Wednesday 23 April 2008

Post-Imperial Advertising

Today’s images are, with th exception of the Ovaltine ad in monochrome, from Times of India Annuals of the 1950’s. They reflect the post-colonial realities and for the first time, the indigenous consumer takes priority. It’s interesting to note how Ovaltine progressed from a convalescent drink designed to bring relief to the weary colonial administrator, enervated by the exigencies of life in the tropics, to a soothing bedtime drink for the hard working Indian populace. The cosmetic products on offer hint at an Asian sensuality, especially in the case of Afghan Snow where a decidedly risqué image was deployed. There is irony in the repeated use of the word ‘discrimination’ given that the same word defined political discourse in Britain around the subject of racism in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

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