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 Kargilnow 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. MusharrafSo ultimately we discontinued the ad,” he says laughing.Brangelina 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.

Lagate Raho

“Then there was an ad during the Ganpati festival which said, Ganpati Bappa More Ghya (Ganpati Bappa take more). World Cup SoccerThe 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.

Er, um…wait. Didn’t Hussain take them to court for defamation and hurting his public image and sentiments? Folks like him have no self-respect or dignity – shouldn’t people like him be banned? 🙂Sawant Ka Mahina

“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).Cheeni Kum Butter ZyadaNonsensex

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”.Kuch Kuch Quota Hai

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)?Aati Kya Narmada 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)


15 thoughts on “Amul: Longest running ad campaign in the world?

  1. The reason politicians in India have a problem with humour is that it creates a platform for people to say things about politicians that they ordinarily wouldnt say.
    Nice write up 🙂

  2. Bachodi: Thanks!

    Krishashok: Thanks, and yes, true. Ironically, it just made me ponder about Bal Thackeray originally starting out as a cartoonist…

  3. Haven’t yet been to the Amul site..thought I’d comment first. My favourites from the 80s are

    1) The Amul girl in a burqa reacting shyly to Mian’s praise and the tagline was

    ‘Mian ke dad se Sharma gaye!’

    This was in response to Chetan Sharma getting hit for that last ball six by Miandad.

    2) The amul boy in a kurta-pajama-shawl singing.

    ‘Amul Parotha’.

    This was when Anup Jalota was at the peak of his popularity.

  4. Soundar: weren’t these guys just terrific?! Wow. I remembered my cousin who used to say “Anup Jamalgota”! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these two gems – I had not enjoyed them earlier!

  5. In an era of bland advertising…Amul really stood out for their ingenuity. Excellent post this..compiling some of their gems!

  6. Amreekandesi: Thanks! This is one of my most popular posts from a search engine perspective, but doesn’t get as many comments, so I’m really thankful!

  7. Pingback: Do you know Number One Brand in India ?

  8. Mahendra: The ‘Brad Butter: Jolie Good Idea’ poster was in BBC news when it was topical! 🙂

    I love puns and word play and Amul will always have a special place in my heart (alas, never in my fridge!).

  9. Shefaly: thanks for visiting. Wow! Amul ad featured in BBC! Great!

    Amul was also not available in the US for many years, but has recently started appearing in some desi shops in some cities. Alas, not in UK yet…

    I really find it amazing that the ad agency has carte blanche in choosing and making the ads!

    Again, thanks.

  10. Mahendra: I am sure it is available in desi stores here. I just do not know because I am never in the market for butter, no matter what brand. 🙂


  11. it was my ritual to follow amul ads when I was a student in trivandrum, kerala. Near pattom bus stop in the city. I started noticing this even before that during my occasional visits to cochin. Display was there near cochin ship yard.

  12. hey i likes u r adds …
    letest add of amul butter…vinod kambli and sachin tendulkar …” dost abhi tost na raha” wht an add …awesum …!!!!!!!

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