Utterly Butterly Amulicious

11 May,2015

 

Over the last 50 years, the Gujarat Cooperation Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) which owns the brand name Amul, has been presenting some memorable advertising in the form of topical hoardings. These have turned markers of contemporary issues and events.  A few years back, daCunha Communications and DYWorks came up with a book titled ‘Amul’s India’ capturing the best of the outdoor creatives. Last week, a revised and updated edition was released celebrating the topicals with comments from Amitabh Bachchan, Alyque Padamsee, Harsha Bhogle, Rahul daCunha, Rahul Dravid, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sania Mirza, Santosh Desai, Siddharth Kak, Shobhaa De, Shyam Benegal, Suhel Seth and Sylvester daCunha.

 

Meanwhile, Amul has also launched a new app “Amul World” which has all the Amul topicals created over the last 50 years. This app will soon be available for download on Android and Apple devices.

 

At the release last week, R. S. Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) said, that “We had promised to release the updated edition at the time of launch of the first edition. It is an honour for us to have published the revised and updated edition of this book after the phenomenal print run of 1.2 lakh copies of the first edition. The Amul topical advertising campaign and our consistent advertising strategy has played a very pivotal role in the growth of brand Amul and we shall endeavor to continue our efforts.”

 

 

Give us this day our daily ad!

 

By Rahul daCunha

 

Every day is a new day in the life of the Amul hoarding (or meme as it is now referred to on social media). My job is two-fold — to shepherd the brand, and to spoof the many events that emerge from this Pandora’s Box called India. Seven thousand billboards and twenty-one years later, I have never been tired of saluting and spoofing the numerous facets and faces of our colourful country.

 

For 50 years, our little Amul moppet, or the Amul girl with her polka-dotted dress and bow, has commented on all things amusing, annoying, absurd and alarming. And unfailingly, India waits for what she has to say with expectation and excitement.

 

The human race, certainly the Indian human race, has a newly-acquired, collective case of Attention Deficit Disorder. What holds good as a piece of news one day, is irrelevant the next morning. Plus everything is chatworthy news today – take male chauvinist politicians, mass hysteria Bollywood, multi-crore scams, messy scandals, Mamata Banerjee’s diatribes or M.S. Dhoni’s decisions, both follicular and on-field.

 

In the ’60s and ’70s, daCunha Associates created one hoarding a month. By the ’90s, it had increased to one a week. This year, we went daily.

 

One new Amul ‘topical’ goes online and outdoor every day. Every morning my creative team — comprising Manish Jhaveri, Jayant Rane and I, connect on what’s on the Amul menu for the day. Is it an upmarket issue that will tickle the fancy of snot-nosed south Bombay? Or a Bollywoodised titbit that will satisfy celebrity-obsessed north Bombay? Or is it a Laloo Prasad witticism that will amuse the Hindi belt? Or has Rajnikanth’s new movie galvanised the south of India? Or has TV show Game of Thrones thunderstruck the Twitter generation?

 

There are five Indias today – Mumbai, the Hindi belt, the East, the South and social media. Mumbai is a country by itself. The East is passionate about Durga Puja, Dada, Mishti Doi and Didi. The North is political and paparazzi-obsessed. The Hindi belt is focused on Yadav Senior and Junior’s shenanigans. And Facebookers and Twitterers are just obsessed with the flavour of the moment.

 

In the 21 years that I’ve been campaign custodian, we’ve poked fun and parodied, but never viciously. Our spoofs and satirical messages have been welcomed sportingly by both politicians and popular figures, actors and anarchists. Just occasionally, lampooning has led us to the doorstep of the legal process.

 

Rahul daCunha is Managing Director and Creative Head of da Cunha Communications, the ad agency that creates the Amul outdoor billboards.

 

 

 

A For Awesome

 

By Suhel Seth

 

Very few brands across the world speak a borderless,  timeless and ageless language. Amul is one of them. Very few brands across the world create both a sense of entitlement and waiting. Amul is one of them. Very few brands touch the soul of consumers in an enduringly consistent manner: reflecting the pathos of an evolving society: Amul is one of them.

 

The history of India can be told in a three-part voluminous tome or can be absorbed simply by going over the advertising that Amul has created. It is however, as much the history of Amul. Just like the India we see today, ever-evolving; ever brushing aside challenges which may seem insurmountable and yet holding a place of pride in the comity of nations, Amul too has had a story of inspirational zeal. One which is more than about a brand that delights us on dining tables. It is a brand that we never seem detached from.

 

Over the years, Amul has represented not just innate quality and the vision and coming together of millions of dairy farmers but equally, through its advertising, Amul as a brand has both been a chronicler and a mirror to each one of us. In our lives of drudgery, Amul helps us smile; it helps us laugh away the worries and at times it helps us celebrate the enormity of Indian achievement. It also, at times, very poignantly shows us the way.

 

For me personally, Brand Amul has been a part of my growing up: not in terms of chronology but equally in an insightful way, capturing the trials and tribulations of a nation that India is. It has always been something that I have looked up to. The advertising that Amul has unleashed over decades is not something that is designed to sell butter. It is indeed designed to help reflect on who we are. I have always believed that Amul’s advertising is not about selling more butter or more milk: it is about helping the young and the old understand the India we are creating: either wilfully or as mere spectators. I have often said to those who care to listen: the biggest civilian honour one can hope to attain in India is to be on an Amul hoarding or in an Amul press advertisement.

 

Because in a strange way, Amul speaks for every Indian. Amul is infact, many a time, the voice of a multitude of voiceless Indians and herein lies its eternal charm and its enduring appeal. The reason is not because of what it says. But equally about how and why it says it. There are moments in time when silence is not a virtue. That is when Amul’s advertising speaks for millions. There are equally times when in the din we fail to separate the good from the not-so-good. It is at that time that the advertising of Amul helps us set the right course.

 

Amul’s advertising is a barometer for what India has been, what India is and what India is likely to be. Which is why Amul the brand has morphed into Amul the being.

 

Suhel Seth is a former Amul baby and now the Managing Partner of Counselage India

 

 

 

Footnote:

Excerpted with permission of the authors from:

Amul’s India

Based on 50 Years of Amul Advertising

by daCunha Communications

(Revised & Updated Edition)

HarperCollins India

Rs 299

 

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