India Starts To Flex Its Creative Side

from the the-creative-class dept

When companies move part of their operations to India, it's usually for something like back office support or software development. Creative work is typically not the first thing that companies would think to move there. But Chinese computer maker Lenovo has announced that India will be the home of its advertising operations, and that the unit will be tasked with designing advertising campaigns for a global audience. It may be too early to call it a trend, but this should be worrisome to the advertising industry's New York-based stalwarts. One advantage that Indian advertisers have is that they're used to building campaigns that play well in multiple languages, simply due to the various languages within India itself. For them, advertising to a global audience is a natural next step. And, of course, there are cost advantages. It's sill much cheaper to hire advertising professionals in India than it is in New York. While incumbent advertising agencies are likely to stick around for some time, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them move more of their own operations to the country, a la other services firms, like IBM.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 1:50pm

    Man, it's cheaper to hire advertising professionals in Milwaukee than NY. People don't do it thought, gotta figure there's a reason.

     

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  2.  
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    dorpus, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 2:36pm

    Hmmm

    I read a few months ago that Indian movie makers are literally hiring white tourists off the street to play white-guy roles in films. They're having trouble finding white actors, so people with zero acting skills are finding themselves movie stars in India.

    I can't imagine that Indian advertising agencies would have a very good supply of white actors. For that matter, Indian faces do not appeal too well to East Asians either. In all likelihood, they'll end up having to hire whites in NYC anyway.

    My brother is a media professional in Japan, so I know from personal experience that Asian media companies are quite clueless in how to make ads that appeal to Westerners -- the idiom isn't right, it's too sexist, etc. Plus, every country has very different sensibilities; how many ads could appeal equally to Americans, French, and Germans?

     

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  3.  
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    BillGod, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    I can see the adds now........

    Dank ju fer choosin lenovo compters. ju vill be vardy vardy dappy wit jur choices. We Dank ju fer jor dime and we jope ju call back vardy june.

     

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  4.  
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    NPFW, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 3:38pm

    Let's move everything overseas.....

    Why don't we just move everything overseas and we, the stay-at-homes, will just go on a life long vacation, joining the Great American Leisure Class. Or, is there anything left that hasn't been moved already???

     

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  5.  
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    Quaker in a Basement, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 3:58pm

    I can't imagine that Indian advertising agencies would have a very good supply of white actors. For that matter, Indian faces do not appeal too well to East Asians either. In all likelihood, they'll end up having to hire whites in NYC anyway.

    Oh, I don't know. India has a nifty little movie industry that has been somewhat successful. They call it...Bol..Bolly..Blollywool? Anyway, I hear people in India think it's allright.

     

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  6.  
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    joe, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:12pm

    Re:

    Well Bollywood is not very successful in America.

     

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  7.  
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    smur, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:45pm

    Re: I can see the adds now........

    What are you illustrating? That you can't spell?

     

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  8.  
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    smur, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:46pm

    "What are you illustrating? That you can't spell?"

    --That was addressed to BillGod.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Maybe Bollywood movies are a little too subtle and not enough explosions for American tastes!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 5:29pm

    Whistling in the dark

    Everytime the subject of outsourcing came up, we were told, "Don't worry, that's just the grunt work. The real money making jobs will always be here. We'll do the designing and inventing - the high value work - and send the manufacturing to those dumb foreigners."

    The people who believed that those foreigners were unable to learn were the dumb ones. Really - really dumb.

    American corporations, with the help of the government, have been sabotaging the future of our country for profit.

    Since our politicians are bought and paid for by big corporations, where do we go for a remedy?

     

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  11.  
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    Overcast, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 5:42pm

    Yeah - what's the sense in providing all these outsourcing solutions for other companies when they could simply start selling the product or service themselves.

    So, what's it looking like - is soon the PC market will be China manufacturing and support and other functions in India.

    Better watch out Dell!

     

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  12.  
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    Bah who needs one, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:08pm

    Re: original article -- software development is to a substantial extent a creative task too.

    Re: dorpus -- they may be print-media ads without any actors at all. Or they might be making ads in India targeted at a market segment IN INDIA, rather than at the domestic market. Given what you said about various countries being unlikely to be able to make ads as appealing to a market in another country as that other country, it makes sense to have separate ad operations in each country that is a significant market for your products, each producing the ads targeted at the regional market where it's located.

    Re: Whistling -- Outsourcing "just the grunt work" is still devastating. It means the domestic entry-level jobs disappear and you can't work your way up to the top anymore. Upward mobility is gone. Capitalism changes to feudalism and aristocracy, of a peculiar 21st-century variety. To get the top paying jobs (and increasingly, any job at all) means getting expensive Harvard MBAs and being in the right fraternities and good-old-boys'-clubs (and later, golf clubs), which in turn means your father had to have had one of those top paying jobs before you => hereditary aristocracy sneaks back in through the back door.

    A war was fought to get rid of the last one and thousands of people died.

    As for where we go for a remedy -- the polling booth, to see if we can actually elect in 2008 politicians that represent we, the people rather than the rich old white men special interest group. Failing that, the gun shop. There's a reason for that second amendment; in case that war ever needed to be fought again. If things keep on the way they are, either the next Black Fooday and Depression or else the Second Civil War is looming in the next decade or so, and depending, possibly World War III. (The last Depression helped spark World War II, and the "wrong" winners in the Second Civil War would probably mean the rest of the world intervening -- countries allying to stamp out an outbreak of fascism, but not in Germany this time. Of course, the last time that happened a couple of cities got nuked. How many this time, and this time with megaton weapons instead of kiloton? The next decade is perilous. We must all tread carefully, and be prepared to act precipitously but only if necessary; all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing; however, rash action itself causes evils.)

     

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  13.  
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    my2cents, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:25pm

    ya think?

    How about china doing a little marketing? India is a country of a billion people now starting to make money (somebody has to spend all that money outsourcing brings in). Why arent we selling American goods in India? OH! Nobody there can afford our pricy, what were still making, merchandise.

     

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  14.  
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    dorpus, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 8:39pm

    Re:

    Bollywood movies? Subtle?? You haven't seen Bollywood movies.

    Bollywood movies are designed to be enjoyed by an illiterate third-world audience for whom riding a car is amazing, travelling abroad is some sort of esoteric dream that is never shown, bright balloons fly everywhere for eye candy, people do cartwheels in rainbow-colored furry costumes for no reason, action scenes are interrupted by dancing and singing, heroes get shot in the arm but take a "vitamin pill" and go back to normal, bad guys speaking through low-tech synthesizers that make their voice echo all the time, you get the idea.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:03pm

    Perhaps the sarcasm was a little too subtle as well ....

     

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  16.  
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    Nick, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 6:29am

    Re: I can see the adds now........

    Bet you use this for just about every race..
    Dont blame you...We dont expect any better from a pc. of WHITE TRASH like you.

     

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  17.  
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    Nick, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re:

    Dorpus,
    May be you would like to upgrade to a new designation: DORKUS.
    You moron Bollywood is part of India. INDIA by no longer can be considered 3rd world by ANY standard. Except by your own 3rd rate standards. IDIOT!

     

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  18.  
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    Nick, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 6:34am

    Re: Hmmm

    dorKus,
    What makes you think..that LENOVO markets exclusively to WHITE TRASH?
    INDIA and CHINA and then LATIN AMERICA are the BIGGEST markets in the world.
    Get your head examined...or outsource your thinking to where it can be done ACCURATELY.
    Loser!

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Nick, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 6:38am

    Re: ya think?

    Why are you not selling American goods in India??

    Hmm..first that statement is NOT TRUE.

    GM, FORD, LEVIS, STARWOOD, CISCO, ORACLE, DELTA, BOEING, LOCKHEED and more...To name just a few would DISAGREE.

    Please at least attempt to verify facts before lending it to the world through OPINIONS..

     

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  20.  
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    Nick, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 6:44am

    AMERICAN PRODUCTS IN INDIA..

    A short list:

    DELTA
    ORACLE
    CISCO
    BOEING
    LOCKHEED
    GM
    FORD
    ALMOST ALL HOTELS
    ENRON(TILL IT GOT SHUT DOWN)
    LEVIS
    APPLE/MAC

    India may only make approx. USD 50 BILL. from outsourcing.

    In comparison...It budgets well over USD 100 BILL. in just defense purchases from the US.

    Thats a trade deficit of USD 50 BILL.

    Who is really doing the OUTSOURCING here??

     

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  21.  
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    Siddharth, Jul 23rd, 2007 @ 5:09am

    I suppose the fact that major agencies in Bombay and Delhi today have the creative talent to match anything available in Rio or London has nothing to do with it...

    It's amusing how a major portion of white trash shy away from their own deficiencies when faced with something new that has the potential to 'intrude on their territory'.

    Xenophobia and prejudice aren't just archaic concepts, in today's day and age - they're downright pathetic. Cheers.

     

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  22.  
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    jerick, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 6:00pm

    Philippine back office operations

    That’s great that you are teching technology to kids! I just found your blog and it’s really good! I’m going to read more posts!
    -Philippine back office

     

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