The story of an Utterly Butterly Delicious national icon!

How did a young girl in a polka-dotted dress come to epitomise an India on the brink of greatness, and do so for half a century? Ritika Saxena finds out.

cyrus

A girl in polka dots and a blue hair; when anyone says that, the first image conjured in my mind is that of the adorable little Amul girl. Yes! She’s the nation’s heartthrob. I do not know of a single person who does not adore her. So, let’s look at how she came about and how she waltzed her way into our hearts.

Anand, a small village in Gujarat is where it all began back in 1946. What started as a co-op society to help farmers of the area, is today a billion dollar company, $2.4 billion to be precise.

While the brand Amul was registered in 1957, the advertising campaign started in 1966. It was Dr Verghese Kurien, the Founder of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, also known as the father of the “White Revolution” who made sure there was an advertising agency on board to ensure their survival.

Then, comes the next leg of the story. By the time the brand reached Sylvester daCunha, it was already on the market for about 10 years. Amul was positioned back then as “processed from the purest milk under the most hygienic conditions by a dairy co-operative in Gujarat”. This positing of the brand did leave some positive impressions about the brand, but it still needed more. Then, Sylvester and his wife came up with the tagline “Utterly Butterly Amul.” The word butterly met with a lot of skepticism, because it was ungrammatical. But, that is exactly what worked for the brand!

image-first-amul-hoarding

Once they had the tagline in place, they needed a face. They needed someone who could sell the brand to their target audience. Sylvester’s instincts forced him to go ahead with a child, impish and lovable in nature. His then art director, Eustace Fernandes, created the Amul girl and she had everything Sylvester was looking for – she was cute, cuddly and naughty. The first few ads appeared in Mumbai and the public reaction was “how cute”. They had a winner!

When daCunha Communications started the outdoor campaigns for Amul, they slowly noticed themselves exploiting situations that were topical. But they faced a few hurdles on the way. The topical ads needed to appear immediately. But issuing an ad took time – from creating layouts to getting it out on the hoarding; it was time consuming. But Dr Kurien wanted to maximize the thought, told the agency that they do not have to seek his approvals before rolling out the campaigns заказать кредитную карту. This decision of Dr Kurien’s could have landed the brand into trouble because of its cheeky nature. Amul talks about a Miss India crowning as much as it talks about all the scams!

image-amul-ad-on-suresh-kalmadi

Amul as a brand has always been extremely star-struck. Their hoardings have featured a host of celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhi-Ash, etc. The film industry is also uniquely fond of the brand. When the films get a mention on the hoardings, it’s free publicity. The producers love it! They get free publicity in an environment where they are willing to go to any extent to capitalize on the awareness of their films.

Today, with almost 4,000 utterly-butterly hoardings, Amul is the most-liked brand in the country. It is also probably the only campaign in the world with an unchanged theme and style for almost 50 years now.

image-amul-and-bollywood

Did you know?

The co-operative, was initially referred to as Anand Milk Federation Union Limited hence the name AMUL. 

National Dairy Development Board is headquartered in Anand, Gujarat. In 1964, when Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was invited to commission the cattlefeed, he was so impressed that he told Dr. Kurien to replicate this project in the rest of the country. And for the first time, a national institution was established in a village and not the capital. 

The first ever hoarding featuring the Amul girl had her saying a bedtime prayer (see the ad above). Interestingly, in her first major appearance the Amul girl wasn’t in her trademark polka-dotted frock.

There are 90 Amul hoarding locations across India. 

The establishment of Amul is also known as The White Revolution. The White Revolution of India inspired the notable Indian film-maker Shyam Benegal to base a movie on it. The motion picture Manthan was made during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and starred: Smita Patil, Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah, and Amrish Puri.

CTA_BFA_advt+digital-marketing

Speak Your Mind