Branding of Faith

Why is the whole city looking so dull today? There is more ‘grey’ on ground than there was in the sky during monsoon! Any alien coming from outside would think that the town has a uniform! Oh well, it’s just the colour of the day for Navratri- the festival of Durga puja, garba and Falguni Pathak! In case you had no idea- OMG! GO CHANGE NOW OR YOU WILL BE A SOCIAL OUTCAST!

Now let me tell you something interesting. These colours have absolutely no traditional value with the festival. If you have noticed, this is a very recent fad, probably started about a decade or less ago. Turns out, it was started by a Marathi Newspaper Giant (obviously not naming them here, because I am oh-so-loyal!). Few years back they started printing the colour of the day for Navratri, which quickly became popular and has continued as a tradition till now! And that, my friends, is the power of marketing!

Oh what was that? Of course, they are all the USA-returned, children of Shri. Mc’Donald saying, “Is desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta.” Have you heard of the ring ceremony, which really wasn’t a part of our culture, but adopted from the west? Well, it turns out that it was never a part of their culture as well! Traditionally, simple gold rings were exchanged during weddings. Diamond on them are nothing but symbol of successful marketing. This intelligent diamond merchant of a few decades ago, associated diamond with love (obviously, bigger the diamond more is the love), and now dare anyone think of not putting that diamond on the ring!

Marketing has the power to change the face of traditions. And it is evidently still prevalent, with so many sales strategically timed around festivals! If Hallmark and Archies could capitalize on the days that didn’t even exist in India, a well-timed business idea has a great potential, with marketing being the strongest tool!

In fact, Religion is the biggest example of fantastic marketing! Seriously, think about it! So many religions in the world are based on stories that have been edited and re-edited by people in power, to spread exactly what they wanted to spread at that time, with marketing executive on top taking all decisions. Religion offers both tangible benefits (community) and intangible benefits (guaranteed place in heaven) at cost of one’s money and time! Ignoring the fact they also have logos, they are the most popular example of marketing by word of mouth! And I could go on and on and on..!

Commercialization of religions is a vastly talked about topic now, but the ever increasing line outside temples prove that it isn’t going to end very soon! Religion and marketing are probably the most happily married couple in the country! While what marketing has done to religion has given birth to the biggest irony of all times – Divinity almost everywhere needs protection. (A.k.a. security outside temples).

PS- Tomorrow’s colour is Orange. I am sure you will find something at the Pre-Diwali exhibition!

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