | P a g e
  82. 82. The risk in language is not image but the nuance. Most ads are conceived either in Hindior English and then translated to the many Indian languages by “translators” who donot have enough understanding of the brand, the audience, message, and the hence endup doing an assembly line translation.A young college going lad associates himself with “cool” things in life and will be put offwith a brand which uses vernacular to talk to him. Similarly, a brand will have to usevernacular if the target segment is the ‘Rural Rich’.Therefore, keeping in consideration the brand image and the target audience a brandintends to address, determines the language of an advertisement.82 | P a g e
  83. 83. Theoretical Foundation of Thesis: Vernacular Advertising BibliographyWeb links: 1. http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/19/36680.html 2. http://www.marketingweb.co.za/marketingweb/view/marketingweb/en/page71621?oid=132069&sn=Mark etingweb+detail&pid=71621 3. http://www.iamai.in/Upload/Research/Vernacular%20Content%20Report_29.pdf 4. http://www.watblog.com/2009/01/15/rural-india-has-33-million-active-users-can-vernacular-content- drive-this-number-higher/ * 5. http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/advertising- promotion/advertising/MAR_ADP_ADV/245992-20955134 ** 6. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=ny3vq8ImQ6wC&pg=PA668&lpg=PA668&dq=books+on+advertising+in +local+languages&source=bl&ots=2hfi3x3YP2&sig=Y7qecYUisXqTLIdChvKYsnW4RmU&hl=en&ei=PV0xTZG gOcjTrQelpKyYCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CGEQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=book s%20on%20advertising%20in%20local%20languages&f=false 7. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=- D6nCmhZiNQC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&dq=books+on+advertising+in+local+languages&source=bl&ots=DoR vf357-83 | P a g e
  84. 84. O&sig=cRmDomvH14YVKO2cui0_04mmR0o&hl=en&ei=PV0xTZGgOcjTrQelpKyYCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result &ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=falseBooks & Magazines: 8. Advertising, Commercial Spaces and the Urban Anne M. Cronin Series: Consumption and Public Life Palgrave Macmillan 9. The Language of Advertising by Angela Goddard 10. Vernacular Content in India Report by IMRB 11. Advertising as Multilingual Communication By Helen Kelly- Holmes 12. Advertising and promotion: an integrated marketing communications perspective By Belch*** 13. Marketing corporate image: the company as your number one product By James R. Gregory, Jack G. Wiechmann # 14. Global Marketing and Advertising: Understanding Cultural Paradoxes84 | P a g e
  85. 85. By Marieke K. de Mooij 15. Adweek 16. Pitch 17. Impact 18. Brand reporter 19. Campaign India 20. AfaqsFootnotes:*A summary of IAMAI and IMRB research on active rural internet users** Discussion forum***Chapter 20: Global v/s Localized Advertising# Pg. 218: Speak the Global language85 | P a g e

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