Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Ads that linger in my mind


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Ads have become an inevitable part of our lives, more so, if you are a couch potato. I remember the days when we were required to pay tax for keeping a radio or TV. That was the only revenue for these authorities. With the advent of TV ads, this system went out of vogue. In the plethora of Ads, only a few stay back in our memories and they linger for ever. Such of those ads which linger in my mind till date have been keyed below with most of them from the 80s and a fair sprinkling from the 90s as well.

The first major TV ad I watched was “Only Vimal” during the dreadful India – West Indies series of 1983.

The first smartest ad one can recall was for the Godrej Shaving Cream, wherein one guys takes a market survey of all men with the standard question “Sir, which shaving cream do you use?” and at the end a bearded man turns back and asks “Me?”.

Liril was a blasphemous ad those days with a semi-nude women going under the waterfall in a bikini. As a growing boy, I could watch it only when my parents were not around. Bombay Dyeing was such an enticing and seductive Ad.

The ad that created its first celebrity should be “Lalitaji’s Surf Ad”. The ad by nature was a simple product comparison but the way it was enacted was legendary. The name “Lalitaji” became synonymous with “Samajdhari”. Dabur Lal Dant Manjan ads made the “Masterji” quite a celebrity, for his question “Ramu, tumhare danth motion jaise kaise chamak rahen hain?”( I don’t remember the exact wordings).

The biggest cricketing ad was reserved for Kapil Dev in Palmolive da Jawab Nahin for Palmolive Shaving Cream. Gavaskar had his own Dinesh Suiting. There was also Srikkanth modeling for Bournvita and Sri Chakra Tyres. Later came Kapil’s Boost is the secret of my energy.

The first funniest ad was the Bajaj Bulb ads. It was such an innovative idea for projecting the longevity of Bajaj Bulbs. It describes how a Bajaj Bulb was responsible for exposing a man’s transgressions from childhood till old age. Equally interesting was the “Sunday ya ho Monday Roz Kahon Ande” for the National Egg Promotion Council. Chal meri Luna for Luna was not far behind as was the first ad for “Maggie- 2 minute Noodles”. Jalal Aga's “Pan Parag” Ads were equally funny. The king of funny ads was Jaffery – Pankaj Kapur, Maggie Tomato Ketchup “Its Different”.

The first concept ad I came across was Tata Steel’s “We also make Steel”. Bajajs “Humara Bajaj” is of legendary propotion since it epitomized middle class aspirations of those days. Mile Sur Mera Tumhara wets my eyes and heart even today so does the animation film “Ek aur Anek”.

The best innovation ad was from Onida “Neighbour’s envy, Owners pride”. Pepsi with Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai was not far behind. Kelivinator’s the coolest one with a penguin was cute and innovative. The Vicks ad in which a boy gets drenched to get a bouquet for his mother on her birthday was innovative and heart warming.

The Five Year Plan ads (the same visuals used to be played for five years before being changed) were the meaningless “Apne Chabi se Khulne” Wale Linc Lock ads and Colgate which was such a poor advertiser those days. Nirma, Lijjat Papad also came in the same category.

There are many more ads which were brilliant and I have mentioned only those which I could remember. The main thing about all these ads was there was not much of a technology but more of human emotions and intelligence involved.

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