I came across an interesting blog post titled “Television commercials and the Common Man“. It talks about travelling as being an opportunity to learn about local values and sensibilities (a whole new way of life! ) rather than mere guided tours and sightseeing. It also introduced me to the idea that travellers can gauge the sensibilities of the locals in any area through their regional television channels. More specifically, through the advertisements aired on these channels. The post went on to describe through examples, how Indian advertisements reflect our society and culture.

The post got me thinking, that this isn’t a one way street. There’s mutual give and take. Advertisements mirror regional mind-sets on the one hand and influence them on the other.
The reason television commercials act as a barometer/indicator to local beliefs maybe that the people involved in creating them as well the audience it is made for, have been brought up with these very values. On the other side of the scale, it is also true that advertisements can in turn affect social perspectives and sometimes change mind-sets.
The “What an Idea Sir Ji” series of advertisements by Idea Cellular (Indian mobile network operator) attempted to do so with their innovative Ad Campaign. They claimed that an idea can change your life. The idea/message portrayed in the commercial as well as the product itself.

Some television commercials are of the “feel good” variety that make people smile. The positive vibes that these advertisements emit can warm your hearts. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

This Airtel advertisement conveys “Barriers break when people talk”.

I know that at the end of the day, most advertisements sell/promote a product or brand. However, they CAN and ARE used to educate, break stereotypes as well as affect people in a positive way. Television definitely has a far-reaching and deep effect on our minds and can penetrate places that even Educational Institutions haven’t been able to. If more and more good quality advertisements are made, who knows ? Maybe they can help inculcate good attributes in our lives and change us for the better.
The Times of India and Jang Group have made this television commercial as part of their “Aman Ki Asha” peace initiative.

(This post is part of the Zero to Hero : 30 Days to a better blog Assignment for Day 12)