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Brand-name advertising and the making of the modern conjugal family.

BETWEEN THE WORLD WARS, NEW KINDS OF GLOBAL FIRMS INVOLVED IN manufacturing consumer goods entered the Indian market on a large scale, seeking to cultivate demand for their products among European expatriates and an emerging Indian middle class. These firms increasingly devoted resources to advertising their products in Indian print media, including both English-language and vernacular newspapers. By the 1930s, they came to rely on professional advertising men and women, often trained in the art and technology of advertisement outside the subcontinent, to design attractive ads and place them in the papers.

This essay examines the advertising industry in the Bombay Presidency between 1918 and 1945, drawing upon archival research but also upon an analysis of actual advertisements. I seek to dismiss here one common perception about the advertising business during this time: that it was simply an alien institution that blindly sought to apply Western advertising methods and addressed only a tiny elite of expatriates and Anglicized consumers. While many of the key figures in the early advertising profession were Europeans, they increasingly sought to influence members of the Indian middle class--including those literate in the vernacular-- and they adjusted their appeals to their perceptions of this class's core values. During the later 1930s, they came to centre their campaigns around concepts of modern family life that they believed would resonate among middle-class consumers. No doubt few advertisers believed they could reach rural consumers or the urban poor, groups they believed to have too little buying power in any case to purchase their products. But neither was their conception of their potential market just that of an Anglicized elite.

The Rise of Professional Advertising

The emergence of a consumer-oriented, brand-name capitalism during the interwar years was associated with a reorientation of the subcontinent's place in the larger international economy. Once World War I was over, manufacturers of consumer goods from outside the subcontinent entered the Indian economy aggressively, seeking to develop markets for their products, including medical commodities, tobacco, soap, cocoa drinks, vegetable oils and even household electrical products. Business experts from abroad envisioned India as a "$600,000,000 market", with potential buyers not limited to the colonial expatriates. (1) If multinational corporations were to capture this market, these experts reasoned, Indian consumers would have to be persuaded to buy their products.

Realization of this goal was no easy task, since at the time few of the things consumed by Indians, even educated Indians, were branded commodities. City-dwellers obtained most of their needs from hawkers and small local shopkeepers, and brand name was often not a significant consideration in their choices. Even when they purchased European goods, they often regarded the reputation of the manufacturing firm as less important than the price and the qualities they could either observe directly or that shopkeepers touted to them in making a sale. Buyers would also have to be induced to abandon pre-existing body practices and to adopt new, "modern" habits: taking baths with soap, relying on laundry soap for cleaning clothes at home rather than sending them out to a dhobi, using a toothbrush and toothpaste, drinking tea, cocoa or coffee on a daily basis, and even taking branded potions or using ointments to ensure sexual performance. (2) In addition, small-scale vernacular capitalists, who made medical products, soaps, hair oils, skin lighteners and other commodities, were starting to enter the urban marketplace and to advertise their products in the papers (as illustrated by figure 2). Competition between global manufacturers and these local producers could be severe. Finally, middle-class Indians were affected by nationalist campaigns discouraging the purchase of foreign commodities and the conspicuous consumption of material goods.

In the early 1920s, global businesses typically relied on advertisements drawn up in Europe or America without consideration of the values of Indian consumers (figure 1). Some firms apparently had little ambition to sell their products beyond the ranks of European expatriates; others assumed that the prestige of foreign products was sufficient to attract middle-class buyers. (3) The costs of developing customized approaches to Indian consumers seemingly dissuaded global firms from making extensive investments in advertising.

Over the course of the 1920s, such marketing methods increasingly seemed inadequate to many global businesses. These firms turned to advertising specialists headquartered in India's larger cities, men and women steeped in the principles of advertising psychology and trained in the latest techniques of drawing advertisements and preparing them for print. Such specialists worked under three different kinds of arrangements. First, they could be members of advertising firms that were setting up offices in India, such as the famous American company, J. Walter Thompson, which came to India initially in 1929 to promote General Motors' automobiles, but soon took up a number of smaller accounts. By 1939, Thompson's operations on the subcontinent had become incorporated as an Indian company, and its clients included such firms as Elizabeth Arden, Firestone, Horlicks, Kelloggs, Kodak, Philips Electrical, Ponds and Smith Corona as well as Indian businesses that included Tata Oil Mills, Tata Sons Ltd. (Aviation) and Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing. (4) Second, advertisers could work for agency firms that managed the distribution of the products manufactured by their clients. For instance, the makers of Ovaltine hired the firm of James Wright as their agent in India; this firm apparently designed and placed many thousands of ads in Indian newspapers during the interwar period. Finally, some professional advertisers worked as in-house specialists for the biggest businesses, such as Lever Brothers, which chose to conduct its own publicity during the 1930s. In 1939, Levers was spending Rs 925,000 a year on advertising in India, an amount about triple the advertising budget of all of Thompson's clients in Bombay. (5) Levers' heavy advertising expenditures were an indication that the company was willing to sacrifice profit in the short term in order to maintain and extend its position of dominance in the Indian market.

Professional advertisers of the time carried a faith in the universality of Western advertising practices. F.R. Eldredge, a representative of the American Manufacturers Export Association, wrote in 1930: "American advertising methods are just as successful abroad as they are at home.... That the projection of these domestic methods has been an unqualified success is no longer in dispute...." (6) The American paradigm stressed that advertising should be based upon market research into the character of demand and the nature of the available media for publishing ads; knowledge of the technology, such as the methods for preparing print blocks of text and illustrations; and principles of advertising design, including the size of ads, their placement in newspapers, the use of different kinds of type, the techniques of advertising art and the writing of "copy".

But while they applied principles they deemed to be universal, professional advertisers in South Asia also came to believe that it was essential to adjust their message to cultural conditions in the subcontinent. L.A. Stronach, who founded an advertising agency in Bombay around 192 6, would later recall the prevailing approach to advertising, suggesting that he forged a very different path: "the main press advertisements which came from Britain or America, and were placed direct with newspapers, to my mind were quite useless at product-selling, because they were prepared by and for the European mentality, and there were only a half million Europeans, including service personnel, in the whole of India." (7) J. Walter Thompson informed its clients that advertising would not be simply translated, promising instead "copy written on the spot"; its Bombay officers stressed the importance of local knowledge when they wrote in 1936: "the sales record of clients is evidence of the ability of our staff to apply the advanced advertising skill of America, adapting and modifying it as conditions and customs demand" (italics mine). (8) Professional advertisers' claims to appreciate local circumstances and cultural priorities were central to their ability to persuade European or American manufacturing firms, which rarely had a physical presence in India, that they could provide indispensable help in the marketing process. (9)

Advertising specialists developed their understandings of Indian society through various means. First, they conducted surveys of Indian market conditions. Very few of Thompson's clients were ready to finance surveys into the markets for specific commodities; an exception was a survey on coffee demand financed by the Indian Coffee Cess Committee in 1938. (10) But Thompson did conduct two broad surveys on the general character of Indian demand, one in 1931 and another in the late 1930s. (11) In about 1938, Lever Brothers (India), by then incorporated as an Indian company, did an extensive survey of household soap preferences among Indian housewives in eight Indian cities. The survey was led by Thompson Walker, a longtime company expert, who came to India explicitly to carry it out; Prakash Tandon, who had recently been hired by Levers as its first Indian executive employee, assisted Walker, while a staff of mostly Indian Christian women conducted interviews with housewives. (12)

Cultural knowledge was also accumulated through less formal means. The heads of the European firms, like Stronach and Edward Fielden (who headed the Bombay office of J. Walter Thompson), were men who prided themselves on their understanding of India gathered through observation and travel. Stronach had toured India extensively and Fielden would ultimately reside in India for more than 35 years. Tandon himself provided his superiors with considerable informal advice on advertising and marketing approaches. (13) Indians at more subordinate levels such as clerks within the advertising offices, themselves of middle-class background, certainly must have played a role in generating advertisements. Indian employees (perhaps temporary employees on contract) provided input as translators of ads into vernacular languages and or as drawers of the visuals in commercial advertisements. Consumer businesses also received input from the traders and shopkeepers who sold the firms' products. Finally, advertising firms sometimes learned from the methods used by smaller vernacular businesses: for example, they seemingly appropriated the advertising approaches used by local manufacturers of men's tonics.

Archival research combined with an analysis of advertisements suggests that professional advertisers conceived of the Indian market in three broad segments. First, there were the European expatriates and wealthy Indian consumers, who may have been small in number but who had high disposable incomes and high expectations of comfort and luxury. Advertisements targeting these buyers were primarily printed in the English-language press, such as The Times of India. Second, there were the middleclass consumers, a much larger category of people, but with more modest earnings and with significant anxieties about liberal spending on commodities. They could be reached through vernacular newspapers and English-language papers with nationalist reputations, as well as through a variety of other media, including billboards and cinema ads. Finally, there were the rural population and the urban underclasses. Global firms for the most part regarded this last market segment as too poor and illiterate to be affected by advertising. An exception was Lever Brothers, which by the 1930s was using a system of travelling lorries to demonstrate and distribute its goods in the Indian countryside. (14)

The Making of the Modern Conjugal Family

As they accumulated knowledge about prospective markets and sought to customize their appeal to members of the Indian middle class, professional advertisers collectively came to centre their advertising pitches around conceptions of the modern family, which was becoming central to the self-definition of the middle class. Advertisers seem to have calculated that the evocation of anxieties about the achievement of responsible conjugality constituted the best strategic approach for prompting families to break with pre-existing patterns of expenditure and to buy branded products. In some cases, they arrived at conjugal themes only after significant experimentation with other possible appeals, including themes adopted in international campaigns for the same products. But by the later 1930s, advertisements for many different products tended to converge around notions of familial obligations: as wives and husbands and as mothers and fathers. Advertisements stressed various dimensions of this appeal.

Ads for the women's tonic, Feluna, for instance, stressed female responsibilities, mentioning the importance of coping with childbirth, fulfilling domestic expectations and being more attractive for one's husband. First developed in 1908 by Graham Remedies, a South African company, Feluna was sold initially to white women residing in the settler colonies of Africa. In South Africa, ads for Feluna often focused on young women who sought to participate in forms of white sociality--parties, dances, athletic activities etc.--where young men would also be present, and they evoked anxieties about failing to carry off this participation successfully. The figures in these ads had short hair and wore clothing and hats that reflected modern, glamorous styles. By the 1930s, however, Feluna ads were also being published in papers with a primarily black readership, featuring scenes familiar to this audience, ranging from mission hospitals to African villages; these ads stressed themes of particular meaning to literate black families: dowries, childlessness and the stresses of urban life. (15)

In the 1920s, Graham Remedies began to conduct a vast campaign for Feluna in India. At first, the ads developed in South Africa were probably exported to India where they would be published without modification in English-language newspapers or translated into the local vernacular without much adjustment. Often the original European figures would be maintained, and the ads sometimes retained themes of expatriate culture, such as the need of single women to impress men in attendance at parties (figure 3). But by the end of the decade, Feluna advertisers, whose identity we do not know, were developing more targeted campaigns that distinguished expatriate and Indian consumers. Ads addressed mainly to a European audience continued the emphasis on extra-familial sociality, while ads intended to reach Indians often stressed the specific travails of the modern Indian housewife. (16) The ads regularly portrayed women's bodies as possessing special vulnerabilities that could render them incapable of carrying out their conjugal responsibilities. A woman's life was portrayed as one of pain, especially pain associated with childbirth and menstruation. Some ads listed a host of specifically female health concerns, including womanly distress, "nerves", lowered vitality, anaemia, and digestive upset.

Some of these ads were addressed to the husband, presumed to be the person obligated to serve as a guardian of his wife's health (figure 4). Often the husband was pictured as insufficiently cognizant of his wife's problems. "Your wife--is she suffering?" ran one ad, "It is your duty to give her Feluna--made specially to combat weakness in women and to build up a sound healthy feminine constitution." The importance of creating fit mothers capable of ensuring a healthy new generation, a critical priority in nationalist discourse at the time, figured prominently in such appeals. Drawing explicitly upon eugenic reasoning, this ad linked conjugal concerns with the well-being of the nation: "And to you as husband, we ask you of the enormous influence Feluna must wield, through the mother's improved inner-health and vitality, towards producing robust children instead of those delicate weaklings who go to swell the ranks of the unfit, or to increase the rate of infant mortality." (17)

An ad in Gujarati, entitled "Motherhood", featured a sturdy woman wearing a modern but simple sari, a couple of bangles and earrings, with two children (figure 5). The baby in the image appears very European, a common feature in both vernacular and English-language ads suggesting an infant's healthiness (the mode of representing Indianness visually for babies was not fully developed at this point). (18) The text of the ad translates as follows: "There is no getting away from the Strains of Motherhood--with its care and responsibilities. Nevertheless does it not mean all happiness to a mother who is gloriously healthy? ... If your wife is one of those irritable, impatient mothers standing on the border-line of a health breakdown, or if her health has already broken as a result of the miseries of ... physical debility or functional disorder, you should insist that she takes a course of Feluna ... let her have the health to be a mother in the real meaning of the word." (19) Hie ads generally refrained from using images directed at expatriates such as women preparing for parties or participating in athletic activities.

Ads for Horlicks by contrast ultimately appealed mainly to male roles in the conjugal relationship. Horlicks is a "malted milk" powder consumed after being dissolved in milk; it was one of the most commonly advertised commodities in India during the late 1930s. Early advertisements for the product were directed to an expatriate audience and stressed such themes as the nourishment needed to withstand hot weather. Around 1929, J. Walter Thompson took over the account and intensified the effort put into formulating ads. Under Thompson, Horlicks at first centred its campaign around two issues: the health of children and recovery after illness. According to one Thompson report these two target audiences "were undoubtedly good specific markets since Indians really will spend money for their children and there are always a convalescent group who are immediate buyers." (20)

By 1936, however, Horlicks advertisers apparently decided these appeals were too narrow. Horlicks ads now turned to the middle-class male, and to anxieties associated with the new economy of urban India. The new Horlicks advertising drew from a set of several intersecting concerns. First, the advertisements grounded themselves in thefamiliar colonial stereotypes of the educated Indian male as "weak" and "effeminate"--stereotypes that were now brought into the context of employment. Second, they drew upon related medical theories of enervation, which characterized Indian males as prone to "weakness" for reasons of the climate, lack of exercise, moral shortcomings and exposure to various illnesses. Third, they evoked uncertainties about employment and professional advancement during the difficult times of Depression. Finally, they were steeped in the ideology of the middle-class householder and his responsibilities in a medicalized conceptualization of the nuclear family. The ads in this campaign utilized the language of "night starvation" (as well as a comic-strip mode of presentation) drawn from Horlicks' international advertisements, but they translated this concept, even in English-language ads into a vernacular phrase that actually meant "morning weakness", thus alluding to middle-class male fears of incapacity. In vernacular ads, the term "night starvation" was not mentioned, only "morning weakness."

Most of the ads, which were repeatedly run in western Indian papers from 1937 to 1939, followed a similar narrative in their sequences. In each, the main figure is a male who is failing at work and whose boss, sometimes European, scolds him for poor performance. After advice from some third party, he seeks out a doctor, who diagnoses him as suffering from "night starvation" and urges him to take Horlicks daily (figure 6). In the last frame, reinvigorated, he has achieved success and has won his promotion or has avoided being sacked. Ads featured government workers, shipping clerks, railway officials, police inspectors, lawyers, salesmen and even film directors. Horlicks advertisers on the subcontinent hoped that the theme of anxiety around masculine performance in the workplace would resonate widely among middleclass men throughout India. In some cases, the potential workplace failure was tied explicitly to the danger that a father might be unable to afford his son's education (21) or even to have the energy needed to play with his children (figure 7). (22) These ads contrasted with Horlicks ads directed toward expatriates, which stressed the products' value in helping a European wife to endure the stresses of India's climate or to have the energy needed to charm her husband's business clients in parties, (23) and which avoided the subject of endangered masculinity or the insecurity of employment.

In short then, formulaic aspects of Horlicks' international campaign with the slogan of "night starvation" were adjusted considerably in an Indian context. In particular, the ads built upon deeply entrenched perceptions of the male, middleclass body as weak, enervated and lacking vitality, but stretched these perceptions from the realms of military activity and politics into the office and the household.

The ads for Lifebuoy Soap illustrate the evolution of a campaign that ultimately came to focus on the upbringing of children and a medicalized approach to family health. Lifebuoy was one among many Lever Brothers soaps, but unlike Lux and Sunlight, it initially found only limited demand among Indians. (24) Lifebuoy's distinguishing characteristic was that it was a "carbolic soap"--made with carbolic acid, an organic compound with disinfectant, bacteria-killing qualities. Having already achieved a significant market for Lifebuoy in Europe during the 1920s, Levers launched the famous "B.O." (Body Odour) campaign in 1930. This campaign, first devised by J. Walter Thompson & Co. (its agent before the company developed its own advertising), highlighted the product's ability to inhibit body smells. These ads, according to Julianne Sivulka, suggested a series of social disasters resulting from B.O., including damaged friendships, lost businesses and failed romances. (25) The appeal of the product apparently carried over to expatriates coming to India, but advertising on the subcontinent remained limited.

By the mid-1930s, however, Levers executives were starting to believe that significant demand could be developed among Indians for soaps that could be marketed on the basis of their health appeal, especially soaps made without use of animal fats. (26) By 1937, Levers had begun to devote significant effort into advertising Lifebuoy, though the ads both in English and vernacular papers featured European adult male figures or European children taking a bath after playing in the dirt. (27) The B.O. theme was not mentioned at all at this stage. Then in 1938, Levers launched an extensive appeal in 14 different languages as well as in English. (28) European figures largely disappeared from these ads, clearly reflecting a strategic decision to address directly an Indian middle-class audience. By 1941, Lever Brothers was spending 130,000 rupees a year on advertising the product. (29)

There were two different strategic prongs in this campaign. The first involved emphasizing the importance of preserving the health of children from the danger posed by germs. The ads pictured various creatures about to attack children, ranging from snakes and tigers to fantastic monsters (figure 10). One ad read, "If germs looked like this, you'd rush in to protect your child from them, but unfortunately, they don't--you can't see them at all. Doctors testify that germs are the cause of disease and illness--and you can't even see them! But they are there just the same and you can defeat them! They breed in ordinary dust and dirt and you can wash that away with Lifebuoy." (30) The ads addressed the middle-class consumer as a parent fully committed to the principles of scientific medicine but insufficiently cognizant of the threat that germs posed to the family and unaware of the body practices (i.e., regular washing with Lifebuoy) that could overcome them.

The second prong involved the introduction of the B.O concept into India. Clearly, much effort was made to adapt the theme to the imagined cultural priorities of the Indian audience. Themes of romance, courtship and marital relationships were absent. Instead Lever's centred its campaign around the uncertainties posed by the middle-class couple's entry into new, modern forms of public sociality. Typically, these ads pictured a crowd of men and women from different communities in public places, for instance, in a bus, in a cricket match, or outside a cinema hall. (31) The ads stressed the danger that body odour presented to public respectability in these contexts. The logic in these ads ran parallel to that used in the health danger campaign, suggesting that Lifebuoy addressed invisible threats: "Many people have been failures in their public and private life because of Body Odour--for it's so easy to offend without knowing. We never notice Body Odour in ourselves! And though our friends notice it, particularly in crowded places, they rarely have the courage to tell us." (32) The person with a truly modern sensibility, this form of advertising implied, needed to recognize that body odour could make proper functioning in the new society impossible.

There is significant evidence that the B.O. campaign did not resonate strongly among the middle class. Prakash Tandon insisted to his boss that the B.O. theme had little chance of working in India, since the obsession with body smells was absent. (33) The B.O. slogan proved particularly problematic in translation. Initially vernacular ads for Lifebuoy included the English letters followed by a translation. This juxtaposition, however, was apparently so confusing that, within months, Levers dropped the mention of the English term B.O. in vernacular ads and developed abbreviations based on the words in local languages (Shaa.Vaa in Marathi, Sha.Vaa in Gujarati; figure 8). But in doing so, the advertisers had sacrificed the purpose of forging a universal slogan that would resonate among the middle class throughout India. By 1939, just a year or so after it was introduced and soon after the market survey conducted by Thompson Walker and Tandon was completed, the whole B.O. campaign was abandoned as was the emphasis on an extra-familial, inter-gender, inter-community sociality.

By contrast, the campaign stressing the threat of germs to children lived on, though in a somewhat less sensational form. The monstrous creatures disappeared and the ads pictured individual children engaging in play that led to encounters with dirt and germs. The key theme now became "dirt danger" and the promotion of the "Lifebuoy habit." (34) The pedagogical tone continued, with ads warning parents about the risks of children exposing themselves to unsanitary conditions, and reminding them of the "antiseptic" character of Lifebuoy. In addition to the main image, a smaller picture of a mother was sometimes inserted, clearly indicating the specific family member the ad hoped to influence (figure 9). In contrast to the campaign of the pre-1938 period, the figures in the ads were clearly Indian, even in newspapers with a high European readership like The Times of India. By stressing the importance of the Lifebuoy habit, advertisers sought to inculcate a long-term commitment to the project of securing the health of children through the sustained use of a specific brand-name product. In effect the ad campaign was brought in line with hygiene discourses associated with the middle-class family. (35) The carbolic soap's sales pitch was clearly altered in response to a shift in Levers' understanding of the priorities of its Indian customers.


The examples of Feluna, Horlicks and Lifebuoy ads clearly reflect the efforts advertising professionals were making to accommodate themselves to, and manipulate the values of the emerging Indian middle class. These ads departed from the kinds of appeals global firms in India had been making during the 1920s, appeals that had largely reflected the transplantation of ads originally created in Europe. Professional advertisers also clearly distinguished their campaigns from ones that their counterparts were using elsewhere in the world and ones that they themselves used in addressing an expatriate audience. Increasingly, as they sought to reach educated Indian consumers, advertising for a wide variety of commodities tended to converge around the ideals of conjugal responsibility, ideals that were acquiring salience in middle-class culture at the time.

We have little way of measuring the actual impact of these advertisements on members of the middle class. By the standards of contemporary advertising, many of their efforts appear simplistic and sometimes comical. No doubt, middle-class individuals continued to buy large amounts of unbranded products in local bazaars; any conversion of the consumer into a well-disciplined purchaser and user of branded, global products was a very partial one. Rural dwellers and the underclasses remained aloof from the project of brand-name capitalism. But at the same time, new forms of global business had come to recognize that they could not simply impose a Western set of ideas in India, and that they would have to accommodate themselves to preferences that were culturally constructed. Professional advertisers could at best hope to participate in these wider processes of cultural construction that were going on in society. They remained optimistic, however, that the Indian consumer would ultimately embrace not just their specific products but the larger mission of brandname capitalism.


Ads from The Times of India and The Bombay Chronicle come from the newpaper collections held by the Center for Research Libraries, Chicago. Ads from Mumbai Samachar are from the collections of the J.N. Petit Library, Mumbai.


This essay provides an overview of the arguments of my current book manuscript, tentatively titled "Brand-Name Capitalism, the Rise of Professional Advertising and the Making of Modern Conjugality in Western India, 1918-45", under contract with the University of Washington Press (expected publication date 2019). I wish to thank the American Institute of Indian Studies and the National Endowment for Humanities for supporting this project. I also thank my research assistants, especially Jeremy Schneider, Amita Kulkarni and Shrikant Botre.

(1) Jeremy Schneider, "Discourses in Capitalism: Ovaltine Advertisements and Visions of Domesticity in the British Empire during the Interwar Period", undergraduate honours thesis, Dartmouth College, 2007, p. 54. Schneider cites Darbara Singh Sodhi, "India, a $600,000,000 Market", Advertising Abroad, Vol. I, No. 1 (December 1928), p. 5.

(2) See Arvind Rajagopal, "Advertising as Political Ventriloquism: Agency, Corporation and State in India's Branded Market", unpublished essay; Douglas Haynes, "Selling Masculinity: Advertisements for Sex Tonics and the Making of Modern Conjugality in Western India, 1900-1945", South Asia, Vol. 35, No. 4 (December 2012), pp. 787-831; Haynes, "Brand-Name Capitalism, Soap Advertising and the Making of the Middle Class Family in Western India, 1918-1940", paper presented at the University of Pennsylvania, April 2012.

(3) In 1929, W.P. Scott of Lever Brothers indicated that preferences for British goods among Indian consumers were now declining as a result of the rise of nationalism, indicating that British origins had previously been a powerful selling point. Unilever Archives, Box 19/1, "Report on Visit to India, Burma and Ceylon by Viscount Leverhulme and Mr. W.P. Scott from 19th October 1929 to 30th October 1929".

(4) J. Walter Thompson Company Archives, Duke University, Treasurer's Office Records, International Offices, Bombay Office, Box 6, Bombay-General 1939, July 1939. Letter from Peter Fielden, J. Walter Thompson (Eastern) Limited to Donald Foote, New York Office, January 17, 1939.

(5) Unilever Archives, OSJ/9/31, "Report on Mr. Barnish's Visit to India, April 1939"; Table entitled "India & Burma: Total Trade".

(6) F.R. Eldridge, Advertising and Selling Abroad (New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1930), pp. 29-31. The quote goes on, tellingly, "... even though, in the most successful agencies, the necessity of adhering to the foreign or local taste in many particulars is admitted and carefully provided for."

(7) Undated recollection of L.A. Stronach, text provided by Anita Sarkar.

(8) Cited in Schneider, "Discourses in Capitalism".

(9) William Mazzarella discusses the importance of the claim made by Indian advertising firms to the indispensability of their role in interpreting "Indian culture" to their multinational client firms, in Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), Chapter 7.

(10) J. Walter Thompson Archives, Duke University, Reel 232, "Campaign for Indian Coffee, 1938-9. J. Walter Thompson (Eastern) Limited".

(11) J. Walter Thompson Archives, Reel 225, "Report on India, Burma and Ceylon compiled on the basis of Messrs. Lehn and Fink's questionnaire of May 1931" (1931); Reel 232, "Notes on Indian Advertising". J.Walter Thompson Archives, 1938, pp. 4-9.

(12) Prakash Tandon, Punjabi Saga, 1857-2000: The Monumental Story of Five Generations of a Remarkable Punjabi Family (paperback, New Delhi: Rupa, 2000 [1988]), pp. 233-322; Oral History Interview, Prakash Tandon [written transcript], British Library, European Manuscripts, MSS European T. 127; Unilever Archives, OSJ/9/31, "Report on Mr. Barnish's Visit to India, April 1939", Attachment D, p. 3.

(13) Tandon, Punjabi Saga, pp. 233-322.

(14) See, for instance, Unilever Archives, OSJ/9/26, "Report on Visit to United Traders, India conducted by Mr. Budget-Meakin and Mr. Knox in January 1934", p. 20.

(15) My thanks to Peter Quella of Boston University who looked over some of the ads in my collection and provided translations and interpretations.

(16) Amita Kulkarni, "The Societal Conception of the Indian Female Body during the Early 19th Century through a Study of Feluna Advertisements", undergraduate independent study paper, Dartmouth College, 2009. Kulkarni worked as a research assistant for me on Feluna advertising before beginning her paper analysing English-language ads in The Times of India.

(17) The Times of India, September 3, 1930, p. 15.

(18) Mumbai Samachar, February 23, 1931, p. 11.

(19) Text provided in Kulkarni, "The Societal Conception of the Indian Female Body".

(20) Thompson Archives, "Notes on Indian Advertising", pp. 4-5.

(21) The Bombay Chronicle, May 14, 1938, p. 11.

(22) The Bombay Chronicle, September 9, 1939, p. 9.

(23) Some of the ads featuring Indian figures were also published in The Times of India but the ads featuring European characters were exclusively published in The Times. See The Times of India, April 15, 1939, p. 17; June 8,1939, p. 15.

(24) Unilever Archives, Box 19/1 (see note 3).

(25) Julianne Sivulka, Stronger than Dirt (Amherst, New York: Humanity Books), p. 186.

(26) Unilever Archives, OSJ/9/20, "India: Mr. Sidney Van Den Bergh's Report on Soap Business, December 1934", p. 10.

(27) Jam-e-Jamshed, March 18, 1936, p. 21.

(28) Tandon, Punjabi Saga, p. 237.

(29) Unilever Archives, Correspondence Bundle, Overseas, "Lever Brothers (India), Limited [Discussion of sales], 31 1941", pp. 10, 15-16.

(30) The Times of India, October 6, 1939, p. 10.

(31) For instance, The Times of India, October 15, 1939, p. 17; August 18, 1938, p. 15.

(32) The Bombay Chronicle, October 5, 1938, p. 3.

(33) Tandon, Punjabi Saga, p. 237.

(34) The Bombay Chronicle, August 1, 1940, p. 6.

(35) P.K. Bose, "Sons of the Nation: Childrearing in the New Family", in Texts of Power: Emerging Disciplines in Colonial Bengal, edited by Partha Chatterjee (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1995); Bose, "Reconstituting Private Life: The Making of the Modern Family in Bengal", in Social Transformation in India: Essays in Honour of Professor I.P Desai, edited by Ghanshyam Shah (Jaipur and New Delhi: Rawat, 1997), Vol. 2.

Caption: 1. Ad for Goodwin's Toilet Soap: "For that 'tired feeling'", The Bombay Chronicle, June 18, 1919, p. 4.

Caption: 2. Ad for Amritdhara: "Everyone is in need", The Bombay Chronicle, April 26,1919, p. 14.

Caption: 3. Ad for Feluna, "Vitality with Health & Beauty", The Times of India, June 19, 1928, p. 14.

Caption: 4. Ad for Feluna, "husbands! Guard the health of your wives!", The Times of India, March 10, 1931, p. 14.

Caption: 5. Ad for Feluna, "Motherhood", Mumbai Samachar, February 23, 1934, p. 11.

Caption: 6. Ad for Horlicks, "young Bank Clerk Promoted when he got rid of night starvation", The Bombay Chronicle, June 4, 1938, p. 17.

Caption: 7. Ad for Horlicks, "He almost destroyed his son's future due to morning weakness", Mumbai Samachar, May 18, 1938, p. 21.

Caption: 8. Ad for Lifebuoy Soap, "Sha.Vaa. (Sharir no Vas) darekne mate bhayanak chhe [B.O. is terrible for everyone]", Mumbai Samachar, May 21, 1938, p. 27.

Caption: 9. Ad for Lifebuoy Soap, "Mothers and Families Need the Protection Lifebuoy Soap Can Provide", Mumbai Samachar, June 20, 1940, p. 3.

Caption: 10. Ad for Lifebuoy Soap, "child in danger!", The Times of India, May 5, 1939, P-15


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Author:Haynes, Douglas
Publication:Marg, A Magazine of the Arts
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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