Thursday, 10 May 2018

Wallowing in Nostalgia

This blogger has reached a stage in life where he often turns nostalgic. Ahhh - the good old days ... Sigh ...

Today it was nostalgia in ads. All from about 40 years ago. Colour television had not yet come to India (it came with the Asian Games of 1982). Black & White TVs were few and far between and it was perfectly OK to go to your neighbour's house to watch TV because they had a set and you didn't. Of course, there was only one channel - Doordarshan, the state TV. 

Ads were primarily through cinema. Before the movie started, there would be a series of ads shown in full colour. Those days, you eagerly looked forward to the ads as much as you looked forward to the movie itself And then when TV came, these ads morphed to TV, but the largest reach was through cinemas for a long time. Of all the ads, there were  3 or 4  that almost everybody knew by heart. We could hum along, skip along to each of them.

First Gold Spot. When Coca Coal exited India in 1977, a local entrepreneur quickly cashed in with equivalents - Thums Up (Coke), Limca ( a lemon drink) and Gold Spot (Fanta). The Gold Spot ad was a classic - Indians with a taste for Bollywood might recognise a young Javed Jaffrey. Gold Spot, alas, disappeared when Coca Cola reentered India in the late 1990s.


My second classic of course has to be Liril, by Unilever.  It completely took India by storm sending the soap skyrocketing as the largest selling soap in India. The ad was so successful that the model Karen Lunel  was paid by Unilever never to appear in any other ad ever again. She will forever be the Liril girl. Liril is still going strong in India - it was , and  has always been, an "India soap". Unilever , despite being global never sold Liril in any other country, but in India it was a mega hit.

My personal favourite of them all is  Close Up also from the Unilever stable. The wonderful Close Up jingle; I can still remember the words and hummed along when I listened to the song today. Alas, the ad has been lost to history. I can't find it on You Tube at all. When Close Up was launched with this ad, it caught on to become one of India's best selling toothpastes. Today, Unilever has withdrawn from toothpastes in most countries, but in India, Close Up is still a star. The ad seems to have been lost, but the song on which it is based is very much there - Walter Navarro's lovely classic. Listen to the song and those of you old enough to remember that ad, imagine it before your eyes. Even better that way.

Why is it that my vision is a tad blurred today !


Anonymous said...

Thala in nostalgic mood :D hamdard ka tonic chinkara ad pathirukeengala. javed jafrey will break open the wall/window and jump after a teaspoon of it. Apolam thought it made him so energetic. yosichi paatha it must've been so bad that ad edukrapovo he committed suicide!!!

Vincy said...

Oh so many posts that I have missed Ramesh. My bad.

Yes these jingles will make anyone who has grown up during that period nostalgic. I watched the videos with a silly grin on my face. It was almost like a flashback into those yesteryears.

I remember a Jingle, that I used to hum during those days - "dip dip dip, add the sugar and the milk and its ready to sip. Tata had introduced their tea bags and this was an ad for that. Was it Tajmahal tea bags?

The grin remains and thank you Ramesh for that.

Ramesh said...

@Gils - Very impressed you know who Javid Jeffrey is. I thought your generation would not have heard of him !!!

@Vincy - Welcome back ! Delighted to have you back here.

Eeeks Vincy. Taj Mahal is Brooke Bond's brand ; not Tata's. They are both fierce competitors !!

Anne in Salem said...

The musical memories stored in the auditory cortex are so powerful and so deeply seated that music can reach even patients thought to be beyond reach. Fingers tap, toes bounce, a tear falls. We hear a song and remember the associations - the girl with whom we danced, the show on TV, the friends in the band, the family. Certain songs or tunes can be life-long triggers, and we smile as we reminisce. Search youtube for Lawrence Welk; even his name brings back memories of nights spent at my grandparents' 40 years ago.

Ramesh said...

@Anne - So True. I'll check out Lawrence Walk; have to admit I have never heard of him !

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