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Selling points: Memorable mascots in Indian ads

From the Onida devil to the Liril girl, a look at those that sold best.

ht weekend Updated: Jun 15, 2019 18:05 IST
Rachel Lopez
Rachel Lopez
Hindustan Times
Moppet,Lalitaji,Ramesh

The Nirma girl: With her twirling, skirt spread out, this child of the 1980s gave the Gujarat detergent company great brand recall.

The Onida devil: As a spate of TV brands struggled to make their mark, ad man Gopi Kukde shed talk of design and tech and instead created ‘Neighbour’s Envy’, a naughty horned devil played by David Whitbread that instantly resonated with the aspirational urban middle class in 1990s India.

Lalita Ji: Surf’s game-changing mascot in the 1980s was the quick-smart housewife who knew the value of every rupee. The story goes that Alyque Padamsee created her after watching his mother haggle with the grocer for a tiny sum just after the family had bought a car. It wasn’t about the sum, she reportedly explained. It was about value for money.

Ramesh and Suresh: Prasoon Pandey created these loveable doofuses who fall into raptures after biting into a Cadbury’s 5-Star bar in 2006. These guys won over the country with their silliness. It helped the chocolate bar stay memorable in a fast-changing market.

Liril Girl: Tasked with selling a lemony fresh soap in 1975, Alyque Padamsee decided to create a fantasy woman who would test the definition of acceptable family viewing. His ‘Liril Girl’ looked into the camera with a smile full of innocence as she bathed under a waterfall, dressed in a bikini. The original model was Karen Lunel; more recent ‘Liril Girls’ have included Deepika Padukone, Preity Zinta and Pooja Batra.

First Published: Jun 15, 2019 18:05 IST