Amul: Longest running ad campaign in the world?
I’ve always enjoyed Amul Butter’s ads. Did you know you can view most of the Amul ads right from 1976 to the present on Amul’s site? (Disclaimer: this blog author will not be held responsible for the hours of time a reader may waste following this link).
“For 30 odd years the Utterly Butterly girl has managed to keep her fan following intact. So much so that the ads are now ready to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest running campaign ever.
India looked forward to Amul’s evocative humour. If there was an Indian Airlines strike Amul would be there again saying, Indian Airlines Won’t Fly Without Amul.
“We ran a couple of ads that created quite a furore,” says Sylvester daCunha. “The Indian Airlines one really angered the authorities. They said if they didn’t take down the ads they would stop supplying Amul butter on the plane. So ultimately we discontinued the ad,” he says laughing. Then there was the time when the Amul girl was shown wearing the Gandhi cap. The high command came down heavy on that one. The Gandhi cap was a symbol of independence, they couldn’t have anyone not taking that seriously. So despite their reluctance the hoardings were wiped clean.
“Then there was an ad during the Ganpati festival which said, Ganpati Bappa More Ghya (Ganpati Bappa take more). The Shiv Sena people said that if we didn’t do something about removing the ad they would come and destroy our office. It is surprising how vigilant the political forces are in this country.”
Heroine Addiction, Amul’s little joke on Hussain had the artist ringing the daCunhas up to request them for a blow up of the ad.
“He said that he had seen the hoarding while passing through a small district in UP. He said he had asked his assistant to take a photograph of himself with the ad because he had found it so funny,” says Rahul daCunha in amused tones. Indians do have a sense of humour, afterall.”
Read the full story behind Amul’s 39-year old ad campaign here.
When worms were found in Cadbury’s chocolates, Amul ran a campaign with a punchline that read “Cadbura” (implying Cadbury is bad).
For more on the ad agency and people involved in creating Amul’s ads over the decades, read this blog post.
This Hindu Business Line article is a good discussion about a brand’s staying power (discussing Amul, Onida, Liril, etc.). Among other things, it reveals “What’s more, Amul’s ad agency has carte blanche to say what it wants in its ads, a unique feature in client-ad agency relationships across the world”.
Lastly, coming back to the original topic of this post, did you know that Amul is the largest food brand in India with an annual turnover of US $868 million (2005-06)? Currently Amul has 2.41 million producer members with milk collection average of 5.08 million litres/day. Amazing feat, considering the history behind it. And yes, they’re really rooting for the Guiness Records!
(All images from Amul’s site)