Indian advertisement affected a lot in the initial period of Independence, as before independence most of the advertisement agencies operating in India owned by Britishers. A lot of these companies were shut down or sold to Indians after independence. But due to the established brand name, most of the agencies choose to work with their British counterparts. One of the other reasons was that machinery of printing presses was manufactured abroad and import costs on them were often quite prohibitive.  People took the advantages of legal loopholes to evade expenses and disguised themselves as foreign subsidiaries of British businesses.

But if we peep into the early decade of 1900’s, B. Duttaram was the 1st person who set up his advertising agency in Mumbai in 1905. During that time most of the commercials were based on “Sahibs & MemSahibs”, who were ruling before independence.

Entry of OGILVY & JWT with professional approach

Professionalism was identified when David Ogilvy (Known as the father of advertisement) & J. WalterIndian advertisement affected a lot in the initial period of Independence Thomson set up their agencies in India in 1928 &1929. They approach clients in a presentable way to achieve their objectives. In 1930 K.C.DAS’s CANNED ROSSOGALLA sets a benchmark in advertisement for it’s innovative approach. It also used Sahib’s concept.

Even though print media is the oldest media vehicle in the world, people mostly preferred electronic media. Because during that time most of the people were illiterate, they depended on the postmaster to read even a letter.

Commercials after independence

It was the time after independence when Indian advertising tried to groom itself with creativity. Indian advertising started doing creative work in India without depending on british companies. Previously, most of the creative work was done from Fleet Street (a street in central London where newspaper offices are situated).

Indian advertisement affected a lot in the initial period of IndependenceIndian advertisement affected a lot in the initial period of Independence

In the early 60’s, when the professional approach started by the agencies, They focused on creativity as well as catchy taglines as well. One of the most iconic campaigns introduced during that time was AMUL ‘utterly butterly delicious’.

Following Ogilvy’s ‘man in the Hathaway Shirt’ campaign Zodiac presented a well dressed bearded model for its brand. In 1969 a WILLS CIGARETTE (NAVY CUT) introduced a young couple and started the “Made for each other” campaign. It totally changed the Sahib and Memsahib concept.


Commercialization of Radio

In the late 60’s radio was also commercialized and it boomed. As TV was little expensive and notIndian advertisement affected a lot in the initial period of Independence affordable for everyone,  radio became more popular in localities. From cricket  to news radio was the better option.


In the 70’s the national readership Survey (NRS) started and agencies started hiring professional degree holders. As simultaneously Bollywood was getting its popularity, agencies started hiring celebrities to endorse brands.

Starting of golden age

But the golden age started in the 80’s, as the Asian game telecasted in colour for the 1st time in 1982 followed by India’s victory in cricket world Cup in 1983 and beginning of   RAMAYAN & MAHABHARAT in TV encouraged companies to use this platform to reach their target audience. In the 90’s most of the foreign brands introduced themselves in India. But by the starting of 2000, digital advertising found its feet in India.

Indian advertisement affected a lot in the initial period of Independence

Today in 2022, we have lots of media vehicles available but the most effective way seems to be digital platforms. To establish your brand across the world by sitting in one place is possible only because of the internet.


If you are looking for any type of advertisement, feel free to contact Das Advertising.

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