When I was in Bhutan, someone drew my attention to a TV commercial aired in the state television. The ad showed a car that went up and down in the main road of the capital for many times without the need for more fuel and the commercial message was clear: this car consumes less fuel. However, people who bought this type of car due to advertising said to me that their new car actually consumed much more than other cars in the same category. They were very disappointed and realized that the commercial lied. They have learned a hard lesson about advertising and its credibility that we in other countries already learned long time ago.
Conducting a training session on marketing to young entrepreneurs at Loden, I highlighted this ad as a bad one that misleads consumers and ultimately disappoints and alienates them. I asked the participants not to lie in their promotional activities, because it is not only immoral, but also the wrong business strategy, especially in a small country like Bhutan.
Advertising is inevitable in a consumer society Bhutan has developed into and I collected a few Bhutanese TV commercials for you to demonstrate the current development level of the advertising industry:
One of Loden entrepreneurs, Dawa Dakpa, produced the following advert for his Shoe Laundry:
This ad for a car brand was produced in Bhutan and tries to use the country as an attractive background for the promotion of their expensive car. In my view, they provide a rather shallow, superficial and one-dimensional image of the country and I hope they paid enough to the Bhutanese authorities in fees and taxes to compensate the damage they might do:
Once a country has commercial advertising and brands, soon they become part of the youth culture and they are referred to, played with, twisted and customized. This is a non-professional TV commercial made by Bhutanese youth with or without the consent of the portrayed cosmetic brand:
If you know of more Bhutanese commercials, please share them with me.