Amul has a rare distinction among brands: its hoardings are looked up to, literally. In all our major cities, the Amul hoarding is something of a landmark and almost always brings a smile to your face. While the magic is in the topical themes and the execution, I recently heard the story behind the campaign – and its a shining example of client-agency relationship.
Apparently, the client never gets to see the creatives before they are released! The client gets to see the hoardings just like the man on the street – after it is released. The legendary Verghese Kurien, ex-Chairman of GCMMF, decided ages ago that if the hoardings are to be topical and need changing frequently, the typical approval process is a hindranc e. He trusted the agency to come up with creatives that capture the buzz and the imagination of the country. In fact, the client does not even suggest the topics to the agency. It’s all left to the agency to figure out what might be of interest to the general public and come up with a suitablecreative rendition. Isn’t that wonderful?
According to the Amul website, the first of such ads was released in 1969, when Mumbai first saw the beginning of the Hare Rama Hare Krishna movement, Sylvester daCunha, Mohammad Khan and Usha Bandarkar, then the creative team working on the Amul account came up with a clincher — ‘Hurry Amul, Hurry Hurry’. Bombay reacted to the ad with a fervour that was almost as devout as the Iskon fever.
That was the first of the many topical ads that were in the offing. From then on Amul began playing the role of a social observer. Over the years the campaign acquired that all important Amul touch.
My favourite one is about Kapi Dev’s match winning performance in a Test match: ‘ A Kapil of them make all the difference’. And the one after we lost a one-day match to Pakistan in Sharjah: ‘It was Sharjah, boys. Not haar ja’. Many brands have tried to copy Amul but none come closer to the earthy, classy, likeable humour of Amul. More power to the brand and the agency behind it!
Do you have any Amul favourites?