AMUL GIRL’S IR­REV­ER­ENCE STOOD IN SHARP CON­TRAST TO RI­VAL BRAND POL­SON’S SO­PHIS­TI­CATED MAS­COT

WKND - - Advertising Meet The Icon -

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

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