Bhamini Lakshminarayan | M2015MC013 | Group 1
Image Making – I
Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayashankar
11th August, 2015
Airlines and Identity Politics: IndiGo and the Construction of the Indian Nation
Last week, the class was divided into groups which were required to deconstruct a certain product or line of advertising. Our group, comprising Milen Mathew John, Pruthviraj Shinde, Ramadas KS, Sanghamitra Dutta, and myself, choose to look at airline advertising. We felt as though this service was an interesting space to examine – private domestic civil aviation services were only introduced in 1990 in India, shortly before the era of economic liberalisation. In this line, we felt as though this particular service reflected a certain middle- class aspiration of a certain economic status and lifestyle, through the creation of certain identities which resonated with the shift towards consumerism as upposed to utilitarianism in the use and purchase of goods and services.
In particular, I focused on an ad released by the private carrier IndiGo, released in March 2010. At this point of time, IndiGo and Kingfisher had an even market share of 18.6%, but were still running behind the established carriers of Jet Airways and its budget airline, Jet Lite. The way IndiGo firmly cemented its position in the public eye, and proceded to rise in public perception over the years that followed, was due, in part, I believe, to its intelligent advertising and branding campaigns.
The marketing of IndiGo is run by the Delhi branch of the New York-based firm Weiden + Kennedy, who have stated that “Advertising is irrelevant if the customer experience isn’t great.” The customer experience that IndiGo attempts to sell is one of cheap flights and a hassle-free and on-time service. This ad, in particular, looks at how the service runs on time – every statement ends with the rhetoric “on time.”