Airlines and Identity Politics: IndiGo and the Construction of the Indian Nation

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.”

Read more

Advertisements

An Abuse of the Abused: The Erasure of the Experience of the “Un-Indian” Abuse Victim

Bhamini Lakshminarayan (M2015MC013)
Image Making – I
Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayashankar
20th July, 2015

An Abuse of the Abused: The Erasure of the Experience of the “Un-Indian” Abuse Victim

Lakshmi Durga

Sexual abuse and domestic violence are rampant across the globe, and it is of note that women are not its only victims. In an attempt to champion the cause of the Indian woman, Save Our Sisters, a partner of the Indian branch of the international organisation Save the Children, ran a digital ad campaign in the year 2013. In this assignment, I attempt to deconstruct the images in the light of semiological and semiotic analysis, drawing on Saussure, Pierce, and Barthes among others.

I argue that this particular series of images can be located within the framework of what Barthes considered “myths,” or the dissemination of the dominant discourse of a cultural space as an ideology. Barthes argues that denotation and connotation augment each other to construct and produce ideology, which has been classified as a third order of signification by further academics.

Read more

The Semiology of Bathroom Signs

Bhamini Lakshminarayan (M2015MC013)
Image Making – I
Anjali Monteiro and K. P. Jayashankar
7th July, 2015

The Semiology of Bathroom Signs: A Response to A. A. Berger, Chapter 1

The gist of this reading is that languages consist of signs that we use to make associations with our culturally contingent understandings of the world. These signs are argued to be quasi-arbitrary by Saussure, and arbitrary, representational, and with causative implications by Pierce. However, to fully make sense of this reading, I found it necessary to interpret it in the light of one of the most common signs that we interact with in our every day lives – the signs on bathrooms.

   Read more