Amul- world's longest running ad campaign still going strong

Amul has just been ranked as the no.1 Indian brand by Campaign Magazine in its list of top 1000 brands of Asia for the 3rd consecutive year. The country's largest food company, Amul, is the market leader in butter, whole milk, cheese, ice cream, dairy whitener, condensed milk, saturated fats and long life milk. It is one brand that truly deserves this accolade. Formed in 1946, Amul is not one of those flamboyant multinationals but a dairy cooperative, jointly owned by 2.8 million milk producers in Gujarat.

So what makes Amul such an amazing brand? While Amul is synonymous with milk and butter, its product range is quite formidable and includes ghee, cheese, curd, yogurt, chocolate, ice cream, shrikhand and many other products. This strategy has allowed it to reign supreme in the dairy products segment in India.

The Amul campaign has for decades told the contemporary story of India, a hoarding at a time. The hoardings have been a commentary to the ‘popular’ history of India over this period. Seemingly ageless, this long-running campaign has captivated fans across all ages and time.

But they also have a secret weapon. The Amul mascot, a cute and chubby girl usually dressed in a polka dot dress, is universally recognizable in India. And the tagline, ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious Amul’ is just as catchy. Together, these two elements are a fantastic combination of brand elements for Amul. And get this; the brand mascot has been the same since its inception in 1967. That’s almost 45 years ago. But the Amul girl is still as relevant as ever.

Amul's advertisement journey began in 1966, when they hired Sylvester daCunha to design a new ad campaign for Amul Butter, and since then the ads have entertained us with their quirky take on current affairs.

When the country was busy making merry about Samajwadi Party's landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, Amul was preparing to salute in their own style! The ad depicted the winners Akhilesh and Mulayam Singh Yadav zooming ahead of everyone on a bicycle, which is also the party's symbol. The words read, 'Samajworthy Party' in 'Butter Pradesh'!

Recently, a book, Amul’s India, celebrating the journey of the lovable little girl in polka dots was released in Mumbai in the presence of the man who started the world’s longest running campaign ever, Sylvester daCunha.

Even after almost 50 years, the lovable polka-dotted Amul girl has turned out to be a great survivor. And the book is a celebration that would be of enormous interest to an observer of contemporary India, be it a brand manager, a management student or a fan of Amul.

Amul's latest ad is on the mystery woman who marched with the Indian team during the London Olympics opening ceremony. She walked alongside India's flag bearer Sushil Kumar although she was not a part of the Indian contingent in any which way. She was later recognized as Madhura Nagendra, a Bangalore student, who was one of 10,000 volunteers performing in the ceremony.

Indian officials blasted Olympic security for the lapse. LOCOG chief Sebastian Coe, however, said that Nagendra was not a security threat. He said she was simply "a cast member who clearly got slightly over-excited."

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