DO NOT publish your India themed creative just yet.
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So, while taking crazy to yet another level, Budweiser replaced their brand name with ‘America’ keeping in mind the Rio Olympics and presidential elections. Renaming the beer brand as America – absurd yet wacky branding gimmick!

In this digital age, you simply cannot create a buzz on social media without  being REALLY out of the box, rather; far away from the box. So what if it takes to changing the name altogether! However, the way Budweiser easily used America on the packaging, a brand doing so in India would have easily been in a big trouble – thanks to the law! India has certain (okay, MANY) restrictions by law when it comes to the public / commercial usage of national symbols, flag, words, emblems.

Now, with the new brands making an entry to the digital space every day and trends changing every minute, it has become crucial for the digital marketers to come up with new concepts and artworks in a few minutes. However, it must always be kept in mind that few things can never be taken for granted – like national symbols in India!

So, here are some never-to-forget pointers for the new digital marketeers when it comes to using any Indian element in your campaign

1. National Flag

A few years back, there was a debate whether tricolour should be used as a profile picture on social sites or not. However, it was concluded that it is legal to use it unless it is not disrespected, edited, or drawn / scribbled upon. Using the colours of the flag is permissible, but using a tricolour for commercial purposes is not. Also, make sure that the colours are in the proper order – Saffron, white & orange!

2. National Anthem 

In ‘Mardani’ – a Yashraj movie, the national anthem was used in a movie as a part of it. It created the controversy and there were positive as well as negative opinions about it! Though using national anthem is not restricted, the reference and context shouldn’t be demeaning the nation in a way. Though an ad like this would never create any problem  –

3. National Emblem

Use of national emblem is strictly limited to the official documents of the state. It is falsely used by many to show the relation to the government body. Commercial usage of the Emblem is punishable with six months to two years of imprisonment and with fine up to five thousand rupees.

4.  Map of India 

Recently, Home Affairs Ministry drafted a law that requires organisations to buy a license to use the official mapping data of India. For the creative agencies, it is very important to use the accurate map to depict the Indian map. Last year, Karnataka government landed in a trouble because of using distorted map of India in an advertisement.  If possible, avoid using the map in the creatives and branding elements. In case it’s unavoidable, use it with a disclaimer that says the map is not indicative of the actual geographical boundaries.

Always remember that in India,  tweaking any of the above elements is equivalent to disrespecting the nation, so make sure you follow a healthy digital marketing practice by keeping in mind the above factors.


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