Utterly Butterly Delicious


This story is about most loved brand Amul-The Taste of India and their ever consistent advertising campaign featuring The Amul poppet(cute,little,naughty girl in her polka dots more often than not relishing Amul butter and other products).Their chief architect Dr Verghese Kurien was exemplary in bringing in the White Revolution, the largest dairy development programme in the world named as Operation Flood.

White Revolution was the offshoot of India’s Freedom movement, to empower the farmers by freeing them from the clutches of self serving middle men by eliminating them and in turn setting up a milk corporation. A farmer would bring milk cans on a daily basis to his nearest collection centre in his village and would be paid cash instantly based on quality and fat content in the weighed milk. The interesting thing here is, this milk is largely purchased by women thus empowering them economically and socially. 

Anand,once a serene and quiet village is today a symbol of modern nationalism. It is the headquarters of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd(GCMMF) and brand Amul. In the aftermath of 1962 Indo-China war, it was very difficult time for India. Agriculture was the top priority for our honorable Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri. He even went to coin a slogan- Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan. One hugely successful programme was milk co-operative movement in Gujarat under the leadership of Mr. Kurien. In 1964, our PM, wished to spend one night at a farm in Anand without any presence of customary security.He along with Kurien sneaked out into a farmers place to understand and empathize about their current situation, their problems, concerns and experiences with the Co-operative movement. After a good connect, PM requested Mr Kurien to replicate this on a national level paving the way for National Dairy Development Board headquartered at Anand.

It was vital for Amul-the Brand to market its products more effectively to capture the imagination of all its prospective customers. They felt services of a professional ad agency were outright necessary. So they hired an advertising agency to do their marketing and more importantly they gave them free hand and didn’t interfere whatsoever. That was the wisest decision ever taken in what could be a unbeaten partnership(a partnership, one cannot emulate easily) by which Amul grew leaps and bounds.

The positioning statement for their Amul butter was “processed from purest milk under the most hygienic conditions by a dairy co-operative from Gujarat“. And that’s when, to further refine the communication-Sylvester DaCunha who was driving the advertising campaign came up with this winning slogan “Utterly Butterly Delicious” when casually discussing with his wife. Eustace Fernandes, the art director, visualized and sketched a charming little poppet in a polka dots frock with matching ribbon in her ponytail. She was licking her lips to say “Utterly Butterly Delicious“. She was cute, smart, naughty, innocent,cheeky without any malice. This was an outright winner and rest is history. Over 50 years of advertising with the same character expressing varied emotions with diverse messaging theme is legendary. It only brings back memories of The Common Man cartoon created by the master illustrator R K Laxman.

It was decided that the agency would go with outdoor campaigns and hoarding at prime locations of Bombay was the best bet. When the first hoarding with the Amul poppet was put up, it was an instant success. A housewife, was drying her clothes in her balcony when she saw few people gathering on the main road. As crowd grew, she rushed to see, whether there was any accident only to find her kid pointing her to the hoarding with a cute little kid advertising for Amul. Such was the power of their communication and it’s underlying impact on psyche of their customer.

After few stints, the agency planned to go topical with their campaigning picking up topics of national interest. However topical ads, posed a challenge. One had to select a topic, create a rough sketch, present it to client, tweak it to incorporate client’s suggestions and then after final approval,distribute it to hoarding contractors. This would easily take a week by which the topic in hand would loose its relevance and hence the connect.

This was when Dr Kurien did the unthinkable. He gave a complete free hand to the agency to create their own ads without any client interference. The client just like common man on the street had the first look only when it was displayed in a hoarding in select prime locations of Bombay.

This was a great gesture and led to an unassailable partnership, the campaign,the wittiness of the ad, gave us enough reasons to chuckle about over the years. However, it had its own share of controversy when some of the ads didn’t go well with some institutions and was dealt in appropriately when the need arose.

There are no favorites, there cannot be, as one cannot pick and choose few of the topicals which are great. They have been very successful in capturing collective Indian consciousness. Anyone from an 8 year old kid to a 80 year old octogenarian,can relate to their ads and relish them.

So what ticks for Amul in terms of messaging? Is it just about playing with the words and having a popular opinion? In Product Marketing terms, their messaging has a pattern of grabbing the eyeballs of the onlooker by which they reinforce their offerings, why they are best in the business? Why Amul butter is the best butter one can have, why they are ahead of the competition etc. Also, there is some sort of vanity and bragging rights, that using Amul sounds cool. They adopt a messaging which energizes and inspires and in turn persuades their target persona to try their products.

I know some of my friends who have created an album of sorts of their topicals. Personally, this book- Amul’s India has been one of the good reads to understand the story behind these topicals and different point of views from celebrities from all walks of life who have their own Amul story to share. It’s Utterly Butterly Delicious 🙂 Hope you enjoyed it as much I had putting up this post.

Picture credits and References: Amul’s India- Based on 50 Years of Advertising by DaCunha Communications

Netflix.ing


One of my recent obsession is a wide variety of TV series available on Netflix. My friend quipped, so many content to consume and we have only one life wherein we have some finite free time for TV consumption. Yes, we have been bombarded with lot of content these days, and what stands out is quality content. Netflix has a great following because of his rich content, TV series depicting whole range of stories from different genres, cultures, languages etc. Also, one notable fact is Netflix produces original content which possess great production values, book adaptations, other compelling stories etc. Some of the content comes by buying television and licensing rights from other service providers and streaming it on Netflix. Also, Netflix comes up with binge-watching shows wherein multiple episodes from a season are released at one-go. This creates lot of anticipation among fans and encourages audiences to watch season at one sitting.

Now, Netflix is eyeing Indian market in a big way and why not? As internet adaptation in India is happening in a big way and Netflix sees India to produce next million consumers. However, like in every market there is competition and Netflix has to compete with the likes of Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Voot, AltBalaji and even Shemaroo which has a huge repository of Indian movies. The approach Netflix is adopting is to produce more Indian content as other existing players like Hotstar generates great amount of local and multilingual content.

As a Original based out of India, Netflix started with a series called Sacred Games, based on a book by Vikram Chandra. It received rave reviews because of its performances, brilliant direction by ace directors like Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane, the setting where Mumbai city is one of the key characters and more so because of its riveting writing. Given that it is a TV series, it gives a liberty to directors like Anurag who doesn’t have to withheld his storytelling style because of censor or the so called Indian sensibilities, so in that sense gives great amount of creative freedom. With Sacred Games, Netflix India has got a great start and looking good for more India based original content.

Recently, Netflix India announced a series on Baahubali, a prequel based on the novel The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan which according to me is a masterstroke. Baahubali, a Telugu movie initially produced mainly for regional audience, capturing the imagination of pan India,was quite a story in itself. Given the grandeur, vivid imaginary of a visionary director like S.S.Rajamouli and backing of leading Bollywood production company like Dharma Productions for its sequel, it created a record of sorts by being expensive Indian movie to be ever made followed by record collections. Now that Netflix has joined the bandwagon, with it’s great production values, it will surely receive new wings of encouragement to fly high and soar new heights.

Exciting times for Netflix India ahead..

Need a Quick Ride?


If we were to list major problems any Indian metro city is grappling with, traffic would be an foremost choice. The amount of time one spends waiting at a traffic signal is enormous. Simply put, Traffic is a menace for most of us. So if we know the problem, why aren’t we able to solve this problem convincingly? We know that we are staring at a complex problem here and many factors/variables come into play.

For a city like Bengaluru, over 70 lakh vehicles ply daily for a population of around 1.2 crores. This number of 70 lakh has more than doubled with more than 40 lakh new vehicles for the past 10 years. Staggering, isn’t it? Its a pain to see most of the commuters dealing with traffic woes on a daily basis adding to more frustration,stress etc.

Bengaluru Metro Rail are a great blessing for many ever since its inception as one can cover distance in less time and more importantly can be doubly sure of reaching a place at a specific time. But there is still a long way, until whole of Bengaluru is blessed with seamless metro rail connectivity.

For people traveling by road, public transport helps a great deal in terms of reducing the vehicles on road but may have to spend considerable amount of time dealing with the traffic head on. Commuters availing services of cab aggregators are ever increasing, their USP being point to point travel with all the convenience it offers. With growing population and ever increasing number of vehicles plying on the road on a daily vehicles, it’s a pain to see people traveling on their own car alone as big as SUV/MUV, isn’t a sheer waste of resource?

Pooling seems to answer this and helps a great deal to reduce the number of vehicles plying on road and these aggregators have solved the problem if not convincingly. They have their own set of problems like there are many detours one has to take for a different pickup, one may lose time considerably in pickup/drop of co passengers, not to mention some co passengers may be tough to deal with.

Quite recently, I got introduced to a car pooling mobile app called Quick Ride and ever since I have had a great experience. Compared to cab aggregators there are many benefits one can get from this car pooling exclusive app. First of all, one registers through corporate mail id after which one can get/offer a ride. Quite recently, they have added registration through Facebook account as well.

It provides an opportunity for a person owning a car and commuting to office daily to offer a ride to co rider who is traveling to same IT park. Rightly so, it takes riders convenience into account and offers ride through the route which he normally takes, without a point to point pickup/drop facility. So if you need a ride, you need to ensure that you on-board somewhere on the route taken by the rider. This helps in saving precious time for pickup.

Rides are very economical charging 50-80 for a 25 km ride. One can suggest a ride price too, if one thinks it is expensive. Based on the source and destination of your commute, one can select matching riders, check their profile, coordinate through messages/calls, GPS tracking etc. Some of the features are great like it gives a voice command for a rider for updates regarding upcoming pickup etc knowing that he will be busy riding the car. That’s really sweet, isn’t it?

Ride safety which is paramount is assured as the rider one is dealing with is a professional  himself and may be a colleague working in same firms as yours. A rider also knows that his co passengers are professionals too and are of no nuisance. I have seen more women availing this service as they are convinced of the ride safety. Moreover, it gives a great company to spend your time commuting with healthy and lively discussions and build your connections. In a way, you’re reducing your expenses(both for rider and ride taker), having a good company during your commute, building your network,  and more importantly by pooling, you’re reducing carbon footprint by efficiently utilizing the resources. One can see their Eco-Meter which provides stats like amount of CO2 reduced, number of kms shared etc. By quantifying , making you feel good and encouraging to share analytics among your network is a master stroke. Also, one more feature which is of great use is if you follow a fixed schedule, one can set a recurring ride so that you are notified and assured a ride every time. Also, all the transactions are done through wallet only and no cash is involved, one can redeem the points won at a fuel station too.

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By traveling alone in your car with 3-4 seats empty and complaining about traffic, one doesn’t realize they are also the traffic. So, if possible its great to carpool and Quick Ride has been solving this problem quite convincingly. If only they could market this product better, as I see people are getting to know and availing the benefits mainly through word of mouth.

This post is not a promotional post but my bit to promote the benefits of a really good app which is solving a problem which was waiting to be solved.