Last year I saw an ad “Imported From Detroit” which has become my favourite since then.
Every now and then I find myself searching for it on youtube and just listen to it – love the style, the sense, the message.
However from the day I saw it – there is one question that keeps coming back to me too.
Should the (american) consumers avoid cars built by Honda, Nissan or Toyota – just because they are “foreign” cars? As far as I know most of these companies have factories in America – and even if they don’t, even if they are “purely imported” – shouldn’t consumers focus on what consumers should focus on – the usuals – quality, price etc.
The top rated comment on above video on youtube is —
“Buy American made” The three most powerful words of our time. Let’s do this people. GOD BLESS AMERICA. USA baby!
One of the reason I raise this question is because in India I see just the opposite.
Indians, on other hand, are embracing products from across the world with pleasure and without any sense of guilt. They love to wear clothing from international brands, they love going to “foreign restaurants” – McD, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday. They love to see new car launches everyday from companies across the world – and then go buy those cars in numbers ranging from hundreds to thousands. (which is why those companies are launching in India, to tap the so called “emerging economy”)
Bollywood is another example where I see this – apart from production houses and international crew – there are actors totally “foreign” who are being tried out and are successful and loved in India – whether it’s Barbara Mori in Kites, whether it’s Nargis Fakhri in upcoming Rockstar. They are brand among themselves.
I am not sure, maybe this has something to do with the fact that India was a closed economy for more than 40 years after Independence – so Indians know pretty much how it feels to have all “Made in India” products … they pretty much know how it feels not to have a choice.
There was a time in India too when “Made in India” products were being promoted – under leadership of Gandhiji, while India was struggling for freedom. Among other things it was probably identity crisis for Indians – but it is hard to believe that America is struggling with same kind of identity crisis right now?
This is kind of taboo question – I have many american friends on my list, so I didn’t really want to raise this question – but shouldn’t American embrace products from across the world with pleasure and without any sense of guilt … and shouldn’t get into a mindset which actually pushes them back on pages of history?
Brand Loyalty and Patriotism are two separate topics – wouldn’t it be better for the world if we keep them separate?