India has always been a land of diverse cultures, tastes, and traditions. With a population of nearly 1.4 billion, the subcontinent is probably one of the biggest and most complicated societies in the world. It’s a land where the old meets the new, tradition meets the modern, reason co-exists with faith and people’s sensibilities are a complex amalgamation of all the above.

Now, imagine trying to market a service or product to a country as diverse as this. Seems like an advertiser’s nightmare, doesn’t it? After all, advertising is supposed to be a reflection of society. So, how do you come up with a campaign that appeals to some many varied tastes and ideologies?

One of the latest trends to overcome this problem is what we’d like to call ‘city targeted advertising’. With the rise of the internet, there has been an increasing trend among brands to move away from a general approach towards advertising to one which takes into account the nuances of the different societies and cultures. Here are some of the best examples of the same:

City:  Chennai

Ad Campaign: Nakka Mukka

Brand: Times of India (TOI)

Foot-tapping melodies, giant cut-outs, long processions on the streets, cinema stars, political honchos, a rise of a hero, the fall of a villain. You’d be hard-pressed to find any more elements to make the perfect South Indian potboiler, even if you tried!

That’s exactly why TOI’s ad campaign celebrating the 369th birthday of Chennai couldn’t be more appropriate. Following the life of a giant cardboard cut-out, the one-and-a-half-minute advertisement is a satirical take on life in the city’s spotlight. It shows the rise of the cardboard cut-out as a movie star, his entry into politics, his fall from grace and his ultimate vilification.

As an advertising agency in Chennai, we loved the advertisement storyline which highlights the nuances of everyday Tamil life along with its foot-tapping score. Using upbeat percussions and the traditional folk song Nakka Mukka, the uplifting groove was one which eventually drummed its way to two Golden Lions at Cannes.

To know more, click here.

City: Bangalore

Ad Campaign: #spiritofbengaluru

Brand: The Hindu

Known as the Garden City or the Lake City of India, Bengaluru has always had a reputation of being a picturesque city having great scenic beauty. With its open spaces and lush greenery, the city is popularly called a city paradise. However, the rise of industry and population in recent years had started to take its toll on this natural beauty. With lesser green spaces and nearly a thousand lakes drying up, the city’s condition was deteriorating very quickly due to the march of urbanisation.

The Hindu’s campaign entitled the #spiritofbengaluru was launched to right this wrong through a targeted advertising campaign that promoted city pride. Its main aim was to show the citizens the two sides of their city; what it was and what it had become and encourage them to do their bit in restoring their city’s charm.

Apart from a great score in the launch video by Raghu Dixit, the campaign was especially praised for its digital innovation. Through an exclusive site,, users used a switchable video to see the two sides of the city. The execution of this was particularly interesting because the video was built for both desktop and mobile mediums, with desktop users switching perspectives by clicking on a switch icon while mobile users used an auto-rotate to see the change.

To know more, click here.

City: Mumbai

Ad Campaign: Share the Goodness

Brand: Nestle

A nationwide campaign, Nestle’s #sharethegoodness originated from the belief that goodness is an inherent trait in all human beings and we are all capable of sharing it. As a major name in nutrition health and wellness, the brand decided to highlight this aspect of human nature through food, showcasing how it can be a major factor in bringing people together.

One of the videos made by Nestle to showcase this aspect was an advertisement that included Mumbai’s famed dabbawallas. Known for their efficiency and punctuality, the video highlights the everyday life of the dabbawallas in the middle of the busiest city in the country and shows how they often help in bringing joy with small acts of kindness. To show their appreciation, Nestle gave 5000 dabbawallas a Goodness box filled with their products for their dedication and commitment.

To know more, click here.

City: New Delhi

Ad Campaign: The right light

Brand: Halonix

Street lighting can be a major problem even in some of the biggest cities within the country. This is why Halonix launched an OOH campaign that converted their advertising billboards into street lights in various parts of the national capital. The campaign was kickstarted by the brand inviting Delhi citizens to name streets and areas that required better lighting. After receiving suggestions on their Facebook page, the brand placed billboards that focused their light outward rather than at the advertising. It’s the perfect example of how a brand used advertising in the national capital to solve real-world problems.

To know more, click here.