• advertisement painting india

This is India! 33

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Ben left for Kochi to finish up his work and the house was empty except the cat and dog for the first time since my friend Britani came. We’ve had guests for about two months. So I did what any normal person would do, I pulled out all the American junk food I’d hidden from everyone and sat in my pajamas on the couch for a days catching up on months worth of tv. I loved this article by Young Adventuress about being a traveler and an introvert at the same time, where I saw this photo and was like – yeah, that’s me.

map of introvert

Now your story,

You’ll notice in India lots of ads are paintings. I forget to share things like this on here because I’ve come so used to seeing them that it doesn’t stand out enough to be “blogging material”. I had a couple people from the U.S. in the car with me and was pointing this out to them and realized it was kind of unique, maybe not just to India- but it was certainly something I didn’t see back home in Ohio.

advertisement painting india

Recently, our favorite bar was repainted (Happy Bar in Assagao) from red Vodafone to bright blue for some car ad. I asked Babu how much they get paid to have these huge companies advertise on their walls (sometimes on shops and sometimes on their very own homes) and he said, “they don’t get paid, they get their house painted for free!”

I couldn’t believe it! These ads are on virtually every building in India, and I would be so sad for the people if these huge companies weren’t paying. Ben told me he had asked this very same thing to his buddy Azad who grew up in Kerala. Az said that they loved the time of year advertisers came around wanting to paint because they got paid.

Not sure the truth on this one, does anyone know – share in the comments!

This is India!

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. s a joshi January 16, 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    “except” the cat and dog
    …lol..just had to do it

  2. Jessica January 16, 2015 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Huh that’s kind of interesting. I have no idea of the answer, but now I’m curious to know!

  3. jen January 17, 2015 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Interesting post, Rachel! And I had to laugh at how you watched TV and ate American junk food – totally relate.

  4. Elora January 17, 2015 at 7:55 am - Reply

    That is certainly different!

  5. Nadia Gunardisurya January 17, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I think it’s quite unique to India, as perhaps they won’t do it so nicely kitsch in another country :) I love these walls, I even got a collection of images of these walls in my website and I name the collection “goa goa on the wall” :). Ya, I also always wonder whether they got paid or not…

  6. Justine January 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Whenever I have the house to myself, I love being lazy, vegging out, watching TV and eating my favorite junk foods! It’s the best ;)

    • Rachel Jones January 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

      I think everyone secretly loves it, but has to act like they’re too busy for these things :p

  7. Glamourous Journeyler January 17, 2015 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Interesting. Never heard about it, but I guess if it did mean a free coat of paint over my house I wouldn’t mind doing it for free as well… well maybe if I get to choose the colors too =)

  8. Colleen Brynn January 18, 2015 at 12:31 am - Reply

    I’ve no idea which is true, but I always do find it amazing how accurate the paintings are for logos and stuff – I’m sure they are using stencils and what not, but still! Ads used to be done like this on brick (probably in most cities in the developed world) but in Winnipeg, the remnants can still be seen downtown, and it’s quite charming!

    • Rachel Jones January 19, 2015 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      That’s so cool! Now that I think about it, some ads in the downtown of my city I think are hand painted as well! woah.

  9. Prasad Np January 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    hmm not only the advertisers are not paying the homeowners, they are claiming to do a favor to the house-owner. I wonder if there is a business opportunity there? A kind of win win for the home owner as well as the ad agency that coordinates.

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