Who doesn't adore the Amul girl? We've all grown up seeing her on the packet of the 'utterly butterly delicious' Amul butter. We could almost always spot her in the corner of a newspaper or on a hoarding. From giving her opinion on the Satyam Scandal in the form of 'Satyam Sharam Scandalam' to commenting on the recent surgical strikes conducted by India in the form of 'sURIgical strikes', the Amul girl always loves taking a jibe on current issues.
The nose-less moppet with blue hair and a polka-dotted frock entered the lives of Indians in the 1960s. And ever since, she has been commenting on social issues, mixing satire with wit to give everyone an idea of the Indian spirit, somehow mirroring the sentiments of the Indian masses. It has been 5 decades and the girl has hit half-century in terms of age but her views have managed to be synonymous with ongoing social situations. A product of the post-Independence era, she has grown up with India.
But who is the actual voice of the famous Amul girl? Who gives her the witty opinions?
The Amul girl is the brainchild of Sylvester da Cunha, who first bagged the Amul account in 1966, 10 years after Amul butter had hit the market. The old slogan, 'Purely the Best' was done away with and what was born was the new slogan 'Utterly Butterly Delicious', the three words that instantly remind us of the little girl dancing in the Amul ads.
But it was only after this slogan was created that the Amul girl came to life. From the blue hair to the frock, art director Eustace Fernandes gave form to the idea of the Amul girl.
The advertising of Amul butter started reacting to daily news pretty early on and it was then that Sylvester da Cunha asked Verghese Kurien, the then head of Amul whether the campaign could run without procuring permission for every single billboard. Surprisingly, Kurien agreed, with his only condition being that no one gets into trouble because of the Amul girl and her satirical views.
Today, Sylvester's son Rahul da Cunha runs the Amul girl campaign with his colleagues Manish Jhaveri, who is the copywriter and Jayant Rane, the artist who has been sketching Amul cartoons for a quarter-century now.
Sylvester started with a new hoarding every 2 weeks but Rahul and his team members have to come up with 5 different taglines every week for which they coordinate constantly through phone calls, mails and text messages.
Rahul admits that the constant social media updates mean that the team of 3 has no time for other things. Moreover, another change that Rahul has noticed is that the variety of social media platforms have heightened emotions of the general public. We've become more opinionated and more active but so has the Amul girl.
After courting various controversies that almost landed our very own Amul girl into a legal soup, the campaign is still going strong. Rahul da Cunha cites examples of ads involving Jagmohan Dalmiya, Suresh Kalmadi, Satyam Computers and Subrata Roy that could have troubled the campaign.