Thursday, April 12, 2007

Amul. The king of Good Lines

Every one of us has stopped at a traffic light and chuckled at the Amul ad. For nearly 40 years, Amul has been giving us outstandingly brilliant oneliners and topical humor which has been appreciated by all.

Whether it is the sacking of ministers to India losing the world cup (again!), Amul has had a hoarding with a slick line for everything.

But while I do say, rather dramatically, that it all began 40 years ago, the exact dyear is 1967, when the first Amul hoarding went up and the cute round eyed polka clad girl winked and came to life. Her name is Moppet by the way.

From then on, Amul has played the role of a social observer and has been bringing to us the funny side of things. Jokes that any and everyone can relate to, enjoy and not take offence at (unless you are a politician obviously!) Plus they give you something to do in this miserable city traffic.

Incidentally, Amul, the butter was actually launched in 1945! but struggled to do well because the previous ad agency utilised standard corporate ads while what Sylvester Da'Cunha, then Managing Director of the agency, did was bold for that time. Bold because India was quite sensitive about food. We did not like stupid jokes being made about it, especially from something we considered largely as a dairy product.

Moreover Da'Cunha didn't just make timid, safe ads, no sir. A lot of his lines were quite risque and actually got them into trouble.

Their hoarding over the Indian Airlines strike actually got them a threat notice from IA saying if he didn't take it down, they would stop serving Amul butter on their flight! well, IA never ever seems to make sense to me anyway and when the Amul Moppet dawned the Gandhi cap, boy oh boy did the government take notice and immediately got it removed. Such was the national mindshare that these simple and witty hoardings enjoyed and infact continue to enjoy even today.

Such has been the power of the mascot and the lines that Amul is now vying for the Guinness book of world records for the longest running campaign ever! It is probably also the most successful, having endured the usually split second attention span that we devote to ads, much less hoardings.

While I have been trying to get my hands on the first ever hoarding, I have sadly been unable to do so. But I did manage to find a collection of these ads from 1976 till today. If you want to take a look, clik here: Amul Ads

Click below are some of my favorites from their long list. Also, if you manage to find the first hoarding they had come up with, do let me know!!

Varun's Favorites

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