Ambuja Cement

Ambuja Cement
Photo Source: Lia’s Photos

I love these Ambuja Cement ads. There are a number of reasons why.

Iconography – the massive muscles on this guy, the fact that he’s holding a big concrete dam (presumably hydroelectric, symbol of a progressive new India). What more do you need to say about a cement brand? It’s a hugely efficient visual. It reminds me a bit of the Soviet propaganda posters demonstrating the strength of the working Russian people.

Ubiquity – You see it everywhere, which coupled with the clarity of the image gives it a good chance of achieving hyperfamiliarity. I particularly like it when it’s painted on the side of buildings, as it often is – wall paintings are still a massively important channel in India. You also see it on billboards in the urban centres.

It’s a cement ad – Clearly this says something about our relative positions on the development curve, but I’m fairly sure I didn’t see a single cement ad in the entire 27 years I lived in the UK. As such, for me it is novel. Having lived in India for only just over a year and a half, I could name at least 3 cement brands off the top of my head. Unfortunately not all of them have sensible ads – this JK Cement effort apparently coming straight from the Dave Knockles school of ads. I’m pretty sure cement is sold as a commodity in the UK, though sold, mixed and delivered by branded builder’s merchants, or from your local B&Q (I might be wrong about that, I’ve never actually bought cement) – I guess this is an example of a move from a society that makes things to a service economy.

Anyway, that’s probably over-analysing things a bit (obviously rare for a researcher to do that). I just like them.

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