No Place Is Safe From Corporatization, a Groupon-like company in India, brought fresh water to an Indian village in the form of 15 hand pumps that would make it so the villagers wouldn’t have to walk nearly two miles just to get clean water.

According to Mashable, the villagers were so grateful for the pumps distributed throughout the city, they decided to change the name of their village, formerly known as Shiv Nagar (named after the Hindu god Shiva), to Nagar.

Let’s assume the villagers and the company have nothing but the best intentions. That doesn’t address the need to brand the water pumps in an impoverished community with few computers and even fewer coupons.

The company could have made the investment, installed unbranded pumps and declined the town’s offer to change it’s name. But then we wouldn’t be running the story, would we?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.