Here is a laundry list of the best Indian ads of the last ten decades.
How many times have you heard people say “Time flies…”, “Ten years sped away!” Years go by, and we start preparing laundry lists of what has been achieved in those years – top ten brands, top ten campaigns, top ten moments – the idea is to somehow measure time and capture and record all that happened in those years and decades?
Today, we thought let’s capture the most memorable ads of the decade gone by. And a sneak peek into history surprised us. Hopefully, it would surprise you too, especially when looked at from the kaleidoscope of modern-day technology. We didn’t have so many digital tools then – but the ideas got executed just as powerfully.
The 50s Timeline
It was the decade when Indian advertising began to take little, baby steps. Gingerly, we started experimenting with creative thought, even though it sometimes flew off the mark. Earlier, we were only aping the West. So, Lifebuoy was pretentiously branded the Royal Disinfectant Soap in 1895, although the main communication, then as now remained focused on Lifebuoy’s ability to fight body odour and kill germs!
The 60s Timeline
A decade of budding professionalism. Indian advertising agencies and clients began to work on long-term relationship. The 60s saw the birth of the longest-running, iconic Amul’s ‘utterly butterly delicious’ campaign. They made a video on the rotund girl who’s correct age would be over 50 now.
The 70s Timeline
Who can forget the Liril ad shot with bikini clad Karen Lunel? It became a watershed campaign, pun intended.
The 80s Timeline
Remember the Hamara Bajaj ad, Buland Bharat ki Bulandtasveer? A wee bit pedestrian, it however became very popular for its macho flavour. The Lalitaji series for Surf become another benchmark for the evolving aspirations of the great Indian middle-class.
The 90s Timeline
Pepsi’s Yeh Dil Maange More, featuring Sachin Tendulkar became the perfect catchphrase of the rising purchasing power, or shall we say, the yuppie power. Later, Capt. Vikram Batra, a martyr at the 1999 Kargil War, elevated the catch-all phrase to the status of a war cry.
Digital communication came into its own. found its feet. As mobile service providers started rolling out their connection-lines, Hutch grabbed the cake, the icing and ate it too with the adorable pug-ad and the winning line to a strumming guitar in the backdrop, “You and I in the Beautiful World…Green Grass, Blue Sky….. Wherever you go, the network follows you.” How that pug, belonging to a crew member, accidentally got cast into the film is another story altogether that’s worth telling another day.
In terms of humour, Greenply made a memorable campaign featuring a sardar family touring South India. Their son suddenly starts babbling in an unknown language, recalling his lady love from the past life. Absolutely hilarious.
Fact is that advertising cannot be altogether planned. It just happens. And when it happens with spontaneity, as it happened in the case of these campaigns, the outcome is an iconic ad!
Can you recall any such campaign that is close to your heart. Write in and tell us about it!