How Diwali Marketing Went Mainstream in the U.S.

More brands than ever before — ranging from Target, Lego, Instacart, and Lexus to local fireworks companies — are promoting their products to Indian Americans with targeted Diwali ads.

Snigdha Sur

November 3, 2021

How Diwali Marketing Went Mainstream in the U.S.
Pokemon Go Diwali ad

Near the end of October, Indian American Instagram users started seeing an ad with influencers from their community sharing how they celebrated Diwali. 

Jyoti Chand, a “full-time mom” from Illinois, has been celebrating Diwali for 33 years. “I felt like it was up to me...to make sure this Indian part of them stays alive,” she says in the video, referring to how her kids experience the holiday. She adds, “They get to understand that they’re American, but also Indian.” The holiday was magical for her because it was when her entire extended family got together, ate delicious food, and wore new clothes. “To us, it was like Christmas.” The video pans over shots of lighted diyas, a matching outfit for Chand and her daughter, and her two kids helping her make vegetarian food for the special day. 

 The ad campaign is part of a more extensive Target series called “Welcome To,” which introduces audiences to different communities and how they celebrate holidays. Current ads also include videos for Diá de Muertos, with earlier campaigns for Lunar New Year.

But Target’s Diwali series is making waves because of the significant spend behind it (Chand’s video already has over 1 million views) and because it is part of a larger trend of multinational, national, and local brands pushing Diwali ad campaigns. It feels as if Diwali marketing has hit a tipping point, and is more widespread than ever before.