The Emergence of Advertising & Media in India

The emergence of Indian Advertising marked its beginning when street vendors called out their goods right from the days when cities and markets first began. That was the actual time when actually the signage, trademarks, press ads and the other promotional factors grew in the original sense. If we look at the real or I should say solid advertising history, it got started with classified advertising. Hickey’s Bengal Gazette, India’s first newspaper was the one in which the advertisements started to appear initially. There was an oppose by the Indians on importing the advertising from England Pre-Independence, so studios marked the beginning of advertising on the Indian soil. But were set up for the bold type, decorative fonts, fancier, bigger advertisements and it was the newspaper studios who trained the first generation of visualizers and illustrators.

If we talk about the major advertisers of that time then retailers like Spencer’s, Army and Navy, Whiteaway and laidlaw always won the show. Retail catalogues were used as marketing promotional activities. If we look into the medicine sector, then Patent Medicine was also a category displayed that time. Horlicks became the first ‘malted milk to go through the patent process in 1883. B. Dattaram and Co. claims to be the firstborn existing Indian agency in Mumbai which was in 1902, but later Indian Advertising Agencies were gradually formed and they started entering foreign owned advertising agencies. Ogilvy and Mater and Hindustan Thompson Associate were the agencies formed in the early 1920s. In 1939, ‘Dalda’ was launched by the Lever’s advertising department. It was the first major example of a brand launched and a marketing campaign specifically developed for the Indian audience. If I talk about the first commercial then it was aired on Vividh Bharati in 1967 and the first television commercial was seen in 1978. At this stage even the television shows started getting sponsorships from various companies with the regular advertisements they were giving on radio and television.

Talking about the late 80’s Mudra Communications created India’s first folk-history TV serial ‘Buniyaad’ which was aired on Doordarshan, it became the first of the mega soaps in the country at that time, airing in 1986, winning hearts over nation. Later in 1991, the first Indian-targeted satellite channel, Zee TV started its broadcast, another big hit of that time. With the growth of cable and satellite and increase of titles in the print medium there was a great media boom in media. The growth of public relations and events, new promotional activities were also introduced.

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