Brands piggyback on patriotic sentiment around Indian Independence Day

Several brands made patriotism-themed advertising to be aired around August 15 for Indian Independence Day.

Mondelez India went beyond just creating advertising to launch Unity, a bar with multiple shades of chocolate. It was launched with a print campaign from Ogilvy.

The ad ran across different states with a headline in a language that was different from the one most widely spoken in that region: for instance, a Kannada headline in the Marathi-speaking Maharashtra. Across languages and geographies though, the ad said: ‘Sweet things happen when we unite’. McDonald’s India used the occasion to highlight that its burgers were not as ‘foreign’ as previously imagined, but created using homegrown, native ingredients.

Called the ‘Truly Indian Burger’, the campaign was created by 22feet Tribal. 


Apart from films, the campaign includes a mobile optimised website with sourcing stories on ingredients. These could also be obtained by scanning the trays at McDonald’s outlets. 

 Speaking about the campaign, Arvind RP, director of marketing and communications of McDonald’s franchisee HRPL said: “Over the years, we have invested significantly to bring in global best practices and the latest farming technologies to India that empower our farmers to locally grow and produce world-class ingredients.”

22feet Tribal Worldwide business head Gaurav Magotra added: “The brief for us was to tell the right story – the good food story of local ingredients sourced from different parts of India. 

“And what better occasion than Independence Day to talk about the food that is truly Indian? It celebrates a little bit of India that is present in all the McDonalds burgers.

“They say that unity in diversity is the true representation of Indian culture. And this Independence Day, McDonald’s India is celebrating the diversity of its ingredients.”

Interactive Avenues, an IPG Mediabrands agency collaborated with LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Humsafar Trust to create a version of the Indian national anthem.

The campaign commemorated the decriminalisation of homosexuality by the Supreme Court of India last September which, according to IPG Mediabrands: “delivered the truest sense of freedom to millions of LGBTQIA+ people in India.”

The anthem is scheduled to be played before film screenings at PVR, India’s largest national cinema chain. 

IPG Mediabrands group chief talent officer Savita Mathai said: “We have fostered a culture of diversity and inclusion. We are India’s only advertising network which has 50% women representation in its executive council. 

“And through this film, we want to tell our employees and to the larger society that that we welcome everyone and we embrace everyone.”

The Humsafar Trust founder and chairperson Ashok Row Kavi said: “This is the first year we LGBTQIA+ are really free and the Independence Day anthem will bring this poignantly.”

In a film created in-house, used car marketplace Truebil went the soul-searching route, questioning what Indians have been doing with their hard-won freedom.


Truebil co-founder Shubh Bansal said: “Often as marketers we forget the true essence of an important occasion such as Independence Day. But with this campaign we ensured the values of freedom and independence was effectively portrayed through our film, driving a strong social message.”

Lowe Lintas created a campaign for retailer Reliance Market featuring an instrumental re-make of patriotic song ‘Saare Jahan Se Acha’ [Better than anywhere in the world] with ambient noises from the store standing in for instruments.


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