Amul girl refers to the advertising mascot used by Amul, an Indian dairy brand. The Amul girl is a hand-drawn cartoon of a young Indian girl dressed in a polka dotted frock with blue hair and a half pony tied up. The Amul girl advertising have often been described as one of the best Indian Advertising concepts because of their humour.
The Amul girl was created as a response to Amul's rival brand Polson's butter-girl. The idea was conceived in 1967 once ASP (Advertising, Sales and Promotion) clinched the brand portfolio from the previous agency FCB Ulka. It was executed by Sylvester Da Cunha, the owner of the agency and his art director Eustace Fernandez on hoardings, painted bus panels and posters in Mumbai. The mascot, since then, has been mobilized to comment on many events of national and political importance like the Emergency in India in 1976.
In 1966, Amul decided to give their account to the advertising agency called Advertising and Sales Promotion (ASP) to work on their ad campaign. Sylvester da Cunha, then the managing director of the agency and Eustace Fernandez, art director decided to create something that would grab the attention of every housewife in the country. Dr Verghese Kurien, then chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF) suggested a mischievous little girl as a mascot with two requirements. It had to be easy to draw and memorable as most of the advertising would be outdoor media which required hand painting in those days and the hoardings had to be changed frequently.
In 2001, Amul ran an ad campaign criticizing the Indian Airlines strike, whereupon Indian Airlines threatened to stop offering Amul butter on their flights unless the ads were pulled. Another ad during Ganesh Chaturthi which said, Ganpati Bappa More Ghya (Ganpati Bappa take more). The Shiv Sena party said that if the ad wasn't removed, they would come and destroy Amul's office. In July 2011, an ad criticizing Suresh Kalmadi led to trouble in Pune, while an ad poking fun at Mamata Banerjee in December 2011 led to problems in Kolkata. Subsequently, another ad with Banerjee was released all over India except in Kolkata in March 2012.
In 2011, they came up with ‘Maine kyaa khaya' (What did I eat?) for Suresh Kalmadi during the over the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, they ran into trouble. “He was found guilty, he was in jail, his party had abandoned him. But party workers in Pune actually pulled down the hoarding,” recalls a bewildered da Cunha.
There have been some laughable protests as well. When they wrote ‘Satyam Sharam Scandalum!' for Satyam Computer Services Ltd.'s disgraced chairman Ramalinga Raju, he says, “We got a formal letter from the Satyam Board threatening us with dire consequences: all their employees would stop eating Amul butter!”.
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- Utterly butterly adorable campaign by Gaurav Sood in The Tribune Spectrum (4 March 2001)
- Indrajit Hazra, Jest like that: Girl with the Amul tattoo Archived June 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., July 01, 2012, Hindustan Times, Retrieved July 01, 2012