AMUL GIRL’S IRREVERENCE STOOD IN SHARP CONTRAST TO RIVAL BRAND POLSON’S SOPHISTICATED MASCOT
sahara Parivaar” ( helpless family), punning on the company’s Sahara Parivar line. The Saharas were clearly not amused.
This incident, along with a slew of small controversies that died their natural death, beg a larger question: Does the Amul girl often tread the thin line between what is acceptable and what isn’t? Senior journalist and author Indrajit Hazra says she is largely safe. “Being bang in the middle of mainstream — billboards, print media ads — the power of comic ‘ timing’ of her puns, synced with the visual caricatures of known entities, she has negotiated being critical with her genteel, high school- friendly humour. That, to me, is a strategy by which she riles no one and yet leaves behind a fin-
THREE'S COMPANY: Jayant Rane, Rahul da Cunha and Manish Jhaveri 2016 Celebrating Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature with the icon himself Jai Arjun Singh notes, “I think the language has become glossier in some ways, much like a lot of mainstream Hindi cinema today. They have also, in the information overload era, become more cognisant of the behind- the- scenes stories: the star rivalries, romances or publicity ( for instance, Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani being released on the same day). Earlier, the ads were more centred on actual films.”
Fifty years and 8,000 topicals later, the Amul campaign has built for itself a robust legacy, one that is cited as an example to many. “Even newspapers have picked our lines. For instance, they often use ‘ One Day Mataram’ in headlines, which is our catchline,” says Manish. Rahul, on the other hand, feels that despite tackling the larger issues and often having pointed commentary through its catchlines, the success of the campaign indicates that Indians can largely take a joke.
With a large part of conversation on Amul revolving around the campaign, one wonders if its popularity has been delinked from the brand. Hazra sums it up succinctly, “The Amul girl is an ambassador of her own brand. She isn’t to Amul what Arnab Goswami may have been to Times Now. People don’t buy Amul products because of her. She is Amul’s favourite product.”
anamika @ khaleejtimes. com