Akriti Rana is based in Delhi and writes on technology and communication. She reviews gadgets, apps and ads alike for one of India’s leading tech blogs. A graduate in journalism and mass communication, she has also worked in My Mobile and interned with Hindustan Times and India TV.
In the 1970s, the Indian washing powder market was dominated by Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) and its Surf was pretty much THE detergent powder to use. That changed with the emergence of a washing power called Nirma.
You want to advertise the most Indian snack. Something that no one imagined could be a branded product, let alone advertised. You are literally on a shoestring budget, ruling out celebrities and fancy sets. So what do you do?
Pepsi came up with the line “Yehi hai right choice, baby, Aha!” and in its initial campaign (directed by Mukul Anand) featured Indian pop star Remo Fernandes and film star Juhi Chawla. Although the jingle caught on, the drink itself was not really striking the sort of chord that the brand wanted. It would do so, with a little help from a current and two future Bollywood stars at the time.
Through “Asli swaad zindagi ka”, Cadbury changed the perception that chocolates were for only children. The ad did not highlight or make the product the hero - it barely had a few glimpses of the chocolate itself. What it however focused was on humans and how they were feeling, right through the ad.
Bajaj’s response to challenges from mainly motorbike-pushing brands like Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki in late 1980s was an ad campaign, called "Hamara Bajaj", that set a new benchmark for Indian advertising - not just motor vehicle advertising, but advertising in general.
Although simple, the “Mummy, I am hungry” ad had so many nuanced messages right under that surface. No one found it spectacularly entertaining, but it got the message across - moms trust Maggi for their kids. So it had to be good!