Wednesday, November 07, 2007

my hoarding is bigger than yours!

one of the most conspicious things that hits you in your face in most cities in india is the number of hoardings all around. you see hoarding of all shapes and sizes. (no, most of them are rectangular actually.) on bus-stop shelters, road-sides, across the roads, on buildings, on boats, on airplanes, on train coaches, on vehicles, on helium-filled balloons, and even mobile ones!

the number of hoardings have been reduced to a large extent in places like delhi, thanks to the state government strictures. but i guess in cities like mumbai, the income generated from these hoardings is too lucrative for the municipal corporation to ignore.

have you noticed how the hoardings change over a period of time depending on various factors like :

- the economy - remember when most of the hoardings in cities used to talk about equity ipos? and then there was a phase when many insurance companies and mutual funds shouted at the top of their voices from the hoardings. and now as the real estate boom simmers we see many hoardings for residential and commercial projects all across the country.

- trends - there was a time when all we saw around us were hoardings of mobile phones and mobile operators vending their fare. and now all we see are hoardings announcing various tv soaps, tv contests, sporting events (only cricket actually), and reality shows. and i can't for the life of me remember any of them except for the 'biggest loser wins' hoardings.

- hoarding war - when dna was launched in mumbai almost all hoardings were taken over by them. this was then soon followed by a series of campaigns through hoardings by the times group. it was war out there!

- launches - this could be anything ranging from films (its oso vs saawariya now), to shampoos, to tv channels, to music albums, to malls, to foods and more.

- regional bias - have you noticed the hoardings for dhotis (mundus) & set sarees in kerala? and the numerous gold shops/ souks. or the gigantic hoardings in chennai of actors which overshadow the film they are acting in?

you can feel the pulse of india through its hoardings! (personally i find them an eyesore... especially the temporary ones put up by political parties during festivals, anniversaries, birthdays.... any occassion is an excuse enough!)

1 comment:

Anupam said...

I hate these hoardings. I detest them. They ruin the landscape. Can't see the setting sun because of them. I rejoiced when the Delhi govt banned them (about 10 years ago I think). But sadly, the combined might of all the ad companies forced the govt to give in, and they are back this year. Apparently their size is being moderated, or so I heard. But not in Gurgaon, where I stay. Here, the hoardings are infesting the town, and they are competing in size with the large cine-star-hoardings of the South. I wish I could tear all of them down!