Lessons for PR professionals from Amul’s moppet ad campaign

The Amul moppet ad campaign stands out for its longevity, creativity, wit, and most importantly its ability to connect with everyone. Professionals in creative fields such as illustration, advertising, and copy writing can learn a lot from this ad campaign that’s been around since 1967. For close to fifty years the Amul moppet girl ads have been consistent in their endearing quality; quick response to sensational news incidents—whether one or five a week; ability to create a connect with the audience through tongue-in-cheek humor in every ad; and in their sharing subtly yet effectively Amul brand differentiation in bites with a double relevance to a popular current event or sensational news item. Sample the following: “breadcarded daily”, “the best block”, “anytime bite”, all which relate to both the butter and incidents from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The butter, initially launched in 1945 had a boring image to it. The original ad agency had stuck to the regular corporate ads and didn’t dare to venture out. Then Sylvester daCunha, Chairman of daCunha Communications came along, won the account and created the Amul girl. The Utterly Butterly moppet, whose first hoarding went up in Mumbai, gave a face lift not only to the brand but also to the entire advertising industry. The rest as they say is history. Amongst several national and international accolades the ad campaign has also featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest running ad campaign.

As PR professionals, the Amul moppet ad campaign is one from which we too can learn a whole lot. Highlighted below are some of the learnings.

Consistency and speed

An admirable trait of the Amul creative team at daCunha Communications is the speed with which they have been responding to external developments consistently over the years. A Wall Street Journal article reports the process the team follows and how six Amul cartoons are produced per week by just three people. This discipline is one the ad agency developed from the time the senior daCunha won the Amul account in 1966 and has been followed to this day by his son Rahul daCunha. The team of three spend quite a bit of time each day looking at the papers just to find a small thread of controversy. The minute they do, a sketch is up and ready for approval and is out the next day. This makes it relevant to a general audience who may have read about the development in the previous day’s newspapers.

Effective listening

Keeping your ears open to what’s happening around you and then creating your message accordingly, will make the key message so much more appealing to target audiences. PR professionals can benefit from emulating this quality. A colleague walked the talk on this trait and the net result was great story for her client. She picked up on a news piece that Angelina Jolie was getting another surgery done after her double mastectomy. She was swift enough to translate this news reportage into two story ideas for a client in Chennai. Opportunities like these not only let you deliver the key messages effectively but also increase the relevance of the story for the audience as people are wanting to read stories around sensational / controversial news.

Consistent market image

Amul was initially perceived as the brand catering to housewives.The ads over the years have changed and now cater to the modern household where every member of the family is involved with household decisions and become a target audience for the company. This re-iterates the point that Amul caters to every segment of its target audience and is keeping up with the times. The link embedded takes you to the recent TV ad that went viral. The ad captured many family phases, from how the husband is now more involved in taking care of the child as compared with previously, to how children today have become more self-sustained.

Try: take the risk

Importantly, the Amul brand campaign teaches us that it is always good to try; if you never try, you’ll never know. There is no way the playful and irreverent Amul moppet ad campaign would be running for close to 50 years if the team had given up in the face of hurdles – both small and seemingly insurmountable. In our case, while we cannot implement all ideas, trying to do so will give us the confidence to try more and aim higher for our clients which might have a positive impact on the brand in the long run.

No company is too old for digital media

The official Amul Facebook page has close to 1.2 Million likes and similarly on Twitter the company has 25,000 followers. This is evidence of the fact that even what may be considered as a cash cow and mature brand, can have a substantive following on digital platforms if it flushes in a freshness and relevance to the current world we live in everyday as Amul does.

Indeed, the Amul moppet ad campaign by sheer example has given us a lot of ideas on how to improve our stance as PR professionals.

Some of our personal favorite 2014 Amul moppet ads:

Federer adds to his family

Federer adds to his family

South superstar’s much awaited film & twitter presence

South superstar’s much awaited film & twitter presence

Supreme Court recognizes third gender

Supreme Court recognizes third gender

Oscar host’s ‘selfie’ breaks Twitter record!

Oscar host’s ‘selfie’ breaks Twitter record!

Wishing Michael Schumacher a speedy recovery

Wishing Michael Schumacher a speedy recovery

Authored by:

Smriti Raghunandan, Sr. Account Executive, 20:20 MSL &

Sneha Gupta, Associate Account Executive, 20:20 MSL

2 thoughts on “Lessons for PR professionals from Amul’s moppet ad campaign

  1. An absolutely amazing read Smriti and Sneha. The way you have captured the learnings is crisp and insightful. Congratulations on writing this so well.

Leave a Reply