Remember the advertisement of 'Nirma'? How many times have you found yourself humming the tune of 'Hema Rekha Jaya Aur Sushma, Sabki Pasand Nirma,' which turns out to be the punchline of the brand since the inception? Let me quote another example, the ads of MDH always follow the same music with the ending line 'Asli Masale Sach Sach, MDH MDH' and same is the case with Surf Excel, 'Daag Ache Hain.'
However, there are some brands which do not produce many ads and still get the love of their customers. Tell me the last time you saw any advertisement of ParleG, or Britannia Bread, or Haldiram Namkeen? Maybe four years ago, or never, doesn't matter as they hardly go under any advertisement procedure.
It is not possible to ignore Amul Butter Girl in the big talks of marketing strategy. This cute school-going girl, adoring its red polka dotted dress is still in the hearts of Indians and literally, no celebrity or fancy face can replace her.
It was after the nine years of the registration of the brand when Dr. Verghese Kurien, Founder-Chairman of Amul, decided to initiate the advertisement process. For this task, he hired an advertising agency Advertising And Sales Promotion (ASP). It was the team of Sylvester daCunha and Eustace Fernandes, who introduced the line 'Utterly Butterly Delicious' in 1966. The adorable girl was designed by the art director Eustace Fernandes. This poster showing the line 'Give us this day our daily bread: with Amul Butter' was among the first public appearances of this playful girl.
At the same time, different brands came up with their mascots and tried to follow the same suite. Air India launched its Maharajah, Nerolac created its Woody The Tiger, and Gattu became the face of Asian Paints. But every mascot was unable to sustain itself and subsequently followed the procedure of quick death.
'Why people loved to see a mascot'? At that time, considering the literacy rate of India, there were no good chances that one would recognize a brand by its name or tagline. KV Sridhar, Advertising Veteran, Founder And Chief Creative Officer of Hyper Collective, once said "People would identify the company by looking at the mascot– the monkey brand tooth powder, or the Murphy baby. Identification was image-led, and the brands would trademark that image." He further added, "The Maharajah was a stereotyping that helped identify Air India as an Indian airline."
While some mascots failed to make a presence in the life of people, Amul Girl won every heart with her endless talks. She was a blabbermouth, who came like a living being in the lives of people. She started interacting with people by discussing latest events and celebrating their existence.
The daCunha and Fernandes team realized the sensitivity of the situation and decided to take a step forward with Amul girl. They wanted it to be a long-term campaign, and for that, the team had to consider it as an independent association, not just related to food.
It is true that celebrities enhance the brand recognition. We are in the world where people love to see instant reactions and profits. Celebrities are seen as a good option over mascots, as mascots need more investment, time and ideas.
In a great talk with RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, he revealed that 35 years ago when he joined the company, the primary challenge was to select hoarding sites and make sure whether the hoarding was changing with time. He said: "We had two hoardings in Jaipur and it took three to four days to change them. Every two years, the site's price would increase because after putting Amul topicals, it would become an iconic site".
The major challenge came into the picture in the mid-1960s when every hoarding has to be changed in five days a week, and still, they have to hand-paint all the hoardings. This campaign entered in the Guinness Book Of Records in the category of longest-running advertisement campaign in the world in the early 2000s.
The concept is very simple– pick up a current topic, represent it artistically with some pinch of fun and puns. The world loves to see the humour in advertisements, and this becomes satisfying in case of limited words. The team is very strict and punctual about their weekly plans. They held meetings every Sunday to discuss the topics and issues for the weekly creations. The topicals are still hand painted, and the team takes a lot of time to come up with the perfect piece.
It is the team of daCunha who constantly put efforts on the witty topicals of Amul Butter. The Writer Manish Jhaveri books the weekly slots of Amul Girl and Jayant Rane team completes the remaining task.
According to daCunha, they have to capture the issue at the exact point. They wait for the current scenario to take a twist and instantly come up with a new topical. Their turnaround time is very quick and sometimes they go deep into the reality of the story.
The topical of PV Sindhu was completed before her victory at the Olympics 2016, they just didn't paint the medal, because they were not sure whether it would be gold or silver. According to one of their teammates, the topical of PV Sindhu was designed earlier because she made the history and it deserved a grand celebration.
It was the time when Tarun Tejpal, who was accused of sexual assault and the ad displayed crows packing a figure who looked similar to Tejpal seated in an elevator. The Amul Girl was standing outside the elevator, and tagline read "Kya se kya ho gya; Amul Tehelka macha de."
The Butter Girl faced a huge criticism to this for roasting a rape case. This was not the intention of team members, that was just a way to depict the situation. That was the time when the team realized that Amul Girl is basically seen as a funny little kid who makes a punch from every situation.
After all this bashing and criticism, Amul Girl is our favorite. She attends every marriage, birthday party, conference, and meeting to make her followers happy.
There are some times when she showed her love for Amul without any event or news. She has a point of view which is light and easy to digest.
She chose cricketers for her birthday celebrations. She loves Virat Kohli and celebrates all the victories with him.
To throw a grand birthday party to Amul Girl, the company released its third book, Amul India 3.0, which was the collection of her best ads. The content of the book was supported by her all-time favorite fans Amitabh Bachchan and Karan Johar.
'Always' said Amul Girl!