CHAPTER 7 UnderstandingAdvertising Today we are surrounded by advertisements or ads as we call them. We watch these on television, listen to them on radio, see them on the streets and in newspapers and magazines. Even taxis and rickshaws carry advertisements on them. When we go to cinemas, we see advertisements before the film begins and on the Internet, they often pop-up when we go into different websites. What do advertisements do? How do they attract our attention? Read more to find out… become interested in buying them. In this chapter, we will focus on the two advertisements that you see Look at the two advertisementsabove to understand what advertising does and how above and fill the works. Top Taste Daal Care Soap What are the advertisements selling? How do they describe the product? What is the text trying to say? Guests should be served this. What do the pictures convey? Love of a mother. Would you want to buy these products after seeing the advertisement? Building brands and brand values Have you ever heard of the word brandbrand? Advertising is all about building brands. At a very basic level, ‘branding’ means stamping a product with a particular name or sign. This is done in order to differentiate it from other products in the market. So, let us look again at the advertisements above. Why do you think the manufacturers of the soap and the daal gave their products a specific name? Do you think there is a problem inusing the image of the mother asthe only person who takes care ofthe child in the Care Soapadvertisement? Branding actually came from cattle grazing. Cattle of different owners grazed together in ranches and they often got mixed up. The owners thought of a solution. They started marking their cattle with the owner’s sign by using a heated iron. This was called ‘branding’. Daals or pulses are usually sold loose in the market. We usually know daals by their different types like masoor ki daal, urad ki daal, etc. These names are not brand names. When a company takes masoor ki daal and puts it into a packet, it will need to give the daal a special name. It needs to do this so that we don’t confuse the daal in that particular packet with the daal that is sold loose. They decide on a name like ‘Top Taste Daal’. This naming of the product is called ‘branding’. Similarly, in the case of the soap, there are many soaps in the market today. In bigger towns and cities, we no longer just say soap but rather refer to them using the different names of companies that make them. Given the many soaps in the market, the company will have to give the soap a different and special name. By doing this they create another brand of soap. Just naming the product may not make us buy it. The manufacturers that made the soap and the daal still have to convince us that their soap and daal are better than the others available in the market. This is where advertising comes in. It plays a crucial role in trying to convince us to buy the product that is advertised. The task of creating a brand does not stop at giving the product a special name. For example, just when ‘Top Taste Daal’ begins to be sold, another company decides to also sell daals in a packet and calls this ‘Best Taste Daal’. So, now there are two branded daals in the market. Both the companies are keen that you buy their daals. The consumerconsumer is confused because you really cannot tell the difference between ‘Top Taste Daal’ and ‘Best Taste Daal’. The manufacturer has to give the consumer a reason to prefer a particular brand of daal. Just naming a daal does not help sell it. So, advertisers begin claiming certain special values for their brand. In this way, they try to differentiate it from other similar products. Look below at how the Manufacturers spend crores of rupees two daals try and do this. to make sure that we see their advertisements wherever we go. From the advertisements, you can now see that the two daals are saying different things. ‘Top Taste Daal’ is appealing to our social tradition of treating guests extremely well. ‘Best Taste Daal’ is appealing to our concern for our children’s health and that they eat things that are good for them. Values such as treating our guests well and making sure our children get nutritious food are used by brands to create brand values. These brand values are conveyed through the use of visuals and words to give us an overall image that appeals to us. Brand values and social valuesAdvertisements are an important part of our social and cultural life today. We watch advertisements, discuss them and often judge people according to the brand products they use. Given that advertisements are such a powerful source of influence in our lives, we need to be able to understand the ways in which they work. What does this advertisement want me to feel when I use this brand? Who is this advertisement talkingto and who is it leaving out? If you have money to buy theseproducts, how would you feelwhen you see theseadvertisements? If you do nothave money, then how would youfeel? Let us look more closely at the two advertisements that we began the chapter with. If we ask all of the questions listed, we will realise the way in which these two advertisements work. Branded daals cost much more than daals that are sold loose because they include the costs of packaging and advertising. So, many people cannot afford them. However, because of the advertisement, people who cannot afford Top Taste Daal might begin to feel that they are not treating their guests properly. Gradually, people will come to believe that only branded daals are good and will want to buy the daal that comes in a sealed packet rather than that which is sold loose. But, in reality there is little difference between daals that are sold loose and those sold in a packet. We are just made to imagine the difference because of the advertisement. In the Care Soap advertisement, once again a personal emotion is being used. As a mother, if you want to show your child you care, then you have to buy this expensive soap. The advertisement uses the mother’s concern for her child. It tells the mother that her love and care is best shown through using this particular brand of soap. Because of this, mothers begin to feel that using this soap is a sign of how much they love their child. In this way, the advertisement uses the love of a mother for her child to sell this expensive soap. Mothers who cannot afford this soap might begin to feel that they are not giving their children the best care. As you can see with the two advertisements, they often target our personal emotions. By linking our personal emotions to products, advertisements tend to influence the ways in which we value ourselves as persons. Often several of our cricket heroes and our favourite film stars also try and sell products to us through advertisements. We may feel tempted to buy these products because persons whom we consider our heroes tell us that they are worth buying. In addition, advertisements often show us images of the lifestyleslifestyles of rich people and seldom show us the reality of peoples’ lives that we see around us. Advertisements play a big role in our lives. We not only buy products based on them, but often, having certain brand products influences the ways in which we think about ourselves, our friends and our family. It is, therefore, important to know how advertising works and understand what it does before we choose to buy the products that advertisements sell. We need to be able to critically understand why they use particular images, the personal emotion that they are appealing to and the ways in which this affects how we think about ourselves when we use the product or are not able to buy it. This collage, prepared by school children, shows celebrities promoting products. It was recently reported that a top cricketer signed a three-year contract to do various advertisements for Rs 180 crores. A popular model may charge Rs 5 lakh or more per advertisement. The telecast rate for a 30 second advertisement on a major TV channel is Rs 1.65 lakh.The cost of bringing out a quarter page colour advertisement in a leading newspaper is Rs 8.36 lakh. How does an advertisement get made? Advertising is a very important part of getting people to buy a brand. This does not happen easily and several hundred books have been written on this. Advertisements aim to get people to buy a particular brand. This basically means that after we see an advertisement we should want to buy the brand. Let us see how the persons who make advertisements decide on what images, text and personal emotions to use to sell the product. THE LOVING SOAP At the office of a prominent advertising agency... As you know, our company has a strong presence in all the metros and major cities.We would like to introduce our new freshness soap as a very special soap in the market, and aim to capture a large number of customers within the first six months of its release! We need an advertising campaign that will create a new interest amongst consumers who are already used to many brands. Sir, our first task as an advertising agency is to determine the consumer profile for your soap, that is, identify the typical user of such a high quality soap.We will conduct market surveys to get a better idea of this.Then we will visualise a campaign that will appeal to our specific Target Audience. Excellent! Then please bring in the best market research professionals for the job. A couple of weeks later... The creative team at the agency starts thinking... Market surveys have revealed that young mothers between the ages of 21 and 40 are concerned about the soap they use for their children, and are willing to pay a higher price for a better product.We should create a brand identity that appeals to them. Hmm...good idea. The agency makes a presentation to the client... Our campaign will be based on the concept: ‘Care Soap – Express Your LoveAfresh’.The visuals will focus on mothers and children to re-inforce our brand strategy! All the existing brands of baby soap in the market emphasise ‘naturalness’,etc. We need a different angle. How about associating our soap with the loving care of the mother! We should say that you cannot fully express your love for your child without your soap! We need a good brand name to go with that. How about Care Soap? Yes, that’s a brilliant idea! The visuals and advertisements are then tested amongst the target audience. Yes. I think this promotes a new way of expressing love and care. I would like to try this new brand. Thank you Madam! I like the concept! Once the marketing strategy is considered successful, the advertisement campaign is finalised and released in various media along with the launch of the new care soap. Advertising and democracy There are various ways in which advertising links to issues of equality in a democratic society. Advertising a product costs a lot of money. Usually, Who do you think is the targetcrores of rupees are spent advertising a brand. audience for the social Producing and showing advertisements in the media advertisements below? is very expensive. Because there are so many advertisements in the market today, companies have What is the message that eachto show the advertisement again and again to have social advertisement is trying toit stick in people’s minds. get across? What this often means is that only large companies Having read about diarhhoeacan advertise. If you own a small business, you will epidemic in the chapter on Statenot have the money to show your product on TV or Government, can you make anational newspapers and magazines. So, persons social advertisement on what who sell papad, pickles, sweets and jams that they precautionary steps should behave made at home are not considered as fashionable taken to prevent diarrhoea? as brand products. They often have to sell their Social advertising Social advertisements refer to advertisements made by the State or private agencies that have a larger message for society. The following are two social advertisements: Social advertisement regarding educational rights of disabled children. Social advertisement regarding crossing of unmanned railway crossings. products in weekly markets and neighbourhood shops that you will read about in the following unit. It also makes us believe that things that are packaged and have a brand name are far better than things that do not come in packets. We forget that the quality of a product has little to do with the packaging that it comes in. This shift to packaged products negatively affects the sales of several small businesses forcing people out of their livelihoods. In a democracy in which all people are equal and Advertising makes us believe that things should be able to lead a life of dignity, advertising that are packaged are better than things tends to promote a certain lack of respect for the that do not come in packets. poor. They are not the faces we most often see in advertisements and so we tend to dismiss their lives as worthless. Advertising, because it appeals to personal emotions also tends to make people who cannot afford certain brands feel bad. They feel that they are unable to give their loved ones the best care that brand products appear to offer. Juice sellers like this one are losing customers who, because of advertising, prefer branded drinks. Advertising by focusing on the lives of the rich and famous helps us forget about issues of poverty, discrimination and dignity, all of which are central to the functioning of equality in a democracy. More than just selling us products, advertisements tell us how we should live our lives, what we should aspire and dream for, how we should express our love, what it means to be smart, successful and beautiful. As citizens of a democratic society, it is important for us to be aware of the strong influence that advertising has on our lives. By critically understanding what advertisements do, we can make better decisions about whether we wish to buy a product or not. 1. What do you understand by the word brand? List two reasons why building brands is central to advertising? 2. Choose two of your favourite print advertisements. Now, look at each of these and answer the following questions: a. What visuals and text is being used in these advertisements to attract my attention? b. What values are being promoted in these advertisements? c. Who is this advertisement speaking to and who is it leaving out? d. If you could not afford the brand that is being advertised how would you feel? 3. Can you explain two ways in which you think advertising affects issues of equality in a democracy? 4. Making an advertisement requires a lot of creativity. Let us imagine a situation in which a manufacturer has just made a new watch. She says that she wants to sell this watch to school children. She comes to your class and asks you all to create a brand name as well as an advertisement for the watch. Divide the class into small groups and each group create an advertisement for this watch. Share it with the class. Glossary Product: This refers to a thing or service that has been made for being sold in the market. Consumer: This refers to the person for whom the goods or products have been made and who pays money to buy and use them. Brand: This refers to a special identification or name that is associated with a product. Such identification is created through the process of advertising. To influence: This refers to the power to change what someone believes or does. Lifestyle: In this chapter, this word refers to people’s lives being identified by the products they own, the clothes they wear, the places they eat in, etc.




Teacher’s note

These two chapters focus on aspects of life and commercial cycles associated with markets. While some of these processes may be visible and, therefore, easily observable, there are also others that are relatively unfamiliar.

Chapter 7 discusses ‘Markets Around Us’. At one level, we study different market sites: a weekly market, neighbourhood shops, a shopping complex, etc. At another level, we explore the intricate question, ‘how do goods reach these markets?’ We examine how a chain of markets operates and the role of wholesale markets within this, through the case study of a wholesale vegetable market. We usually associate ‘market’ with marketplaces, but buying and selling takes place in diverse ways and the chapter discusses how all of this falls within a larger understanding of markets.

Chapter 8 looks at how markets offer people different opportunities. This is done through the ‘story of a shirt’, and the chain of markets involved in the process. Together with understanding each step of the manufacture and circulation of a shirt, we realise that some people stand to gain in the market transaction whereas others do not gain as much, or none at all. The opportunities are highly unequal. Ways do exist, such as those of cooperative marketing, which can provide a better return to the producers. However, we need to find many more viable avenues for equitable distribution.

These chapters offer an opportunity of bringing in the experience of local markets for discussion in the classroom. A visit to a wholesale market would be of interest, and would allow the learner to find out the profit margins and details of daily earnings so that those inequalities can be directly examined. The experiences of markets are varied and also quite rich. Hence, one should allocate time for some questions, not addressed in the text, which students may wish to discuss.

Social and Political Life-2


Markets Around Us

We go to the market to buy many things – vegetables, soap, toothpaste, masala, bread, rice, dal, clothes, notebooks, biscuits, etc. If we make a list of the goods that we purchase, it would be really long. There are many kinds of markets that we may visit for our everyday needs: these can include shops, hawker’s stalls in our neighbourhood, a weekly market, a large shopping complex, perhaps even a mall. In this chapter, we look at some of these markets and try to understand how the goods that are sold there reach buyers, who these buyers are, who these sellers are, and the sorts of problems they face. 

Why do people go to a weekly market? Give three reasons.

Who are the sellers in a weekly market? Why don’t we find big business persons in these markets?

Why are things cheap in the weekly market?

Explain with an example how people bargain in the market. Can you think of a situation where the bargain would be unfair?

Sameer: Seller of clothes

Sameer is a small trader in the weekly market. He buys clothes from a large trader in the town and sells them in six different markets in a week. He and other cloth sellers move in groups. They hire a mini van for this. His customers are from villages that are near the marketplace. At festival times, such as during Deepavali or Pongal, he does good business.

Weekly market

A weekly market is so called because it is held on a specific day of the week. Weekly markets do not have permanent shops. Traders set up shops for the day and then close them up in the evening. Then they may set up at a different place the next day. There are thousands of such markets in India. People come here for their everyday requirements.

Many things in weekly markets are available at cheaper rates. This is because when shops are in permanent buildings, they incur a lot of expenditure – they have to pay rent, electricity, fees to the government. They also have to pay wages to their workers. In weekly markets, these shop owners store the things they sell at home. Most of them are helped by their family members and, hence, do not need to hire workers. Weekly markets also have a large number of shops selling the same goods which means there is competition among them. If some trader were to charge a high price, people would move to another shop where the same thing may be available more cheaply or where the buyer can bargain and bring the price down.

One of the advantages of weekly markets is that most things you need are available at one place. Whether you want vegetables, groceries or cloth items, utensils – all of them can be found here. You do not have to go to different areas to buy different things. People also prefer going to a market where they have a choice and a variety of goods.

Shops in the neighbourhood

We have seen that the weekly markets offer a variety of goods. However, we also buy things from other kinds of markets. There are many shops that sell goods and services in our neighbourhoods. We may buy milk from the dairy, groceries from departmental stores, stationery, eatables or medicines from other shops. Many of these are permanent shops, while others are roadside stalls such as that of the vegetable hawker, the fruit vendor, the mechanic, etc.

Sujata and Kavita were sent to buy groceries from their neighbourhood shop. This was the shop they usually went to. It was crowded today. The shop owner managed the shop herself with two helpers. When they managed to get into the shop, Sujata dictated a list to her. She in turn began asking her helpers to weigh and pack the items. Meanwhile Kavita looked around…

On the top left shelf there were different brands of detergent cakes. Another shelf had toothpastes, talcum powder, shampoo, hair oil. The different brands and different colours looked so attractive. On the floor lay a few sacks.

It took almost 20 minutes to weigh and pack all the groceries. Then Sujata showed her “notebook.” The woman noted the amount of 
` 3000 in the notebook and gave it back. She also noted the amount in her big register. Then Sujata took the heavy bags out of the shop. Her family will pay for the purchases in the first week of next month.

Shops in the neighbourhood are useful in many ways. They are near our home and we can go there on any day of the week. Usually, the buyer and seller know each other and these shops also provide goods on credit. This means that you can pay for the purchases later, as we saw in Sujata’s case, for example.

Why did Sujata carry a notebook? Do you think this system is useful? Can there be problems?

What are the different kinds of shops that you find in your neighbourhood? What do you purchase from them?

Why are goods sold in permanent shops costlier than those sold in the weekly markets or by roadside hawkers?

You might have noticed that there are different kinds of sellers even in the neighbourhood markets. Some of them have permanent shops and others sell their goods on the roadside.

Anzal Mall is a five-floor shopping complex. Kavita and Sujata were enjoying going up and down in the lift. It seemed as if it was made of glass and they were able to see outside as they went up. It was fascinating to see so many different kinds of shops such as the ice-cream, burger, pizza and other food shops; shops full of home appliances; footwear and leather items as well as bookshops.

While wandering about on the third floor they entered a shop that was selling branded ready-made clothes.The security guard looked at them as if he wanted to stop them but he did not say anything. They looked at some dresses and then looked at the price tag. None of them was less than ` 3,000, almost five times the weekly market price! Sujata whispered to Kavita, “I’ll take you to another shop which has good quality ready-made clothes at more reasonable prices”.

Why do you think the guard wanted to stop Kavita and Sujata from entering the shop? What would you say if someone stops you from entering a shop in a market?

Shopping complexes and malls

So far we have seen two kinds of marketplaces – weekly markets and markets in our neighbourhood. There are other markets in the urban area that have many shops, popularly called shopping complexes. These days, in many urban areas, you also have large multi-storeyed air-conditioned buildings with shops on different floors, known as malls. In these urban markets, you get both branded and non-branded goods. As you have read in the chapter on advertising, branded goods are expensive, often promoted by advertising and claims of better quality. The companies producing these products sell them through shops in large urban markets and, at times, through special showrooms. As compared to non-branded goods, fewer people can afford to buy branded ones.

Why do people not bargain in shops located in malls whereas they bargain in weekly markets?

Chain of markets

In the previous sections, you have read about different markets from where we buy goods. From where do you think shop-owners procure their goods? Goods are produced in factories, on farms and in homes. However, we don’t buy directly from the factory or from the farm. Nor would the producers be interested in selling us small quantities such as one kilo of vegetables or one plastic mug.

The people in between the producer and the final consumer are the traders. The wholesale trader first buys goods in large quantities. For example, the vegetable wholesale trader will not buy a few kilos of vegetables, but will buy in large lots of 25 to 100 kilos. These will then be sold to other traders. In these markets, buying and selling takes place between traders. It is through these links of traders that goods reach faraway places. The trader who finally sells this to the consumer, is the retailer. This could be a trader in a weekly market, a hawker in the neighbourhood or a shop in a shopping complex.

We can understand this with the help of the following examples –

Every city has areas for wholesale markets. This is where goods first reach and are then supplied to other traders. The roadside hawker whom you read about earlier would have purchased a large quantity of plastic items from a wholesale trader in the town. He, in turn, might have bought these from another, even bigger wholesale trader in the city. The city wholesale trader would have bought a large quantity of plastic items from the factory and stored them in a godown. In this way, a chain of markets is set up. When we purchase, we may not be aware of the chain of markets through which these goods travel before they reach us.

How do you think your neighbourhood shop gets its goods? Find out and explain with some examples.

Why is a wholesale trader necessary?


The above map of Delhi shows four of the 10 wholesale markets in the city.

AftabThe wholesaler in the city

Aftab is one of the wholesale traders who purchases in bulk. His business starts around 2 o’clock in the morning when vegetables reach the market. This is the time when the vegetable market or mandi starts buzzing with activity. The vegetables come in trucks, matadors, tractor trolleys from farms both near and far. Soon the process of auctions begins. Aftab participates in this auction and decides what he will buy. Today, for example, he bought 5 quintals of cauliflower, 10 quintals of onions. He has a shop in the market where he stores the vegetables that he has bought. From here he sells to hawkers and shopkeepers who start coming to the market around six in the morning. They have to organise their purchases so that they can start their shop for the day around ten in the morning.

Markets everywhere

So far we have seen different marketplaces where people buy and sell a variety of goods and services. All these markets are in a specific locality and work in a particular manner and time. However, it is not always necessary that one has to go to the market to purchase goods. You can place orders for a variety of things through the phone and these days through the Internet, and the goods are delivered at your home. In clinics and nursing homes, you may have noticed sales representatives waiting for doctors. Such persons are also engaged in the selling of goods. Thus, buying and selling takes place in different ways, not necessarily through shops in the market.

The markets that we looked at above are the ones that we recognise easily. However, there are markets that we may not be so aware of. This is because a large number of goods are bought and sold that we don’t use directly. For example, a farmer uses fertilisers to grow crops that he purchases from special shops in the city and they, in turn get them from factories. A car factory purchases engine, gears, petrol tanks, axles, wheels, etc. from various other factories. We don’t usually see all the buying and selling, but only the final product – the car in the showroom. The story is similar for any other good.

People in urban areas can enter markets without stepping out of their homes via the Internet. They use their credit cards to make ‘online purchases’.

Markets and equality

In this chapter, we have looked at shop owners in a weekly market and those in a shopping complex. They are very different people. One is a small trader with little money to run the shop whereas the other is able to spend a lot of money to set up the shop. They also earn unequal amounts. The weekly market trader earns little compared to the profit of a regular shop owner in a shopping complex. Similarly, buyers are differently placed. There are many who are not able to afford the cheapest of goods while others are busy shopping in malls. Thus, whether we can be buyers or sellers in these different markets depends, among other things, on the money that we have.

A car being put together in a factory.

We have also examined the chain of markets that is formed before goods can reach us. It is through this chain that what is produced in one place reaches people everywhere. When things are sold, it encourages production and new opportunities are created for people to earn. However, do they offer equal opportunities? We will try to understand this through the story of a shirt in the next chapter.

Malls, like the one above, sell expensive and branded goods.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)


1. In what ways is a hawker different from a shop owner?

2. Compare and contrast a weekly market

 and a shopping complex on the following:

Market Kind of goods sold Prices of goods  Sellers Buyers
Weekly market
Shopping complex

3. Explain how a chain of markets is formed. What purpose does it serve?

4. ‘All persons have equal rights to visit any shop in a marketplace.’ Do you think this is true of shops with expensive products? Explain with examples.

5. ‘Buying and selling can take place without going to a marketplace.’ Explain this statement with the help of examples.


Weekly market: These markets are not daily markets but are to be found at a particular place on one or maybe two days of the week. These markets most often sell everything that a household needs ranging from vegetables to clothes to utensils.

Mall: This is an enclosed shopping space. This is usually a large building with many floors that has shops, restaurants and, at times, even a cinema theatre. These shops most often sell branded products.

Wholesale: This refers to buying and selling in large quantities. Most products, including vegetables, fruits and flowers have special wholesale markets.

Chain of markets: A series of markets that are connected like links in a chain because products pass from one market to another.

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