ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mela and Media : Norms in Absence

Mela and Media : Norms in Absence

The Kumbh Mela this time over has, predictably, become media grist more than it ever was before. This huge conglomeration of people, the organisation and management of which is a mammoth exercise, has , one should suppose, always in any age attracted the attention of those whose business is news. It has also provided market access to artisans, craftsmen and producers of various goods.

The Kumbh Mela this time over has, predictably, become media grist more than it ever was before. This huge conglomeration of people, the organisation and management of which is a mammoth exercise, has , one should suppose, always in any age attracted the attention of those whose business is news. It has also provided market access to artisans, craftsmen and producers of various goods.

For modern media enterprises too, in the country and outside it, the Kumbh Mela has been a date to keep . It presents a whole spectrum for media coverage from the exotic to the magical and the mundane. To advertising agencies especially in the context of globalising village India, the Kumbh Mela offers a market place par excellence. Innovative strategies have been conjured up for a range of branded consumer products. Titan with Indian Railways has named a junction at Allahabad "NainiSonata' and has bought the display rights at four other junctions. Glowing display signs, kiosks, painted boats and, of course, free samples are all in evidence. Hindustan Lever's 'Fair and Lovely' sachets are being offered at the mela grounds as are Godrej's Sara Lee products, as well as food products like Parle G and Al's Tea which already have a rural base. All this new awareness about corporate India is being beamed across four giant screens at the mela grounds. Evidently the mela is an important enough proving ground for new-found rural marketing strategies and no expense has been spared. Advertising agencies are falling over themselves to capture this unique cross-section of the rural rich and poor, the urban pious, the new seekers of salvation, the curious and the with-it generation.

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