"Branding is simply a more efficient way to sell things," said Al Ries, a legendary marketing professional, once and this New Zealand retail website took it way too seriously. A retail website named Annabelle's is selling Charpai, the most common Indian household furniture for Rs 41,000 by labelling it as "Vintage Indian Daybed."
The price of what clearly looks like a wooden charpai, a string cot, is $800 which approximately amounts to Rs 41,000 in India rupees.
For comparison, a 'charpai' at a local market will cost about Rs 1,000 max. Even on e-commerce websites like Amazon India, the prices of a cot go as low as Rs 800 and stretch to a maximum of Rs 10,000 for really fancy designer ones.
Here is a snapshot of the ad.
However, this is not the first time a foreign brand is selling a charpai for crazy prices. In 2017, a picture of a fancy ad selling an Indian wooden cot went viral. The best part- the price of that cot was $900, more than this one. In Indian rupees, it would cost one Rs 50,000.
The advertisement read, "Traditional Indian Day Bed - Charpoy". Then it carried a picture of said bed and listed details about it. Here's a picture of that ad.
However, this fancy elite marketing of common everyday Indian products is not new. Earlier we have seen various products like Mehendi being sold as 'hella designs,' and simple Indian Kurta-pajama' being marketed as 'vintage boho dresses.'
In 2019, a British clothing brand was heavily trolled online for selling 'kurta and kameez' as "vintage, boho dresses" after an India user-posted screenshot of the ad. "Vintage boho dress????? girl u got on a kameez with no salwar, the user wrote at the time.
The tweet became viral on social media in no time, collecting over 14,500 likes and nearly 7,000 retweets.
online faced flak and criticism online for selling “vintage, boho dresses". The ‘dresses’ by the clothing brand look very much similar to the traditional Kurtis or Kameez with their side-slits and traditional motifs, minus salwar.
From using the traditional Mehendi to draw freckles which transformed into a popular beauty trend, to copying ‘Chandan from Indian religious occasions as 'face painting decor' during music festivals, with the popularity of social media and e-commerce, India has witnessed its culture being misinterpreted in various instances.