Indian Advertisements: Signs and Significance

By Banhi Jha and Usha Narasimhan.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The pervasive significance of advertisements on Indian television informs and influences viewers in a social context. While the prime objective of advertisements is to sell products or services, as a medium of entertainment reflecting popular culture, it moulds mass opinion by engaging with the emotions of the viewers. Though changes in socio- cultural behavior are usually not the intended effect, these do impact consumer decisions. In India, along with persuading the common man towards consuming products, advertisements play a role in initiating social change. This paper explores and analyzes the three-pronged role of advertisements in engendering and propagating social structures, iteration of traditional Indian value systems and the need to make meanings of signs. A survey approach is used to study the audience responses to select advertisements of commercial products/services of Indian and foreign origin. The purpose is to identify the role of semiotics in advertising and analyze its social impact on audience perception and value systems.

Keywords: Advertising, Semiotics, Community, Consumerism-value System Dynamics

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.21-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 350.405KB).

Prof. Banhi Jha

Professor, Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India

Banhi Jha, an alumnus of FIT, New York, has been teaching at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi for 20 years. As a design educator, she teaches Fashion and costume history, Illustration, and Portfolio Development. Her interests range from Fashion in film to social media.

Assoc. Prof. Usha Narasimhan

Associate Professor, Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India

Usha Narasimhan, a NIFT alumnus with a Masters of Fashion Technology, has been teaching at the National Institute of Fashion Technology for 16 years. She teaches Design Research, Design Strategy and Pattern designing. Her parallel interest areas are creative writing and culture studies.