Life Jingalala & other adland stories

10 Aug,2017


K V Sridhar, popularly known as Pops in advertising circles, needs no introduction to MxMIndia readers. Currently Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Hyper Collective!, Pops was until recently Chief Creative Officer in Sapient Nitro and is perhaps best known for 17-year stint with Leo Burnett. Earlier this week, his book ’30 Second Thrillers’ was launched. The book is possibly the first to bring us behind-the-scenes info from the ads of yore – like Chal Meri Luna by Piyush Pandey to Agnello Dias’‘Airtel smartphone ads’.


’30 Second Thillers’ tells the story behind ads, interlaced with inputs and insights from the makers themselves. It features interviews with creative heads and directors of all generations. Pops has handpicked each ad based on its popularity among viewers, met their creators and talked to them about the entire process. The creators include Alyque Padamsee, AG Krishnamurthy, Piyush Pandey, Prahlad Kakkar, R Balki, Prasoon Joshi, Prasoon Pandey, Josy Paul, Agnello Dias, Arun Iyer, KS Chakravarty, Prakash Varma, Nitesh Tiwari, Preeti Nair, Ram Madhvani, Kailash Surendranath, Amit Sharma, Ashish Khazanchi, Gauri Shinde, Shriram Iyer, Kartik Iyer, Parshu Narayanan, Shantanu Sheorey and Pops himself.


We produce here the Tata Sky ‘Isko laga dala, toh life Jingalala’ story from Ashish Khazanchi, now Co-founder, Enormous Brands


By K V ‘Pops’ Sridhar


As I traverse from yesterday to today, I reach an ad, whose slogan has become a part of the popular culture. It has been rendered into one-liner jokes, used in films as a comic element and is still loved. Tata Sky, the digital network service gave the world, “Isko laga dala, toh life Jingalala”. We have Ashish Khazanchi; sharing the tales behind this highly entertaining line.


The Jingalala Moment

Ashish, I think, “Isko laga dala, toh life Jingalala” is one of the most popular slogans after radio days. A slogan, that may not make any sense but because of its phonetics, it has caught onto the imagination of everyone. It became so popular that even an Amul Hoarding was made for it!


How did such an entertaining idea dawn?

‘Pops! It was also used in a Salman Khan movie. I feel, it became popular due to its sheer weirdness. “The once upon a time” of this ad starts, when Tata Sky was coming up with a new way of watching television. This was during the times, when people had cable connections, which aired seventy to eighty channels and were happy with it. Tata Sky intended to usher in a quantum leap on how television was being watched. There were some satellite television options, but they weren’t really gaining success. This was because, they took the technology route to reach customers, and that route proved to have an intimidating effect on the customers. As for Tata Sky, we were very clear on the route we would take. It was to be of “More entertainment coming your way”. Not just seventy – eighty channels, but now the audience would get three times more channels. Increased choices in terms of content – active learning, games, cricket from different angles; it was more than just channels! It was about entertainment. To communicate this variety of entertainment, we needed a line; a slogan. So we got thinking.’


That is when the line ‘Jingalala’ line came up?

‘No! The first line we thought of was, ‘Dish nahin, Dishkyaun hai yeh’, a line that said – It isn’t just a Dish connection, but a huge change in the way people consume entertainment! We at the agency level found this line very catchy and hence, we wrote many commercials around this line. We went and presented this line and the commercials to the clients. Vikram Kaushik and Vikram Mehra were the clients. After listening to the lines, they were a little apprehensive and said, “We are Tatas and we never take a dig at our competitors. We never denigrate them. It is against our company ethics.” We were a bit confused as to which competitor are we taking a dig at? With this line? And they said, Dish TV. That is when we realized! Because, when we had written it, we had no reference to this angle. We were actually referring to the physical Dish Antenna. But yes, unintentionally it did turn out to be a competitive line. So now, we had to start from scratch.’


What happened next?

‘One day, I was sitting at home and thinking as to, what can be done now? What will be that line which will be as much fun and also ridiculously squeaky? One that can hold all that the product has to offer. After a couple of attempts, I nailed it. For fun sake, I wrote the line, “Isko laga dala, toh life Jingalala” and found myself laughing out loud, alone, at my home. Immediately, I messaged Chax (KS Chakravarty) saying that I cracked it, and wrote the line. He replied with four to five smileys and said that he loved it. The next day, I shared the line within the office and everyone loved it and found it crazy. We went back and presented the entire communication plan to the client. Their immediate reaction was the best reaction; they started giggling and said, “Do it, it is very interesting”. They also requested to come back with one more option, so that they have a benchmark against it. But it was obvious that they had liked the line; it came to everyone as an instinct!’


What was the other line you gave as an option?

‘I guess it was, “Tata Sky ho sang, to gapu chi gapu chi gum gum.”’


Once the ‘Isko laga dala toh life Jingalala’ slogan was out in the universe, what was the initial reaction it garnered?

‘Initially, there was some cynicism which we faced, especially from the advertising fraternity. But the audience loved it and it began to gain popularity. Soon, the cynicism vanished. Pops! The line meant a lot of things; it told people that something big was on the way. It did not talk about the complicated picture quality and sound quality aspects. This line simply told people, that some kind of “Jingalala” is going to happen and got them curious. This resulted in people checking check it out. And the line, due to its fun and crazy element, gave us a creative respite. We could do all kinds of crazy thing in our ads. We dressed up kids like Einstein, we had a man dressed up like grass because he wanted to go to the stadium to watch a cricket match, from the best possible angles. The line back then, also had many versions, “Pooch dala toh life Jingalala”, “Cricket hai toh life Jingalala”.’


Who directed the ads?

‘Most of the ads were directed by Ram Madhvani! Also, I would like to make a special mention here, our clients get full credit for having stayed with this line for almost seven to eight years now.’


How did you think of the word, Jingalala?

‘Honestly, I have no conscious memory of it source. But if I deliberate a bit, I think it had got stuck into my brain from the song “Hum bewafa” of Shalimar. The song has a tribal chant – “Jingalala hu, Jingalala hu”.’

It is the power of creating something creative, out of gibberish, which gives way to such slogans. Being highly audio people, slogans like this become us. These creations make us traverse beyond languages and regions.


Excerpted with permission from the Publisher from

30 Second Thrillers by KVSridhar (Pops)

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing India

Pages 333, Softback

Price: Rs 499

Also available at Amazon at link



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