Kal bhi, Aaj bhi, Aaj bhi Kal bhi,…

“Kal bhi, aaj bhi, aaj bhi kal bhi,..” goes the jingle of one my all-time favorite ads in Indian TV and this was for the “VIP” luggage.  I’m not sure so much of the “Facebook” generation, but I’m certain that this ad resonates with what I call as the “Doordarshan” generation to which I belong.   Every generation grows up on something which it then holds with much nostalgia for life. I for one, grew up when Doordarshan just started ruling the airwaves in the 80s. With the wisdom of hindsight, one can say that the technology was prosaic, the choice was none and the content naive but it was a time when for most, wake up alarm on a Sunday would be the  sound of the conch in  “Mahabharat”,  guests had to just wait if they dropped by during “Hum log”,  Sunday evenings were not for Dine out but for “Movie in” and ‘TGIF” was not for pubbing but for getting home to catch the latest film songs with “Chitrahaar” or “Oliyum Oliyum” !!!

Interspersed with these were the TVCs through which marketers of the day were trying to increase the market share of their company’s wares.  This blog is a tribute to some of that work which in my opinion is memorable.  They may not be the best from marketing theory or strategic stand point but unforgettable certainly they are!!!

The list ( TVCs of the 80’s ) follows just the alphabetical order and is not a ranking of any kind:

1. Bajaj Scooters – “Hamara Bajaj” – The commercial captured the mood of the rising or rather riding India those days – the jingle of course was masterclass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP8pzgPvGIs

2.  Fevicol – ” Zor Ka Jhatka” – This ad started the creative journey of the brand I must say.  ( features Rajkumar Hirani as a model !!! ). Much later the advg. which had raw humor as its thread would catapult the brand to a marketing trailblazer !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNxeUSpJ9-I

3.  Frooti – ” Mango Frooti – Fresh’n juicy” – Made Frooti a “Xerox” of tetrapack fruit drinks.  Even today in trains they don’t sell fruit drinks, they sell only Frooti !!! Why then grow up ?

4. Godrej Storwel :  Made gifting a Storwel a norm during marriages ! I’m also a bit biased here ( I started my career with

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xuf1OEGDSE

5.  Maggi Sauce : ” Its different” – While most ads become memorable becoz of endearing images or jingle this appealed to one’s  taste because of its idea, story and its characters. Javed Jafry and Pankaj Kapur certainly made it different boss!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR9pug6pj4M

6. Nirma : “Washing powder Nirma” – Doodh se safedi, Nirma se aayi – Even the brand managers feel that the jingle is so memorable that they continue the link even to this day !!!  The original commercial was typically made Sasta, Sundar but tikau ! In the 90’s Nirma rattled the hell out of Hindustan Lever at one time !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-sx_NduQZs

7.  Pan Parag :  The script, the actors ( Shammi Kappor, Ashok Kumar ) a typical Hindi move scene type – a great mix. Made the brand a 1st mover in this category. Ghutka in sachets became fashionable !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR_cb6ts2s4

8. Rasna : ” I lov u, Rasna” – This line and the Rasna Girl made the ad such a lovable one.   It remains an Old Classic. Where is Rasna and the Girl today ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah0g0joiWi0

9. Surf – “Lalitaji” – Alyque Padamsee’s claim to fame.   It related to the middle class and tried to change buying habits and succeeded too !  Though I felt the lady a bit irritating those days !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN_plnOolf8

10. Tata Steel : “We also make steel” : This shows that an ad can become memorable without a great jingle. One of my personal favorite corporate campaigns !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3n3aSjha5M

11. Vicks – “Gale Mein Kich Kich” – The models did a great job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auczCMOwJXo

12. Videocon Washing machine : A very simple straight forward ad which became famous because of its catchy jingle.

13. VIP Luggage : Kal bhi – Touches an emotional chord with its poetic lines and imagery – I thought it was a great campaign which removed functionality and brought emotions into this category advg.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHPGIwcPqDU

14.  Woodwards Gripe Water : I remember this ad more in Tamil. ” Enna Aachu ? / Kya Hua ? ”  A simple idea, executed very well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcWxQx1e2SU

15. Mile Sur Mera tumhara – Though it was not a TVC perse, one cannot miss this video in any list which talks of DD or “Good old days“.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jf6pwtPqCs&feature=related

Well I’m not sure if that list was exhaustive and covered all great TVCs of the 80’s.   It would be nice if readers pitch in as well which will take us back to those unpretentious days when sitting in front of the TV and watching ” Prannoy Roy’s – The World this week” was more exciting than today’s news that keeps “breaking” by the minute !

That brings to the end of this piece which looking back could have been titled Memoradilia  !!!

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The “D”fault !!!

Though “2G” is the one which is hogging the headlines these days and raking in the bucks (for the news channels this time), this blog of mine is not about 2G but rather “2D“. I was casually watching an interview of a very famous Indian personality the other day on TV where he was asked a very serious question (for a change!). The question somewhat went like this. “Though our country has so many inherent strengths, natural resources, a long history,…why do you think we are still lagging behind many other smaller countries and still facing a lot fundamental problems like poor health conditions, poverty,.., … ?. The answer came in a flash which was –  “Discipline. We Indians lack discipline. That’s what pulls us back. Nothing else. ”  My 2D here is about “Desh and Discipline”.

Traffic

It’s an undeniable fact that as Indians we abhor discipline. Hence it’s not a big surprise that Oprah quizzed if red lights in signals are for entertainment in India during her 1st visit to India couple of weeks ago ! Our Jay Walking may become the next joke in Jay Leno’s programme ( or …may be not after the recent brouhaha!)

We take pride in not keeping our time commitments and keeping others waiting. ‘IST” for long time now has become the Standard acronym for “Indian Stretchable Time”! While we come up with any number of excuses for not turning up on time for business meetings, we somehow manage to be on time in the movie halls! The trailers cannot be missed you see. That’s another matter.

In Mumbai, I notice that the Government is spending crores of our Tax money for building Foot over Bridges in major roads. But people’s feet are still always over the roads and not over the bridges a safety nightmare and also in the process slowing down the slow traffic.FOB

More often than not you will see pictures of Gods and Goddesses in obscure corners in the stairs of buildings, inside lifts,…in  Mumbai. This is an ingenious way human beings have thought of to prevent spitting in the walls inside buildings, inside lifts,… We literally paint the town red – day in and day out ! It’s high time Paan is sold with a convenient spitting pan as a package.

Spit

Forming a single line is simply impossible for us. When we are asked to form lines, they always end up resembling snakes that too with 5 heads!!! In all my travels, its only in the boarding gates of India bound flights I see so much of ruckus when boarding is announced to get on to the plane 1st. Fear factor that the plane may leave without us !

snake

This list is endless. The same “WE”, when we step out of our country observe traffic discipline, timeliness and all that. So what’s the difference? One is the severity of rules and their implementation in other countries. But the main difference is ” What we see others doing”

And when I say all this about our countrymen I don’t mean to exclude myself at all. I’m as much party to many of the above acts as others. So what’s this ranting all about?

If we as a nation with 1.2 bn + people, plenty of natural resources, proud history, functioning democracy also add “Discipline” to our resume, I’m sure we will soon become the super power we yearn to be. The moot question is how do we become a ” D Company” , I mean a Disciplined nation ? After we got independence in 1947, the priorities for that generation were nation building, setting up institutions, fighting famines, ..,… I guess the priority was not given to instill discipline in children,…,…  Now I believe that the time has come. Attitudinal shifts in a country do not happen overnight or not even over months or years. They happen over a generation.  And becoming disciplined is one helluva attitudinal shift. Can WE bring in this shift in our children? By being demonstrative? By being disciplined?

This piece has just ended up with more questions than answers and that was the point. Let me now pause this piece and go to bed so that I’m on time for my gym in the morning!

P.S: The famous Indian personality referred to in the 1st Para is famously called as “The Superstar” and it is said that “If He Kant, nobody can”!!!