Known as the ‘brand father of Indian advertising,’ Alyque Padamsee has earned the title by building over a 100 brands in India. The popular ad film-maker recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of a popular condom brand. Padamsee, who came up with the first condom ad in India in 1991, says that he came up with bold ads despite the taboos associated with sex. “I was used to the taboos,” he says, adding, “The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) told me that I had released an ad, in which I am openly talking about sex and the usage of condoms for the pleasure of making love. They asked me how I can do that. To which, I asked, ‘If condoms are not for the pleasure of making love, then what are they for’? They were astonished with my reply. They told me that they would get back, but never did. We ran the campaign and it was the biggest sensation in those days.”
Another commercial that Padamsee created for a soap brand made headlines several times. “When I came up with the Liril ad, I made the girl wear a bikini at a time when bikinis were considered a taboo. I was used to expressing what young India wanted” he says. The ad maker says that the older generation still does not discuss sex as much. “But millennials are quite happy to talk about sex, homosexuality and gay marriages. They have no inhibitions,” he adds.
When you follow your soul's calling & focus on your passion... MAGIC happens! Thank you Universe!!!!! 💜✨ pic.twitter.com/XmwAuGBJtj— Shazahn Padamsee (@shazahnpadamsee) June 22, 2016
Apart from advertising, Alyque Padamsee is one of the most active personalities in theatre, and has directed and produced several plays. He says that the message of protected sex “should be promoted and publicised much more” through the medium of theatre. “I am happy that a play like The Vagina Monologues has been running for more than 12 years. A lot of people objected to the usage of the word vagina. When it was suggested that the Hindi word for vagina be used, they shut up,” he says.
Happy Birthday to my most favourite person! You're the apple of my eye, my bestie, my mentor, my LIFE! Love you dad! pic.twitter.com/AL0wIny2Gb— Shazahn Padamsee (@shazahnpadamsee) March 6, 2016
Ask Padamsee what changes he would like to see in the way advertisements are made today, and he says, “I think the advertising industry today is very entertaining, which is good. However, sometimes advertisements have pointless entertainment. These ads have nothing to do with the product. So, I would like to see ads that are entertaining but also tell you what the product can do.”