International Council for Education, Research and Training

Advertising as a Catalyst for Social Transformation: A Study on Public Service Advertisements and Nation Building in India


Narwal, Anuj

Assistant Professor, School of Media & Mass Communication, NIILM University




Media, the fourth pillar of democracy, is one of the institutions, systems and resources created by the society to fulfill its various needs. Today, as a security guard of democracy, media has reached its reach not only in the country but across the world. In this era of information technology, mass communication has an important contribution in the society. Whatever the limitations of the early forms of communication, the rapid development of communication media has been closely related to the development of modern human society. In the last few years, the revolutionary changes in the procedures of mass communication due to scientific progress have completely changed the human life-style. From Parliament to the streets, all ideological wars are being fought today through the mass media. Before independence, the media awakened the light of patriotism and resistance to British rule among the common people. After independence, this medium of consciousness emerged from new knowledge and science and called upon the common people to protect their rights and duties.

Advertisement is a word that comes from mass communication. “Advertising is an important scheme which apart from creating brand identity, makes the general public aware of social evils and important schemes. Advertisement is an important weapon to prevent drug addiction, prevent population growth, promote children and women education, and maintain social and economic harmony. It leaves a deep and lasting impact on the psyche.”1

Advertising is a controlled mass media of salesmanship by which visual and audio information is provided to the consumer with the purpose of getting him to think, agree, act or behave as desired by the advertiser. Started doing. Today we are standing at the frontier of the advertising era. In fact, advertising conveys its message through symbols, sometimes through humor, sometimes rhythm and sometimes even by creating fear, it tries to achieve its goal. Its creativity lies in this. The point is that it tries to look at situations from a new perspective. Advertisements contain a lot in their small structure which

Says a lot even by saying very little. It is said about advertising that “advertising sells dreams. Today advertising has become an important part of our lives. As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, while sipping tea, the first thing I look at is the advertisement in the newspaper. Radio jingles with musical melodious tunes and television advertisements with attractive visuals are presented every day in a new form, dreaming of fulfilling all the needs of man. As soon as we step outside the house, we are surrounded by the world of advertising. It was the effectiveness of advertising that led to the introduction of some informative advertisements in India’s first newspaper, the Bengal Gazette.”2. Till the 18th century, the message of advertisements was only informational. As commercialism grew, these informational advertisements were replaced by inspirational advertisements.

In the digital age, media, often considered the fourth pillar of democracy, wields unparalleled influence over societal perspectives. This paper explores how advertising, a vital component of mass communication, has evolved from providing information to instilling inspiration and change. It delves into the profound impact of advertising on public opinion, social awareness, and national development. Public service campaigns are dissected to reveal their pivotal role in addressing societal issues, raising public consciousness, and driving positive transformation. Examples from healthcare, nation-building, and issues related to women and children underscore advertising’s transformative power. The paper also highlights the legal framework of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India and how public service campaigns bridge the awareness-action divide. Ultimately, this research underscores advertising’s essential role in motivating collective action for a fairer, more just, and sustainable society.


Keywords: Advertising, social awareness, nation building, media impact, societal issues, Corporate Social Responsibility, advertising strategies, public welfare campaigns.


Impact Statement


The research on Advertising as a Catalyst for Social Transformation: A Study on Public Service Advertisements and Nation Building in India presents a comprehensive exploration of the evolving role of advertising in influencing societal perspectives and driving positive change. The study delves into the transformative power of public service advertisements, dissecting their pivotal role in addressing social issues, raising public consciousness, and fostering national development. By examining campaigns related to health, nation-building, and issues concerning women and children, the research highlights how advertising contributes to public awareness and motivates collective action. Furthermore, the paper emphasizes the legal framework of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India, illustrating how public service campaigns bridge the gap between awareness and tangible societal transformation. this research underscores the essential role of advertising in promoting a fair, just, and sustainable society, positioning it as a catalyst for social change and civic engagement.

About Author


Dr. Anuj Narwal serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of School of Media & Mass Communication at NIILM University. With a robust career spanning over 15 years, he has made significant contributions to renowned media outlets such as Total TV, Zee News, PTC News, Focus Haryana, Alakh Haryana Web Portal, Garim times and Medicare News. Dr. Narwal’s written work, including articles, features, and poems, has found a place in esteemed newspapers like Haribhoomi, Dainik Tribune, Dainik Jagran, and Dainik Bhaskar. In 2005, he published a collection of ghazals titled “Woh Jaisa Bhi Hai Mera,” showcasing his literary prowess.




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