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

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.

Myntra To Go App Only…


Mobile phones which was a luxury then and is a necessity now has created a revolution over the years.One can’t imagine life without a mobile phone as it has become a integral part of one’s identity.In 1990, cell phone subscribers were 12.5 million viz about 0.25% of world’s population then. In 2002, it grew to 1.2 billion(19% of world’s population) and in 2010 it grew leaps and bounds to 4 billion(about 67% of world’s population).With this whopping growth,mobile technology has disrupted every other industry one can ever imagine changing the way people interact and the way they use it’s different services.Interestingly,it’s true potential is yet to be understood.

With mobile revolution,came the internet revolution which is adding around 6 million new entrants every month.The estimated user base was 243 million as of January 2014 with internet usage growth at it’s inflection point.This has led to a boom in e-commerce industry which had a growth of 231% for a span of mere 4 years, estimated to be around 12.6 billion dollars in 2013.

Electronics and Apparels are the biggest categories when one goes for online shopping. In India, Flipkart has always been a industry leader ever since its inception in 2007 especially in electronics segment.

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Image credit: thehindu.com

On the other hand,another Bangalore based company-Myntra.com which also started it’s operations in 2007 provided on demand personalisation of gift items,has evolved into a leading fashion and apparel based e-portal. Flipkart acquiring Myntra(biggest deal in the e-commerce industry) has made it a much bigger entity to take on the likes of Softbank backed SnapDeal which is growing at a alarming rate and Amazon which is the big fish among e-tailers expanding it’s footprints in India.

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Image credit:iamwire.com and financialexpress.com

From 15th May,2015 Myntra announced that it will shut down its website and will operate only through it’s mobile app which is a global ecommerce first. Flipkart, the parent company will also follow the suit in a year or so, given that its much more complex to switch only to mobile apps altogether as it operates in various segments and categories unlike Myntra which caters to mainly fashion. On the other hand, its competitors like Jabong, SnapDeal and Amazon think otherwise and are of the opinion that it is incorrect to force a customer to do only mobile shopping.Even though mobile shopping is growing at an accelerating rate, the choice should lie with the customer. Nevertheless, its a bold move which will have massive implications on how shopping will be done in the future and Flipkart-Myntra want to lead the pack instead of following other retailers even though it may seem as a risky proposition now.However this decision is not taken at a haste and done with lot of pondering and detailed analysis.

Mobile accounts for 70% of Myntra’s revenues, with 9 million active mobile app users. It expects another 5 million mobile app subscribers to join the bandwagon in few months. India, the market which it operates is a mobile first country because of the total time Indians spent on Internet, 90% is through mobile phones. Interestingly, over 50% mobile traffic is coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities which has great prospects in near future and will drive their business big time. Myntra plans to hire lot of people especially from Silicon valley to live up to its vision by investing heavily in lot of innovative technologies in providing highly personalized shopping through the device which is very personal to them-their mobile phone.

As Myntra will start their business only through one channel i.e.mobiles,a lot of emphasis will be on the development of the app with never seen before features making it more engaging which will only benefit the customer and make his/her choices much simpler.Content shopping with lot of multimedia that resonates with the customer will drive their business to new levels.With advancement in social media analytics, it will provide you more personalized recommendations based on your choices and liking.You will be greeted by the application with listings only you want to see and eventually shop. Also to engage the customer more and take customer relationship to a whole new level, it may provide personalized discounts and deals more regularly than we see today.

Mukesh Bansal, Myntra CEO feels that smart phones are going to drive online shopping in the future. He says that the company will now put all its efforts to leverage its mobile shopping experience.

“Fashion is a very personal experience. We believe that only mobile can truly deliver this experience as it captures user’s lifestyle and context in manner that no other medium does. Think of all the hardware and software features that one can leverage like camera, contact, location etc. to understand the user’s context and deliver the experience that is deeply personalized,” he said.

Hope Myntra, a Indian brand leads the way spreading (h)App-iness and all the other global big players follow suit as it will be App-etizing to say the least.

P.S: Are you still thinking of downloading the app when u know that it’s gonna be the next big thing in online shopping in India?? I hope, the message is loud and clear.

This post is written for Myntra App Contest,one of the campaigns from BlogMint.

References: Wikipedia