Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, January 26, 2021

The majority of India’s population is at least a little bit dark-skinned. That doesn’t mean they want to see that reflected in their advertising and marketing media — quite the opposite, in fact:

“Indians have a longing for that pure, beautiful white skin. It is too deep-rooted in our psyche,” said Enakshi Chakraborty, who heads Eskimo India, a modeling agency that brings East European models here. “Advertisers for international as well as Indian brands call me and say, ‘We are looking for a gori[Hindi for white] model with dark hair.’ Some ask, ‘Do you have white girls who are Indian-looking?’ They want white girls who suit the Indian palate.”

Why the preference for Caucasian-ness in their models? It sounds like a lingering mental effect from British imperial influence:

A popular footwear and clothing brand, Woodland, began working with white models for its Indian print ads two years ago. A company official cited both the marketing and cultural strategy behind the decision.

“We opened two stores in Dubai last year and are now looking at Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. We now want to say we are a global brand,” said Lokesh Mishra, general manager of marketing at Woodland Worldwide. “And we are also playing on the typical Indian mind-set that thinks if the white people are wearing our brand, then it must be good.”

What’s Hindi for “high yellow”?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 01/26/2008 07:22:15 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Society
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