Posted tagged ‘Brand’

Ad Icons

March 21, 2010

Reading my prior post about Amul billboards got me thinking about other ad icons. I was amazed at how many of these exist out there. Pillsbury’s Poppin’ Fresh, Air India’s Maharaja, Marlboro’s Marlboro Man, Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, 7Up’s Fido Dido, Michelin Tires’ The Michelin Man, and on goes the list…

Judging from such a large presence, their role is apparently an important one. They help make a brand more recognizable in the marketplace. But really, is their raison d’être merely providing an easy identifier to the brand. Or is there more that is achieved by these ostensibly ubiquitous images?

Ad icons are carefully characterized to embody the brand they represent. They help make a brand human with lifelike traits. Thus differentiate it from the many others and make it stand out. Or what Seth Godin would call making of a purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.

Tony The Tiger 1st appeared on Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes boxes in 1951. With a ready smile and a friendly demeanor, Tony gradually won over consumers of all ages, especially became a favorite of children. Fido Dido – the cool dude of 7 Up appealed to the cola drinking young adults in late 80s, through the 90s and is still going strong.

Do you have a favorite ad or brand icon?

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Airtel: Express Yourself

March 11, 2010

Clearly, the black and white montage in Airtel’s Express Yourself commercial was aimed at enabling the brand’s connect with consumers on an emotional level.  This was back in 2003 when I was an advertising student in India. Since then the brand campaign has evolved in keeping with the evolution of Telecom category in the country – going through different stages of creating category and technology awareness, targeting premium segment and penetrating mass market. And now with record growth in subscriber base, is digging deeper into user groups with specific product promotions.

Back in 2003, I remember taking an instant liking to the tag line Express Yourself, probably because I was trying desperately to find my own voice.  And of course the copy in the specific spot I am referring to sealed the deal for me. The background score in this commercial is almost certainly the most popular ring tone of all time.

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Amul Butter: Utterly Butterly Delicious

February 24, 2010

I suppose I don’t really know why I chose to discuss Amul’s “Utterly Butterly Delicious” campaign as I begin my blog.  The campaign’s innate Indianness may have something to do with it. Its sensibility is uniquely Indian so much so that Amul Billboards have become a part of the culture…no moment of significance is significant enough if it hasn’t been cheekily celebrated by Amul Butter. Increasing popularity of social media; legalizing of homosexuality in the country; swine flu pandemic; success of Slumdog Millionaire – all have had a place among the many ‘topicals’ of Amul.

Delhi High Court judgement legalizing Homosexuality

Growing popularity of social media

Growing popularity of social media

Amul’s brand ambassador – a round faced little girl with chubby cheeks and bow tied hair, holding out a packet of Amul butter in strategically posted billboards has been around for more than 3 decades now.  Taking their cue from popular culture – a headline grabbing news piece, a controversy, or a bollywood film, the billboards say something that is on people’s minds and thus find almost an instant connect with the audience. Over the years, the ads have gained an inimitable identity which by extension lends itself to the brand. Along the way, these ads have also caused ripples and stirred controversies – the one with Amul girl wearing the Gandhi cap rubbed many in the political milieu the wrong way. But such episodes haven’t disrupted the risqué tone. And yet, with their tongue-in-cheek humor, the yummy spoofs and the adorable mascot provide an endearing and long lasting quality to the brand.

For those of you interested, the Amul website showcases the entire collection at


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