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Tips From the Top: India’s Best Marketing Campaigns

Philippa Dods

Jan 9, 2020

The tell-tale sign of an effective campaign is one that still resonates with us no matter how many years ago they ran. Not only will their catchy slogans or iconic logos be preserved for years to come, but their impact on our collective identity as a nation continues to be profound.

Great marketing campaigns make customers feel like they’re part of a family, not just another sale. Although big-budget campaigns stemming from the USA and Britain have traditionally been more popular worldwide (think Nike’s Just Do It and Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness), social media has evened the playing field and there are now a growing number of Indian campaigns reaching international audiences.

Here – in no particular order – are some of the country’s best marketing campaigns (and what you can learn from them).

CEAT Tyres

The “best car and bike tyres manufacturer in India” can also produce some of the best marketing campaigns.

In their marketing campaign, #ItHelps, CEAT illustrates that their tyres are the best to have in case of an unexpected occurrence while raising awareness about road safety in India. In the TVC, a jaywalker spontaneously runs across the street, causing a motorcyclist to screech to a halt, resulting in a series of ripple effects that essentially put everyone out.

What made their #ItHelps campaign so effective is that they tapped into a common issue that Indians throughout the country are affected by; that of the daily traffic struggle. Not only can the traffic situation in Indian cities be a nightmare, but the constant thread of cheeky and oblivious jaywalkers affects everyone too. The campaign captures the minute nuances of the daily traffic struggles of an average commuter and refers to the CEAT user as the good Samaritan.

Top Tip: Explore messages that are common to your country or city, that then can be related to your product (i.e. tyres to road safety in India). The #ItHelps campaign is shot on high-definition with high-quality equipment and uses freeze-frame features – this was no cheap project. If you have the budget, look into getting a talented agency on board and creating high quality and high-value campaign. If you’re anything like CEAT, it’ll be worth it.

Brooke Bond Red Label

No list of the top marketing campaigns in India without a mention of Brooke Bond Red Label, the tea manufacturing giant that focuses on social issues, including transgender rights and religious conflict.

Their latest campaign, under the Swaad Apnepan Ka and T for Togetherness campaign, “Forgotten,” is about a woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The TVC, by Ogilvy and Mather Mumbai captures the loneliness that a number of elderly members of society are forced to live with, and touches all the right notes. 


The video Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg called one of the most powerful she’d ever seen, BBDO’s #ShareTheLoad campaign for Ariel Matic encourages men to do their fair share of housework.

The video story is told from the perspective of a father who watches his career-minded daughter come home from work and clean up for her husband. He then composes a letter to his daughter, in which he laments the fact that his own behaviour has contributed to her situation and vows to change it by helping out at home.

Top Tip: Ariel asked a simple question – “Why can’t the man do the washing?” This drew attention to the powerful global truth that there should be no difference between what is considered “men’s work” and “women’s work” and that it certainly isn’t the defining feature of what makes a good husband or wife. The objective was to launch Ariel Matic, a new premium detergent in the Indian Subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, but the message went much further – going viral in 22 countries in 16 languages. Ariel used the content as far afield as Germany, Portugal and Spain. From this, we can take the lesson that sometimes simply questioning the status quo can go a long way to changing it.

Bajaj Avenger

Bajaj Avengers, producers of the nation’s trendiest and most beautifully-designed motorcycles, created an advertisement for India’s Independence Day that went down as one of the greatest marketing campaigns in the country: #RideYourIndependance.

The commercial depicts a young woman, riding her Bajaj Avenger through the city; doing, listening to, wearing and going where she wants. Travelling alone with the wind in her hair, the air of freedom in the ad is almost tangible. Ending with Mahatma Gandhi’s quote rounds it all off, “The day women can walk freely on the roads at night, is the day we can say that India has achieved independence.”

Top Tip: There are so many different ways to portray and to celebrate the independence anniversary of a country. Bajaj Avenger decides to focus on the importance of empowering women in society and communicates their belief that only once women in India (or any country) are free, equal and independent, the country is. This is how to tell a story and connect with an audience. As a by-product, more Avengers are sold.

If you’re looking to make changes to your marketing strategy, then ensure you’re equipped with the social media monitoring tools necessary to measure whether you’ve hit the mark, or need to go back to the drawing board. For more information on how to better measure your return on marketing investment, get in touch with the Meltwater India team.