Sunday, September 09, 2007
The World Is Really Getting Flat
Today's DNA has an article that says 50% of online shoppers in India are from small towns. A couple of months ago, the Times of India had an article about e-tickets in India which said that 73% of air tickets in India are booked through the internet. Which is amazing since the internet penetration in our country is 3.7%. Also in the same article is the story of farmers in a village near Tirupati buying e-tickets through an enterprising jeweler who had quickly become a travel agent.
So suddenly the big story all around us is about the various Buntys and Bablis of the world who no longer have the patience for the trickle down effect to work. They are keen to grab that new mobile phone, travel to that new destination, live the new dream, as quickly as the Sids, Akashs & Samirs (remember Dil Chahta Hai?).
This much is quite obvious. What is not obvious is how we are going to appeal to these people. What vocabulary will we use to talk to them?
It is clear that the Anglo-Saxon style of communication with the understated elegant humour does not appeal to this lot. Even when expressed in Indian languages. So advertising has gone to the other extreme and is using, so called, "small talk" language to talk to them.
I think this is insulting to them. It is like New Yorkers doing advertising to Indians and using a "Peter Sellers" type language and visual imagery full of Taj Mahals and snake charmers. We would be insulted and so, I believe, are todays Buntys and Bablis.
What we need to develop is a new remixed vocabulary to talk to them. A vocabulary of words & images but also a new vocabulary of dreams, aspirations, humour and relationships.
This flat world is quite challenging. But the rewards are so much greater.