Recession-themed spot switches gears in India

One of the first television commercials here to take inspiration from the slowdown belongs to a category one would least expect: not real estate, not banking or insurance, not airlines or travel but switchgears.

Indian electrical-products manufacturer Havells humorously reminds consumers that its electrical switches (technically, multi circuit boards) are shock-proof by showing situations that are not shocking these days—canceled salary increases and dwindling property prices. And it notes that while the recession has caused many shocks, consumers can at least avoid electrical shocks with Havells.

The tone is neither heavy-duty nor mushy—the spot simply attempts to make light of the economic situation for viewers who’d prefer brands not to add to the gloom that newspapers and TV news have already created. It also fulfills the same need that cinema and music do for the bulk of Indians, providing entertainment and a refreshing break from reality.

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