Lather-Day Icons Fade Out

Two iconic ads, the Liril Girl and the Onida Devil, quietly went off the market. KUNAL MAJUMDER finds the reasons for their success and the change

ONE WAS purely sinful and the other literally satanic: a bikiniclad nymphet bathing under a waterfall with her favourite soap and in the other, the Devil himself tempted you with a colour TV. Both proved very popular — and effective — advertising campaigns. Some even hail them as iconic.

Iconic ads
Iconic ads

Conceived in 1975 and 1995 respectively, Alyque Padamsee’s Liril Girl and Gopi Kukde’s Onida Devil redefined advertising in the country. Both campaigns created two distinctive brand mascots and ran for years. One had a jingle that few will be able to forget, the other a memorable tagline: Neighbour’s Envy, Owner’s Pride, and the sound of glasspanes breaking from stones thrown by jealous neighbours.

Last week, however, both campaigns were shelved by their respective advertising agencies. “It was time to make the shift because the brand perception had changed over the years and the client wanted a new fit,” claims Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman of advertising firm McCann Erickson. “The devil had become like furniture — something taken for granted. There was a need for a fresh look.” Joshi and his team replaced the Devil with a young married couple, Ritu and Siddharth, and are optimistic about its success.

Read on the Tehelka issue dated September 28.

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