December 17, 2013

Advertising and Cultural Context

Apple released an ad called Misunderstood, to make their final push for this holiday season.

I was just reading up Apple blogs as I normally do and found references to the fact that the ad was really touching. I was left confused because I did not find the advertisement touching. For those who know me, I defend Apple even when they are wrong, so when I say this, you can be certain it did not impress upon me in the manner in which the bloggers seemed to think. 

Google had posted a very India specific ad a few months back, which played on the partition of India and friends who lost touch with one another. While I really do not think you would find things the way Google seems to project, the advertisement struck a chord with me. It may not amount to anything if I showed it to someone who was, say from USA. But to someone who belongs to the Indian sub-continent, it would create an instant connect. 

I realised, how important context is to the effectiveness of an ad. In the absence of it, even a masterpiece would seem dull; and in the presence of it, the communication can become extremely effective. Understanding the context of the viewer is tremendously important before setting out to put together any communication.

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