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.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: lenovo

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “India Starts To Flex Its Creative Side”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
dorpus says:


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?

Quaker in a Basement says:

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.

dorpus says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Bah who needs one (user link) says:

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.)

Nick says:


A short list:


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??

Siddharth says:

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...