Of Zodiac man and brand models

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If you are a quizzing fan, you probably would have come across this question: Which brand, from one of India’s oldest menswear manufacturers, founded by M.Y. Noorani, is associated with Dhunji Rana, its famous model? The answer is of course, Zodiac. A lot of people of that generation still remember those ads (anyone got scans of those?), thanks to the striking, dignified looks of the bearded Dhunji. And then there are others who remember Atul Tandan (corporate honcho and professor at MICA) in the ads for Lipton Tiger. And the famous ‘Lalitaji’ character for Surf, is part of marketing history.

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These ads – along with the models – are recalled even after decades. Over the last few years, only  a handful of brands have managed to create memorable advertising characters or even cast models with that certain mystique and aura (Garden Vareli?).

In those days, the predominance of Doordarshan as an entertainment option and the dull grey residual image it leaves behind in your head, allowed for advertising characters & faces with ‘character’ to stand out. In today’s razzmatazz world of television and print, it is that much more difficult to break through the clutter. Not to mention the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of everything.

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  1. here-now-gone-now – because now we multitask too much. the channel gets changed as soon as the one with remote hears "break". tv viewing does not anymore happen as an activity in isolation. When DD ruled there used to be a prime time. There was less of everything and hence more time.

    Off late I am finding myself thinking Print still gets better of me than tv.

  2. My view… these stimulations were relevant to a segment at a particular period in time. And yes it strikes the cord in the context of high emotionality. It like going through one's family album.

    In the context of today's temporariness as you have rightly stated, I guess 'memorability' still is prevalent. Its just that blink has altered its context of duration and relevance. If it was 30 years for a 70's generation, its 3 days in the life of 90's generation. Memorability having altered in its form and duration has evolved,I would say and not lost, challenge remains on extending that 2.24 sec blink to a 5 minute interest.

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