Branding the Subcontinent: India's Inspiring 60th Anniversary Celebration

Today is India’s 60th Anniversary of Independence and there is lots of discussion on Indian blogs about the significance of this day and what it means for the country.  It will come as no surprise for admirers of the Bollywood film industry that India’s culture is one driven by film and music.  The blockbuster Bollywood films incite passion amongst most people in India that is incomparable to any film release anywhere else in the world.  It is fitting, then, that the voices of this 60 year anniversary are not the politicians, but the artists.  In the only country in the world where films with local origins still far outpace Hollywood movies on opening weekend, the national identity of India is inseparable from its love affair with film and music.   

As an example, here are two (1 2) of the many videos floating around YouTube showing how the country is finding and projecting its voice and brand to each other and to the world. 

These may be a bit over the top, but they are clearly working.  In the 2006 Country Brand Index published by FutureBrand, India was the only third world country in the top ten list of the strongest global country brands.  Despite any social or political problems, there is a strong national identity for India and the country seems likely to move higher on this list of strong country brands this year.  Branding a country is an activity that is on a scale hard for most marketers to imagine, but at the end of the day is comes down to the most basic marketing lesson of all … giving people something to believe in.

Note: If you want to continue your journey into India today, check out this great list of Indian bloggers (I’m in the Entrepreneurs and Innovators category).

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