Navigating the Digital Landscape for Vernacular Advertising

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart” – Nelson Mandela

With the increasing Internet penetration in India, there is a growing demand for regional content in the country. According to a joint study by KPMG and Google, 70% of Indians find vernacular content more reliable than English. 

The number of active internet users in the country is expected to increase to 900 million by 2025. This surely also means that the demand for vernacular content will continue to grow in the future. With over 120 languages and hundreds of dialects spoken in this country, brands must now focus their energies on vernacular advertising to connect with their regional users.  

Shradha Agarwal of Grapes says, “Creative teams must curate messages, keeping in mind the region and integrate the lifestyle, interests, colloquialisms, and cultural nuances of the specific audience base.”

So, what are the benefits, challenges, and opportunities for vernacular advertising in today’s digital landscape? Let’s discuss.

Challenges of Vernacular Advertising Through Digital Channels

Digital channels like Instagram and YouTube present a powerful medium to connect with consumers in their regional language. Advertisers across industries like eCommerce and fintech realize that vernacular advertising is the best way to reach out to regional audiences through intelligent recommendations. They can also touch the “right chord” with consumers through regional creators and influencers.

Despite the wider reach, vernacular advertising requires high investments in digital technologies and underlying infrastructure. It requires advertisers to invest in machine learning (ML) models that can identify, curate, and serve regional ad content to potential users.

Brands also have to think of the right format to deliver their ads. Vipul Kedia of MAAS India talks of the need for “multiple creative sets for each language with regional context.” He adds that “this also needs deeper data distillation and sharper targeting to be able to identify and target consumers based on their language preferences.” 

Among the main challenges, brands find it “resource-heavy” to communicate their message using many Indian languages and dialects.

Despite these challenges, brand marketers have an opportunity to cater to a diverse audience. To that end, let’s discuss some of the benefits of vernacular advertising.

How Does Vernacular Advertising Benefit Brands and Advertising Agencies?

Vernacular advertising creates a “local flavor” with the target audience, thus enabling more brand trust and loyalty. Here are some of the benefits of vernacular advertising for brands and advertising agencies:

1. Connecting with the Audience

Vernacular advertising leverages the power of the local language, customs, and regional culture. This can create an “emotional” connection with the audience – more than the “one-size-fits-all” approach of generic advertising. Effectively, brands can benefit from higher brand loyalty and engagement.

2. Analyzing Customer Behavior

Using appographic targeting (based on the user’s app interest), brands and advertisers can now analyze the individual’s behavior and preferred language. Based on these metrics, advertisers can target precise users – or promote their apps among users who are most likely to install them. This, in turn, generates high-quality leads and improves customer acquisition.

3. Cost-Effective Form of Advertising

Compared to traditional advertising, vernacular advertising is more cost-effective. This is because this form of advertising is targeted at specific users and requires less investment than mass nationwide advertising.

4. Leverages Local and Regional Content Creators

Video platforms like YouTube and Moj have given rise to regional content creators who are connecting with people in the local language. This trend effectively removes the time and money spent by brands and advertisers to create high-quality content. With the right use of local language and culture, regional creators are effective at connecting with the local audience through their content.

Next, let’s look at some of the market opportunities for vernacular advertising in India.

Vernacular Advertising – Opportunities in the Digital Landscape

With the proliferation of smartphones and other personal devices, the future of digital advertising is in the brand’s ability to connect with their regional audience. Hence, technology startups are working on creating regional content – along with algorithms for various Indian languages.

Vernacular voice searches are also becoming prominent among Google users. For instance, Google’s #BolneSeSabHoga campaign enables its users to ask Google any question in any language. 

In a multilingual society like India, vernacular advertising presents an opportunity for brands to achieve their KPIs through effective marketing campaigns.

Another successful case study is that of the social media platform, ShareChat. Starting in 2020, the platform grew its monthly active users from 60 million to 180 million in the post-lockdown phase. With over 150 advertising brands like Nykaa, Bharti Airtel, and Snapdeal, ShareChat is available in 15 Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, and Bengali.

Vernacular advertising in the current digital landscape presents an excellent opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. In the “crowded” world of digital advertising, advertisers can create memorable and engaging ads that connect with the local audience.


In today’s digital landscape, vernacular advertising enables brands to reach regional customers by using local languages. Among its benefits, vernacular advertising has the potential to create an emotional connection with prospective customers and stand apart from closest competitors.

Aroscop equips its customers with future-ready digital advertising technology. Our team of advertising experts can devise the right business strategy in vernacular advertising that works for your business model.
Looking for the right partner for your digital advertising needs? Contact us with your requirements.