Utterly Butterly Delicious
Amul is one of the most prominent brands from India and its mascots and real time marketing have played an important role in giving the brand that stature. I kept thinking about the Branding Strategy project that I did on Amul during my MBA, centered on Amul’s mascot and topical ads. So, I took out my report to refresh my memories and share about one of the oldest mascots and longest-running real time marketing campaigns.
The Amul mascot – also known as the Amul Moppet – is a cute and chubby girl usually dressed in a polka dot dress. The mascot was born in 1967 when Sylvester daCunha, the then managing director of the advertising agency, ASP, clinched the account for Amul Butter. Prior to that Amul Butter (since its launch in 1945), had a staid and boring image.
Sylvester daCunha decided to change the image of Amul butter and pitched the idea of the Amul Moppet to Dr. Verghese Kurien, Chairman of Amul. Soon after that the country saw the birth of a campaign whose charm has endured fickle public opinion, gimmickry and all else. In the book ‘Amul's India: Based on 50 Years of Amul Advertising by Dacunha Communication’ published in 2012, Sylvester daCunha is quoted to have said, "Eustace Fernandez (the art director) and I decided that we needed a girl who would worm her way into a housewife's heart. And who better than a little girl?" while talking about the Amul Moppet.
In October of 1967, the major cities of India were covered with posters of the Moppet on a horse. The campaign message on the posters simply read, “Thoroughbread, Utterly Butterly Delicious Amul,” which has ultimately led to Amul Butter’s tagline of today, “Utterly Butterly Delicious.” Amul’s mascot has been the same since its inception 63 years ago, but the Amul Moppet is still as relevant now as it was then.
The beauty of Amul’s ads is that instead of using a celebrity to make the brand seem friendly, a character was created from scratch and an association was built around it. The brand recall for the Amul Moppet is phenomenal across India today. And the biggest reason for this is the topical nature of the ads that are part of Amul’s real time marketing.
Real Time Marketing:
Amul’s topicals campaign kicked off in the 1970s and were planned by Sylvester daCunha as a series of hoardings with witty one-liners, which capture relevant events that have caught the fancy of the nation. This created an instant connect with the populace and helped them to identify with the brand. The campaign is ongoing till today and with the emergence of digital media Dacunha Communication got greater flexibility to respond to every notable event from across the globe – the latest one on the slipping and falling of several players on the court at Wimbledon 2021 (read about it here if you do not know about it yet.
Apart from its real-time nature, the humour in the campaign is incisive and funny. The style of drawing is also very distinctive, and there is instant recognition of the brand without even needing to take a close look. While today’s advertising revolves around creating stylistic ads cantered around celebrity endorsements, Amul’s ads are like a breath of fresh air that has held onto its roots and yet managed to stay relevant over the years.
Here are some more Amul topicals creatives from the recent days:
If you are interested to see more Amul topical creatives, you will find them here.
Akhtar, S. (2012). Branding Strategy of Amul. Scribd. https://www.scribd.com/doc/112058726/Branding-Strategy-of-Amul-Report