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How is AdTech bridging the gap between brands and vernacul…


By Ramneek Chadha

Being a marketer and AdTech promoter, finding ways to communicate with users and reaching them with a story behind the brand remains my top most challenge. One key point while creating any AdTech product or making a marketing strategy is “Understanding basic human behaviour 101”. We have seen many times that audiences react better to a marketing strategy when it comes with a connection, story or message, and personally, I believe that there is no better way to tell a story than in their own native language.

Of many strategies, the one I would suggest to marketers all across the globe, and especially in countries like India is to go vernacular. In India they say “kos-kos par badle paani, chaar kos par baani”, and if we can actually use the power of language.

AdTech helps marketers reach vernacular audiences via the right mediums and revolutionise the digital landscape with constant evolutions and innovations. Vernacular adverts empowered with the power of AdTech make a difference in brands’ presence since it hasn’t only made the automation of digital adverts easier but is even bridging the gap between brands and users. Hence, as per the study by KPMG, nearly 73% of internet subscribers use Indian languages (source: Financial Express). Therefore, today regional languages and their growing content consumption have opened a huge avenue for digital advertising as people feel relatability when they are facilitated with the content of their genre.

If we look at the most basic principles of communicating with people either in person or virtually via Adtech, we prefer to talk in the first language which they easily understand. Adam Gopnik well stated that “We breathe in our first language, and swim in our second”. This stands true in the digital world as AdTech also enables automation via AI/ML mechanism that translates content into the vernacular language and will surely make a louder shout out in upcoming years. That’s why, in India, the estimated regional language base is 540 million with a market size of $53 billion wherein, users spend more time on smartphones and have 2x-3x online spending power as compared to english (source: Financial Express). Languages have been solving all the major communication hurdles for centuries and are one of the tricks that never fail wherein, adtech is beautifully edging the vernacular vertical.

So, I can say that vernacular is effectively revolutionising the digital market because adtech has massively vanished the digital divide. 70% of Indians find vernacular digital content more reliable than english, as per a joint study by Google and KPMG (source: Forbes). This becomes an X-factor for marketers’ brand growth as consumers live by the content in native lingos and drive better results. Since a big chunk of society is multilingual thus, brands like short videos, mCommerce, social media etc have already started including vernacular strategies in their advertising practices. Furthermore, nowadays users command the voice assistants of their smartphone in native dialects such as ‘cafes near me’, ‘11:11 sale kab hai’, ‘বাংলা পোশাক – Bānlā pōśāka (Bengali Dresses)’ etc because they find a personalisation with the brand, believe in the content of their dialects and better respond to it.

Today digital ad spends are also observing the paradigm shift due to the rising number of netizens which makes India the second largest online market in the world. In fact, as per a report published jointly by IAMAI, 50% of active internet users are from tier II and tier III regions and will make a user base of 900 million by 2025 (source: The Hindu). As of 2023, the digital ad revenue is valued at Rs 594 billion and will reach Rs 765 billion by 2025 where vernacular will be taking a larger share of the pie, making India the largest advertising market across the world in terms of ad spending (source: Statista).

Undoubtedly, the vernacular is gradually becoming an eventual goal of communicating with consumers as the storytelling ad creatives better impact the users’ sentiments. I also belong to a Hindu background and believe that the word ‘Maa’ has more emotions and cannot be replaced with Mom, Mama, Mum, or any other beautiful synonym of mother. So, it’s not the word but the language that holds the emotion and connection. Usually, in our family, we speak in hindi, at the workplace we often prefer speaking in english; and with our friends, we speak in our own comfortable way. This is all because we trust that our language would only make an impact. Moreover, a new user is often asked to choose his preferred language while registering for the first time on an app so that a stronger yet personalised relationship can be built from the beginning.

So, in my opinion, AdTech is massively giving brands a better online experience and recognition among the vernacular users due to its in-depth targeting, appographic targeting, precise targeting and many other targeting options. This would more effectively revolutionise the digital ecosystem in the coming time for brands’ powerful presence.

The author is COO at Xapads Media

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